Family life is busy, whether you have no children, one child or three children, as we do.
Along with work there is sport/exercise, keeping your house stocked with food, keeping it clean, tidy and functioning, entertaining yourself and your children, if you have them, and who knows maybe a little bit of relaxing. The last thing you want to do is increase your responsibilities or commitments but last year that’s exactly what Dave did.
Early last year Dave became interested in doing an MBA and in July 2015 he started it. I remember so clearly the weekend that Dave started his MBA. Our youngest, Little F, was in intensive care at four weeks old with suspected whooping-cough. Dave and I lived at the hospital for over a week, not leaving her bedside as she struggled to breathe. Talk about bad timing! I remember Dave sitting with his text books studying as she recovered on the ward. Thankfully Little F recovered and Dave did well in his first exam but you can never tell what is going to come up and family comes first, over anything else. It was a stressful start to his study and although it has been tough on all of us, thankfully it has continued to get easier as we’ve gone on.
Dave decided to commit 18-24 months of our lives to doing his MBA, after discussion with me obviously. I say our lives for a very good reason, it’s not just his time, it’s family time. It has an impact on each person in our family.
- Dave needs to complete 11 assignments, study for 11 exams and complete 1 thesis. That is tough for anybody in such a short time frame but when you also have constant interruptions from your kids (and your wife), responsibilities like baths and putting your kids to bed, going to work each day, being a member of a football team and maintaining friendships, it makes concentration and finding the time very hard.
- I am currently on maternity leave so take the major responsibilities of the house and the kids on board. This is pretty exhausting with very little downtime. Trips away are difficult as Dave is studying, even day trips are tough to organise. This summer just past saw us have our least amount of beach trips since moving to Brisbane. The weekends often feel like a continuation of the week.
- The girls want to see their dad, they want to play, go out and be constantly entertained! If they are home all day arguments ensue, they are so much better behaved when they are out and about.
In saying all that though, Dave is thriving. He has learned so much (I’m even learning bits and pieces as I review his assignments). I’m pretty confident it will stand to him once he is finished.
For family life though it is tough. Was it the right time to do it? Yes and no. Is there ever the perfect time for anything in life? Little F is so young so it probably makes sense to do it now, by the time she is 18 months old it will hopefully be behind us. I would have enjoyed more down time while on maternity leave (three kids are tough work!) but I just keep going and try to make the most of each weekend that we are all together. Even if we are not doing anything too exciting, at least we can still have some fun together.
If you are considering going back to study, remember to take into account the commitment and how much extra your partner will have to take on. It’s a whole family commitment.
For us I say roll on 2017 when it’s finished and good on you Dave, we’re all so proud of you!