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Thread: Which do I sacrifice - having children, education, or financial responsibility?

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Due to exchange rates, it makes more sense for you to stay in the UK and find employment. This is where you need to seek some career counseling and placement help from the University instead of making all the assumptions that you are currently making. It may not be the stellar dream job, but it will help you and your step-father financially if he is in dire straights due to your loan. You already have your visas, so at least you don't have to worry about that. Also, talk to your professors about needing a job. Professors can be quite connected and helpful if they believe in you, willing to assist and refer you.

    Don't assume - check and then check again.
    I already have every intention of speaking to the career counsellor, however, I need to wait for term to time to begin. I also didn't intend on returning to Australia for the reasons outlined above - it just isn't really feasible. Also, I don't particularly care what jobs I have to do in the interim - I've been doing jobs I never wanted to do for the past 15 years in order to make things work, but it has more to do with meeting the conditions of my visa that I have to be a bit more particular in this instance. All that I have outlined are not assumptions, they are likely scenarios and known obstacles given my set of circumstances. I'm trying to mitigate the negatives of likely challenges. I've been over and over things a million times over the past few years trying to arrange things in a way that makes things not so complicated, or to give me my best shot at achieving what I want to. I already know what will be required of me in the several possible outcomes, I'm just feeling a little discouraged by those things because I was hoping that I wouldn't reach the position I've now reached. I was hoping that life would happen naturally in some ways that I didn't have to plan out (i.e. meeting someone, etc.) But, that hasn't occurred as yet, and things have become a little difficult.

    I'm really not intending to sound like I'm rejecting advice, but it does bother me a bit when people throw out things like I'm making assumptions and I'm letting fear cloud my judgement, etc. No, I've taken the time to look at things realistically and do my best to put myself in my best position to achieve the things that I want. I haven't gone gung ho and made rash decisions. I've utilised the tools around me and have really put my energy into knowing my options and educating myself on relevant issues concerning me. I have approached everything up until now with patience and have been calm with regards to my education, finances, children, etc. but there does come a point when sometimes things just don't fall into place how you were hoping. And, despite things often going off-track regardless of my guiding, I have adapted to the new situations because I've had to, and then readjust my plans. So, it feels like a bit of a slap in the face when people make statements that are to the contrary of what I've been doing the whole time. I'm understandably concerned about being able to have children because I'm a 32 year old woman with existing fertility issues who has, until now, been in an environment VERY counter-productive to meeting someone and having the opportunity to start a family. It wasn't until I came to England and begun my studies that I'd be able to see how my career options and financial situation would be determined. That was a factor I knew I wouldn't be able to work around until I crossed that bridge. Unfortunately, as it turns out, it isn't ideal. I'll have to readjust things again. It's knowing my responsibilities and what they mean and how much it restricts my other goals that has me feeling disheartened. I'm asking for advice on navigating that, not being told I'm making assumptions when I've spent a good long while making sure I'm informed about my options. Sorry for being a bit short about it; I appreciate you taking the time to answer, however, it did trigger me.

  2. #12
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    If he has no equity in the house because he gave the money to you - is there some form of paper trail or someone he can talk to in order to get his pension back - to prove he did not hide it or give it to you to move money around? If he can get his pension back, he won't be in dire straits. When you do pay him back - do you still have to support him, as he has no pension, now?

    Your field of employment is very narrow. is it something where you would work a side job to help pay your stepdad faster while you are working a entry level position in your field to get your foot in the door?
    Australia is a bit strange when it comes to pensions for some people. In most areas, the government really takes care of us health wise, etc. Our system is based on socialism. The government makes education really available to us (if studying in Australia, not outside of it). In most cases, things are quite good there. But, one government body, called Centerlink, is really difficult. They really make a lot of mistakes and are inconsistent and just need to be overhauled. Because my step-father accessed the equity, Centerlink decided that meant he wasn't in need of his pension for the time being. Despite the fact that that money was transferred to me, they still froze his pension. And, he was my mother's full-time carer and received a carer's pension on top of that, until she passed away last year. Then they stripped him of everything. He is entitled to his pension and that has been declared true, but now he has to go through a very long process of filing paperwork, etc. to reinstate and backpay his pension. My program is only 11 months and it will take many months more before he gets his pension back.

    I cannot really work in my field at all as entry level doesn't really exist in the typical sense. I specialise in Middle Egyptian language and magic and ritual practices of Middle Kingdom Egypt. I study the material culture pertaining to those practices. I effectively agreed to not work in my field until I obtained a PhD as I knew this was the nature of this discipline. I'm quite happy to work any job under the sun in the interim, but my visa - to my knowledge and as was explained to me when I filled out the paperwork - is tied to my study and I must work in my field if I am to remain in the UK once my study is complete, if I choose not to pursue further studies (PhD). Also, Cambridge make you sign a financial agreement that you will not engage in work whilst undertaking study with them, so I'm not allowed to work while I study either.

    My options are to leave the UK and work somewhere likely in Asia again (can't go to another European country and get a visa because it require funds to support myself that I don't have, whereas many Asian countries don't have the same requirements if being sponsored - I've been through the process several times both in Asia and Europe); or somehow find a job related to my field that excuses my not having a PhD - so, likely a job with my university assisting in research rather than applied practices - realistically this is unlikely but I have an appointment already to discuss this with my department; return to Australia and get a run of the mill job - likely in retail or hospitality as my set of existing qualifications aren't transferrable to Australia without further costs and study involved (I've checked).

    But, in having said all that, I will also do whatever needs to be done because that's what I do and how I move forward. But, it hasn't been without sacrifice and I'm worried that this time the sacrifice is going to involve giving up a signifiant amount of time when I have been advised that my window of opportunity to have children is very limited. I know I've gone on about it a bit in my replies to several of the above comments stressing the same thing. I really just finally felt a bit broken down after all always trying to be positive about everything and forging on ahead no matter what. Sometimes people finally crack a bit under the weight of a constantly heavy load. Sorry for harping on a bit.

  3. #13
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    That is an * extremely* narrow and almost unrealistic field to get a secure job in. You would have to author papers and bring forth some new discovery. What about getting a teaching certificate so you can be a history teacher in a school - whether that be at what we call high school here in the US or for undergraduate college? You could teach classes in classics, ancient history, world history, etc, and you would be able to share your passion in the meantime. I have know people that did that WHILE they were pursuing their PhD or Masters and it looked better on their resume than doing a totally unrelated job.

    As far as kids, i met the love of my life a few days before my 35th birthday. you could meet someone tomorrow. you could meet someone in 5 years. I say focus on the things you can control at this moment

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    That is an * extremely* narrow and almost unrealistic field to get a secure job in. You would have to author papers and bring forth some new discovery. What about getting a teaching certificate so you can be a history teacher in a school - whether that be at what we call high school here in the US or for undergraduate college? You could teach classes in classics, ancient history, world history, etc, and you would be able to share your passion in the meantime. I have know people that did that WHILE they were pursuing their PhD or Masters and it looked better on their resume than doing a totally unrelated job.

    As far as kids, i met the love of my life a few days before my 35th birthday. you could meet someone tomorrow. you could meet someone in 5 years. I say focus on the things you can control at this moment
    Actually, there's no problem in getting a job in my field at all, once you have your PhD. I've already had my data published in the past and, as a career as an academic, that's part of the job description. I can work in any number of areas from being a museum curator specialising in Egyptian antiquities, lecturing at a university (my plan) whilst conducting research, working in heritage management and consultancy with a firm or for the government, and the list goes on. But I do need my PhD. I'll have no issue finding secure employment, it's just I need further study.

    I hold a teaching qualification already, but it was not acquired in Australia, which means I'd have to re-do it and pay the thousands of dollars and the 1-2 years it requires. I looked into that last year.

    Regarding children - I still hold out hope that I will meet someone. But that isn't something I can really control, which is partly why I'm feeling down about it. I just really wish I was in a position to have children, and I'm just not. No matter which way I slice it, I'm not in that position at this point in time. With my fertility issues and my other obligations and limited options, I'm feeling a bit stuck in my circumstances. I've done as much as I can to make things possible and the rest is now out of my hands. Things are going to just have to unfold in whichever way they do now. I just feel if I try to manage things anymore than I already have then something going to have to give, and I won't like what that is.

    Thank you for your encouragement and positivity though! I have my fingers crossed that my time is coming despite my situation.

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  6. #15
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    I either decide against further study (which I've spent my ENTIRE life working towards) for the foreseeable future in order to re-save money and pay my step-father back immediately (which means also not being in a position to take time off to have children should I meet someone)
    You're being delayed the study, anyway, for at least a year, so find your best work opportunities and trust that life will guide you as you mention that it already has. You aren't in 'control' of meeting the right partner for children, so deciding that course now is premature. Should you meet the right partner, then working doesn't preclude you from having children. You may or may not be in the financial position to leave work for child rearing, so welcome to the human race where plenty of women take whatever family leave is available from their jobs for maternity and birthing and whatever time this enables them to spend with baby before returning to their jobs and learning how to work 'around' their earlier fantasies of stay-at-home luxury.

    Your opportunity to resume your PhD will either present itself, or not, so that's not a choice you need to make at this moment. Unless there's a way to bypass your academic advisement to take a year off, the only option you have is to find your most lucrative opportunity outside of school. The rest will fall into place regardless of your best laid plans, unless I'm missing a concrete set of options in one direction or another that you've presented?

    I'm so sorry about your Mom, and my heart goes out to you. Maybe your best option is to consult with her at every crossroad, and trust that you'll be guided well. Avoid amping up anxiety about your bio clock. The number 3 in front of your decade isn't tragic enough for that, and your highest intelligence will never let you down as long as you can practice relaxing enough to hear it in favor of external noise and false deadlines.

    Head high, you're a smart woman, and you've got this.

  7. #16
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    No one is holding a gun to your head to pursue all this eternally in lieu of having a family, therefore you have your answer. You are already choosing your priorities.
    Originally Posted by LotusBlack
    I don't want to not have children but I feel like that's what I'm going to end up being forced to sacrifice because, more than the other two elements, having children involves other things outside my control - a partner, chances of falling pregnant, etc.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Please understand that we are trying to help you. I have no doubt you've dealt with a lot of challenges and set backs, have thought a lot, researched your options a lot.....BUT that doesn't change the fact that you've become a bit stuck in your understanding of your situation. This is something that is quite obvious reading your posts as a stranger without a pony in this race. This is why people are encouraging you to talk to others at the University, reach out to your professors and so on. You need an injection of another point of view and assistance from someone who can help right now so to speak. I mean you are posting here because....you know this yourself. Nobody is implying that you aren't hard working and doing all you can. Obviously you are one determined lady.

    Here is the thing about some of your dilemmas. You can plan out and control the path of your education, jobs, and ultimately career to a large extent. However, you cannot control things like romance, meeting the right man, marriage, and having a family. Once you get your current work situation going, you can dedicate more effort into dating in whatever free time you have, but that's all you really can do. When it comes to that, there are no guarantees and no time lines you can set for yourself. Also, having a family and a career/education is perfectly doable together. It's not an either/or kind of a thing. Plenty of women manage all of it just fine. It's not easy, but doable and I don't think you are daunted by difficulties, so you'll be OK. Just don't get stuck in an either/or mentality. It's all of the above together IF you can meet the right guy.

  9. #18
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    Hi Lotus,

    I read your other thread [Register to see the link] that gives an overview of your struggles you had to go through to be where you are today. Just wow! You've been through a lot indeed, and congrats for making it thus far.

    Did you get your funds released by the German embassy? I really feel sorry for the visa problem, what happened was so undeserved. There was a good advice on this other thread saying that your passion should not necessary be your profession. You could still persue your interest in Egyptology as a hobby, while securing a stable job that will allow you financial stability and a relationship.

    Or else, if you decide to go to the end in the pursuit of your Egyptology dream, have you thought of enrollling to a project through European university that does on-site research in Egypt? You do not need a PhD for that. Or write an open letter of application to Cayro University department of Archeology? Like that you could explore the pyramids and artefacts on the spot, while having very low cost of living and no tuition fees. Rather than paying these astronomically high tuition cost in Cambridge. I really think it is not worth it. These types of very specific subjects at very expensive universities are for people that are born in wealth with too much time and money on their hands to spend. Some of them buy a collection of Mazzeratties, other would study a long-time dead language like Egyptian of the Middle Egypt and magic rituals from a kingdom that ceased to exist thousands of years ago.
    Last edited by East4; 01-09-2019 at 12:24 PM.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by LotusBlack
    I'm really not intending to sound like I'm rejecting advice, but it does bother me a bit when people throw out things like I'm making assumptions and I'm letting fear cloud my judgement, etc. No, I've taken the time to look at things realistically and do my best to put myself in my best position to achieve the things that I want. I haven't gone gung ho and made rash decisions. I've utilised the tools around me and have really put my energy into knowing my options and educating myself on relevant issues concerning me. I have approached everything up until now with patience and have been calm with regards to my education, finances, children, etc. but there does come a point when sometimes things just don't fall into place how you were hoping. And, despite things often going off-track regardless of my guiding, I have adapted to the new situations because I've had to, and then readjust my plans. So, it feels like a bit of a slap in the face when people make statements that are to the contrary of what I've been doing the whole time. I'm understandably concerned about being able to have children because I'm a 32 year old woman with existing fertility issues who has, until now, been in an environment VERY counter-productive to meeting someone and having the opportunity to start a family. It wasn't until I came to England and begun my studies that I'd be able to see how my career options and financial situation would be determined. That was a factor I knew I wouldn't be able to work around until I crossed that bridge. Unfortunately, as it turns out, it isn't ideal. I'll have to readjust things again. It's knowing my responsibilities and what they mean and how much it restricts my other goals that has me feeling disheartened. I'm asking for advice on navigating that, not being told I'm making assumptions when I've spent a good long while making sure I'm informed about my options. Sorry for being a bit short about it; I appreciate you taking the time to answer, however, it did trigger me.
    It's only because we don't know you or your background... we post objectively about what we see in the original post. You get answers based on people's previous experiences of similar posts vs. who you are or the things you have done to get where you are.

    I can understand that you are feeling disheartened because of the responsibilities you have... sometimes we hit a crossroad in life where we have to make decisions for our life that are less than ideal to follow through on our commitment to our responsibilities. It would be great if we could have everything we wanted when we wanted it but for most of us, there is a sacrifice involved... either of time, or financially, or of relationships.

    You seem to know what you want and have put thought into what is important to you and are moving closer to making the decision that you want to make... all that's left is making a plan and taking action as to how you will get yourself there.

  11. #20
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    I would say you’re doing exactly what you want right now . If you’ve thrown everything into this and wanted to do it since you were eight years old this is what you want to do . After you are doing what you want to do think about children after that . You can also adopt as well .

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