Studying as a new mum
In this blog, Geeta shares how she navigated the challenge of studying as a new mother.
Today is my son’s first birthday and to honour the influence he has had on my studies I have written my first blog for the University of London! I would like to share my personal journey – studying for a Master’s programme while on parental leave. I have always been a firm believer that education is a steppingstone towards climbing the social ladder and helping one achieve their dreams. However, being a finance professional who is always busy with work deadlines, I had somehow postponed my dream of pursuing my Master’s degree with a deep conviction that when the time was right, I would do it.
When my son was born, I reflected on my career and my role as a new mum, and I realised that I wanted to spend more time with my son as he grows up and I did not want to lose precious moments or have any future regret. I decided to opt for a Master’s programme with an aim to change career that would allow me to have more free time. It meant that while on parental leave, I had to plan my time between taking care of my son and studying. I chose to do both modules of the Master’s programme so that I would be able to finish as soon as possible. It was a tough decision to make and even tougher to abide by.
The one thing that kept me going was my son. When I get up in the middle of the night to study, I lift my head and look at my son and tell him that mummy is making this sacrifice for him. When he needed to be breast fed I used to hold him on one side with pillows to support my arms whilst typing my assignments with the other hand! Needless to say, I have been submitting most of my assignments at the last minute, but I was able to meet all submission deadlines.
Behind the scenes there are three important people who have supported me tremendously. My husband, my mother, and my sister. I had heard that it takes a whole village to raise a child. For me, these three supporters have been my village. My husband's support was constant, and my mother and sister were there when I travelled home to finish my assignments and to help my husband take a break too.
Many times, I wanted to burst into tears especially when I had planned to do something but my son decided differently! At the end of the day, he was the master of my time, and I was planning my day as per his schedule. I was giving him my priority in terms of timing and whatever time was left I was allocating it to my Master’s programme.
I stayed motivated through visualisation. I have learned that if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. Each time I felt discouraged and tired I would close my eyes and see myself graduating from the University of London, hearing my name being called and seeing myself walk the stage. This really kept me focused on my objective. So dear readers, I would like to share this blog from the bottom of my heart to help and inspire those who are studying and caring for their child.
At the end of the day everything will work out. It is important to remain focused on the end objective and to ensure that you have the support of the right people. It is absolutely okay to feel discouraged sometimes but equally important to rise again till the end goal is met. All the best for your studies and happy first birthday to my son!
Geeta studies Professional Accountancy from Luxembourg.