In this series, Gabbi Stopp, Head of Employee Share Ownership at ProShare, takes an honest look at what it's like to study, while working and managing family commitments.
"February has just passed, the month with continuously appalling weather! I plan to get through it with the aid of coffee and croissants in the morning, and a quick trawl of my local stationery shop for some completely essential on-sale stationery, fluorescent page markers and coloured pens for my DipFA study notes. I may even elevate my procrastination to another level entirely via a colour-coded study timetable.
Today is Sunday, so instead of a lie in, my husband and I decide to hit the heights of romance by running a half-marathon in our home town. One set of the 'grandies'; aka grandparents, agree to have our son for the morning so we are child-free for a whole morning. We are fortunate to have the support. I managed to shave a whole ten minutes off my previous half-marathon time so I am a very happy chappy!
The study begins later, and several chapters further into my FSRE textbook/study guide and I am finding myself settling into a routine of Sunday morning study, supplemented by an evening study session or two at the office after my formal working day has finished. There are definite pluses to deferring the journey home - I can get a seat on the DLR, for one. I'm also rediscovering the benefits of a quiet environment in which to study, alone with my thoughts, textbook and fluorescent markers. There is little space or time for peaceful contemplation and reading at home as the ground floor of our house is almost entirely open-plan, and covered in primary-coloured plastic blocks and noise emitting playthings belonging to my three year old son.
In a family where both parents work, we find that time is at such a premium, and now it is further stretched by my study commitments. I find myself pining for my early ICSA study days when I was still (just about) living at home and had fewer commitments to manage. It's a cliche to say that I don't know what I did with my time, in retrospect, but I almost feel guilty for spending time studying when I could be playing with my son. I suspect this will need to be managed through earlier and later study sessions while he is still in bed!"
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