Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby BabingtonB » Thu May 29, 2014 11:58 am

I'm hoping to start testing starting in the next couple of months. I just found out I'm pregnant with our second, and we already have a toddler. I rarely get any time to myself for studying, so I've been reading the study guides to get my toddler to sleep. I want to make sure I'm allocating enough time to studying the material thoroughly, I really don't want to have to re-test. Anyone else do this successfully? Any tips?
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby MJibboo79 » Thu May 29, 2014 12:35 pm

Me too! I have a 5 year old and a 9 month old, plus I work full time. I'm finding it Extremely difficult. I am having to leave kids with husband or grandparents on the weekend and leave my house. I get distracted at home even without the kids there. I also study on my lunch breaks at work. I know they say to study in 2 hour blocks, but I just study when I can, even if it's only 30 min. I disappeared the weekend before my test and studied at various locations, coffee shops seemed to work the best. (I took my first exam on the 19th.) I also try to study when they are asleep. I scheduled my exam to force me to study; I don't think I'll do that again, because I had to re-schedule and pay the fee. This time I'm setting a goal test date and I'll schedule an exam 2 weeks before that date depending on how ready I feel. I try to get up early and study before I go to work, but that hasn't worked either. I don't know if its successful, I am waiting. I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby BabingtonB » Thu May 29, 2014 1:09 pm

Thanks for the response! I'm so glad I'm not alone! I hope I'll be able to start leaving my husband with our toddler on the weekends more often so that I can get some study sessions in. She still night nurses, so since I have to put her down, I'm going to just keep reading to her. I also work full time, and work has been hectic lately, I think it will be calming down soon (hopefully). Please do keep me posted with how your testing goes. I'll try to keep updating as well. I will probably get more systematic about it if I start holding myself accountable or setting deadlines. I'm just hoping that pregnancy won't slow me down too much, I'm already super fatigued/sleepy at work! and then having to pee every 5 seconds later down the road... Do they allow bathroom breaks during testing?
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby MJibboo79 » Thu May 29, 2014 4:21 pm

There's a mandatory 15 min break. I would think that you could leave for additional bathroom breaks, but your time doesn't stop. When you leave you have to sign out and upon return you have to show ID, they scan you with a metal detector, check pockets, thumb print, etc...
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sowestal » Thu May 29, 2014 5:55 pm

If I can do it, you can! I allow myself a few more weeks to a "normal" study schedule time just in case for incidental things like one of my kids getting sick or other random things that happen. I took my first test while I was still breastfeeding my not quite one year old...and it was structures! Instead of studying 2 months, I gave myself 3 months. I've been doing that with all of them and it seems to have worked so far. My rolling clock started at the end of 2011, and I have 2 tests left at this point (one re-take). My kids are now 4 and 2. Go for these tests NOW rather than later, because they just get busier and busier as they get older. Take FULL advantage of nap times since this is some precious daylight time on the weekends or if you work part-time. If not, I would take my lunch break and use it to study. Hey, an extra hour in the day helps. Get your family or friends, if they are close by and you trust them, to watch the kids for blocks of time so you can get uninterrupted study. Listen to any audio study material while cooking dinner or catching up on chores. I would bring my study guides and books with me everywhere too, just in case I had some time to look at them. They got worn with all the travel, but all those small amounts of time added up. It's hard, honestly, but you CAN do it! Just remember that this may be a few years of crazy in your life, but be completely worth it. And when your kids are old enough to have dance recitals or ball games, you can be there rooting them on instead of stuck studying cause you postponed. Go for it! Good luck.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby Coach » Thu May 29, 2014 7:50 pm

The very first thing you need to do is get your rolling clock extension from ncarb. It may be possible to get one for your first baby as well if you haven't done so.

Yep, make that husband work! :mrgreen:

If at all possible, get a hotel room near your test center for the night before the exam.

Be sure to check the 5.0 transition, just in case. This could change your test order strategy if there's any chance you won't finish before 5.0 is launched, you might get away with passing only 5 divisions. Knowing how life gets in the way, especially with new babies, you might use this in your favor.

The other option is to crank them all out before you crank out the baby. ;) It is possible!

Don't want to tell anyone how to parent, but maybe it's time to ween the wee one and have the grandmas visit and get through the exams ASAP.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby BabingtonB » Fri May 30, 2014 6:43 am

Thank you all for the responses! I've been trying to wean the little one for months now, she's really stubborn and I can't get her to sleep otherwise. The grandparents aren't so much an option, one set don't live anywhere near us. Is there any audio material to purchase? That would really be helpful. I've been using dropbox to study. As I mentioned before, to get my little one to sleep, I read her my study guides. We made it through the first read through of BCDS, and are now brushing up on history. I can't wait to just get my first test under my belt. Soon, I just need to finish submitting all my materials to the state!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby archmomof3 » Fri May 30, 2014 8:39 am

Hi, I'm a fellow working/testing mom. It can be done! I have three kids, ages 8, 4, and 2. The 2nd two have been born during my testing process. It has taken me a long time, but I've passed 3 exams and plan to finish the rest this year. My rolling clock was set to be up this November, but I did request two extensions so now I have an extra year, in case I fail one. You can't request an extension until you have the baby's birth certificate, and it only applies if the baby was born once you had already started testing.

One working dad that I know did 95% of his studying during lunch hours at work. He rarely studied at home. I need to start doing that more, but for now I just do my reading after the kids go to bed, and longer sessions on the weekends. Personally, I need about 35-45 hours to study for each test. I print a blank calendar and chart out when I will practice the vignettes, and which chapters I will read each day/week to reach the goal. Schedule your next test as soon as you take one. Taking a break for a couple of weeks can quickly turn into months, ask me how I know!

I second Coach's suggestion to look at the transition chart carefully and decide how to approach it. I can't offer specific advice on that; I haven't looked into 5.0 very much because I hope to be done this year. I started my tests in version 3.1 and I lost credit for my pass on CDs. The first reverse transition chart that NCARB published said it was a 1 to 1 carry over, but in later editions it said you had to pass Building Technology also, which I did not. :cry:

Good luck, keep us posted!

Tara
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby cbdesign » Fri May 30, 2014 8:42 am

I raised two kids and finished school while they were very young. That was difficult but I'm so glad i did it. I wish I would have continued on to get my license but, unfortunately. I didn't I'm just now finally studying and taking my exams. When my kids were little, and I was in school, I hired a college student to help out with things like laundry and babysitting. I found I had to leave the house to get any projects done. I was also working part time. My husband was out of town a lot and it was hard. I converted a little shed in the backyard and worked out there. I did not let my kids know I was back there or they would have come back to see me. I had to go to a hotel with my oldest and leave my youngest with my husband to wean him. It took 2 nights. He was 14 months old. There was no way I was going to get any rest until he was weaned. The key is a lot of support and, focus. Don't let anything distract you from getting licensed and building your career. Cut out everything else other than childrearing and taking care of yourself.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby MJibboo79 » Fri May 30, 2014 12:14 pm

Nope, I failed. :cry: Oh well, try again. I felt I needed another week.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:57 pm

so glad to see a thread like this! i'm right there with you. I have a 3.5 yr old and a 10 month old. the baby just weaned herself; i was studying during pumping at work! got through much of AHPP that way - book was too heavy to take home from the office anyhow, so that worked well. and that was just studying in 20 min increments but like you all said, we take what we can get. Took my first exam while pregnant with my second kid (SPD), took my second a month ago (PPP) and about to take CDS tomorrow. Passed the first two...hopefully I will manage this as well. I got my rolling clock extension as well! I'll be taking a break for the next few months b/c we are moving states. Also, it puts a lot of pressure on my husband. Every Sunday morning for the past 3 months I would get up, and leave the house around 8 am to study at the nearby cafe or whatever for a straight 2-3 hours. I'd come back at 1030 or 11...and then we'd still have time for family activities! the little one naps in hte morning anyhow, so we never leave the house as a fam until late morning. And then sometimes i'd get some afternoon time in as well, or just Sunday evening.

so encouraged to see others going through this! everyone else studying for exams in my office is young and single...
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby Nickers » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:59 am

My kids are a little older but it is still difficult fitting the time in and missing out on events. It is starting to take its toll on me. I have 5 exams down and two to go. I have struggled with SS twice now. It is encouraging to see others going through it.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby alisabet12 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:20 pm

First off, cheers to all you mothers out there - you have the harder part of the job, no doubt. You kick ass for going through this while being a mom. We just had our second daughter and I tried like hell to knock out as many exams as I could before she was born. I took 4 and passed 2. But, the 2 I passed translate to 3 in the 5.0 transition (CDS and PPP). So, I have either 5 more to take under 4.0 or 3 more to take under 5.0. I want to finish it before 5.0. In any case, I am a second time dad. I have a 2.5 year old at home who is nothing short of a terror at the moment. Our second one was born 5 days after my PPP exam (May 14). My strategy while waiting for our new daughter, was to put the toddler to sleep and stay up for about 3-4 hours after everyone was asleep during the week and the 2 or 3 weekends before the exams, I would study anywhere from 4-10 hours on the weekend. That worked pretty well. I averaged about 6 weeks study per exam. Except I studied 6 weeks for SPD and took PPP 13 days after SPD. I was definitely cramming it in before the newborn due date! So, now that the baby is out, I've decided to slow down until things settle and plan to take SS next after the Thaddeus seminar in August. I've purchased all the books that NCARB suggested and have honestly barely made a dent In them because I am exhausted (and my wife doubly so). I just keep the books near my bed while our daughter is nursing and then read what I can. Usually I only last 30 minutes. I realize that this isn't effective. My plan when I am back in full bore study mode is to study after the kids are asleep in the guest room once our visitors leave - methodically. I also make a calendar with weekly goals. Usually I start with Kaplan/Ballast as an intro in the first week and then onto the books. and midway, try the vignette(s), finish the books on the list, and then a solid week or two on vignettes only, a week on practice tests and mock exams, and then the final week on light review. I tried scheduling my exams well in advance but decided I like to feel about 80% complete with studying before scheduling an exam. I think the key is daily immersion. I am also using my lunches to do some reading or a vignette.
I've heard it's challenging when you have more than one child to take these but i'm still on a mission. It's going to take some spousal support and or more frequent babysitting but it can be done. My biggest fear is using the newborn as an excuse not to continue - I have seen it happen. I hope you find some good suggestions in my rambling. Good luck to all you parent ARE'ers out there! It can be done! As long as you make it so!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby wnsf2014 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:14 pm

Thank you all for posting your experiences. You moms really are amazing and I have so much respect for you as you do all that you do plus trying to pass all these exams! I am a father of 2 young ones, a 3 year old and a 2 year old. I work full time and study for 45 mins on my lunch breaks. I wake up early and study for an hour every morning before they wake up, but sometimes they wake up earlier than usual :roll: I am also working part time or "moonlighting" for some extra cash after everyone goes to sleep. :? So all in all I am very exhausted but have decided to take these exams with a hopeful completion date of Dec 2015.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby studioM » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:34 pm

I have so much respect for the mamas studying and taking the exams! i am single...no husband and no kids, and it is such a challenge for me to get through these exams!
The women out there with a husband, a household and kids are superwomen! If you can handle all that, then you can handle any project that this career will throw at you ;).
God Bless. :D
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby savitanayak » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:15 am

so good to see this post. I took a break from my career 5 years ago when my first son was born. planned to give my exams then but didn't work out. Now 5 years later and with an 5.5 and 3 year old in tow, I have decided to start taking the exams. No clue where to start or what exam to first prepare for. All you moms out there are inspiring :-)
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby BabingtonB » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:58 am

I'm glad there are so many people that have actually been through this! I feel rather alone, I personally don't know any other females that have stuck with the career since having kids. I finally finished my IDP (again- lost some hours when they switched to the new system and forgot to keep up with it, for about 2 years), and all my forms are into the state! I ended up having a miscarriage in June, so I'm not currently pregnant, but we're still trying for another. I'm hoping I can start testing right away when I get the go. I've been studying since March. I study by reading my toddler to sleep, it's not the best, but at least I'm reading and hopefully absorbing some of the material. I've been listening to the Schiff Harden lectures at work. I don't get much time to study at home, but I'm going to have to figure something out. I'm just expecting it will take me longer to get my license than if I were childless, which is fine. Make sure that your rolling clock hasn't expired or that it won't while you're testing. I'm starting with CDS first since, originally started with Structures but that got me nowhere (3 years ago). Decided to start with something I am pretty familiar with, which should also help me get back into testing. I'm also not sure if I'm going to test in all of 4.0 or go for the transition plan. I have to start somewhere, though! Good luck, and go for it! :D
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby recabma » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:09 pm

Hi everyone! I just wanted to briefly share my story and hopefully help motivate the moms and dads out there. I just finished ALL the AREs (I cant even believe I am typing this) after 3.5 years of studying and taking exams. I started when my firstborn (now 4.5 yo) was 1.5. At that time I was just doing some freelance work and so studying was a little easier to fit in while she was at daycare 3 days a week. Took two exams, then got pregnant again and was knocked on my ass by all the insane first trimester nastiness. With the help of my family (bless them) I was able to get one more exam done before second baby was born (now 2.5 yo). Took a long break after that and wasnt until my second child was almost 1yo that I went back to studying again. Now in the last year and a half I have been working full time so things got INSANE! In that period I took and passed the last 4 exams. Was basically studying at night after kids went to bed, sometimes longer periods on weekends. I would never ever have been able to do this if it wasnt for my husband. The guy is amazing and supported me immensely. He would take the kids so I could study and was always supportive. My family also helped anytime they were in town (they live in another country but when visiting would always help with invaluable time for me to study). If I was able to make it work you can too. Make a plan, stick to it as much as possible, study hard and be patient. Create a support system around you. Licensure will happen. We can do this. Best of luck to you all!!!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby recabma » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:12 pm

oh yeah...and forgot to say that I live in California so my road is not quite at the end. I still need to take the California Supplemental Exam but just having finished the AREs feels like a giant accomplishment. Onto the the CSE, planning to take it early december!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sarann221 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:22 pm

Thank you again for this post! I'm just getting back on track (printing a calendar off as we speak) to test again after being MIA with my first born for almost a year and half. I've passed one test and failed two. One of those fails was structures while I was pregnant. That was an emotional nightmare! Ha! I was almost yelling at the computer audibly at the testing center. I was probably quite a sight on the video monitors. :lol: We just moved back from overseas and of course the military has not put us in a convenient location for testing. There's always some new obstacle isn't there?! My rolling clock started Dec. 2012 and now here we are. I've got to get my plan together or I just bounce around unproductive. I even signed my daughter up for drop-in daycare to try and make me focus. Now to iron out my plan! Its awesome to hear how other mammas to do it! There might be a second baby in the works soon and it scares me that I'll fall off the grid again, so gotta get going NOW! I've got almost 3 1/2 years to get this done, but I'm tempted to try and do it all before the transition. Partially just because I already own all the study guides and have made that investment. Transitions are always tricky too and I'd rather just not deal with it. So, here's my goal and maybe tell me if I'm crazy. Finish it all by the end of 2015. I've got SD scheduled for the middle of Oct., which I wish I could take sooner, but the availability and my life schedule were not meshing earlier than that. Then one more test by Dec. that I could start studying for before I even take SD, since Oct. is a crazy unnecessary amount of time to study for that test alone. You other mammas are making me believe this is possible to do, even though it seems a bit out of reach right now. I'm also dreeeeaaaading Structures again. I'm going to have to buy one of the online seminars or something because I struggle bad with it. Ok ok. I'll stop whining. It's just nice to find a thread like this. Advice would be more than welcome! Testing order? the longest time imaginable you think reasonable to study for a test?? Anything! :D
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby BabingtonB » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:45 pm

I FINALLY just got approved by NCARB/my state to start testing at the end of last month, and I JUST found out I'm pregnant again. Seriously, how the stars align! After this weekend I have no excuses to get cracking! I've been studying when I can at nights, but I'm so inconsistent. I think I need to hire someone to take care of the house because I just don't get enough time to get everything done that needs to get done! :? I'm so frustrated with my (lack of) studying
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sarann221 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:50 pm

My husband has a weekend "cleaning list" so I can try to ignore some things during the week.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby rarrebrown » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:45 am

I have a two year old. I read her my study guides too!

I decided before I started testing to schedule an exam every two months and just stick with it. I study during lunch breaks, at random times during the day on weekends, make my husband go shopping with her (he's a chef so he works weekends though, ugh!), and I gave her her own set of "flashcards" (index cards with stickers on them which she colors) so she can study too. Only have my parents close by, and occaisionally they watch her - usually the last two weekends before I test) and I go sit in a coffee shop somewhere and pretend I'm not sleep deprived. Good luck!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby OwlCat » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:06 am

Just another mom story here. I have a 7 year old and a 2 year old. Just finished my last exam a few weeks ago. It took me 4.5 years, and of course had the 2 year old in course of that, but I'm done now and thrilled! You will get there! Won't be easy, but you will! I chose not to do any exams while pregnant, but many women deal with pregnancy better than I do. Good luck.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby archichef » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:24 pm

OwlCat wrote:Just another mom story here. I have a 7 year old and a 2 year old. Just finished my last exam a few weeks ago. It took me 4.5 years, and of course had the 2 year old in course of that, but I'm done now and thrilled! You will get there! Won't be easy, but you will! I chose not to do any exams while pregnant, but many women deal with pregnancy better than I do. Good luck.


3.5 yr old, 1.5 yr old, one on the way. Started the process almost 5 years ago (so yes, my rolling clock is due to expire in a few months, but thanks to this forum, I just found out about and filed an extension!) Had two miscarriages right after passing the first three exams, then got and stayed pregnant with my first. Let's just say I was a nervous wreck and there was no way I was studying during that pregnancy. Pregnancy was uncomplicated (thank goodness!) and I started testing again. Took and passed two more before my second came along. It's been much harder to study with two little ones and a full time job. Much, much harder. I spend so much time away from them during the week that I cannot study in the evenings until they are asleep. I just wasn't getting anywhere doing that. For BS, one of my last two, I took the online Amber course, which was a HUGE timesaver for me. Passed BS and now only have BDCS left. I am studying on my lunch break and in the evenings, planning to test in March.

So yes, it can totally be done. It is harder and it will probably take longer. But you can do it! Just have to be creative with your study time, which it sounds like you're doing. Although I have to ask - how in the world did you convince your toddler to listen to you read your study material?? Mine are very particular about their books. :lol:
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby shortindiangirl » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:58 am

I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. Postponed the first exam due to first pregnancy complications. Did the first exam when I was nursing the first live-born child, did one pregnant and another while nursing the younger one. It's hard, and I'm not even sure that in my case it will be worth it since I don't work in design anymore. Doing this because it is my shortest path to professional credibility certification. Next will be PMP.

My tips:
- Helps to have a supportive spouse. If you can send them off with the kids to an outside venue on one or two weekend days you can have solid study time.
- Helps to get out of the house - like sit in a friend's house (free hot drinks, don't have to lock up your laptop to go to the bathroom), or coffee shop
(Prevents the distractions of the home, and the itch to clean up, pick up, respond to the crying kid etc.)
- Send your spouse with the kids for all birthday parties, while you use the time to study.
- Involve your kids during cleaning, laundry and cooking, so that you can truly use their nap time and away time to study and not get caught up chores.
- Helps to publicize your effort to your boss and colleagues to garner support & forgiveness, especially in the 3 weeks before test date.
- Get all the material you can - Kaplan, Ballast, Videos, Supplemental material etc. The more "watching" the easier.
- Get all the practice tests you can
- Spend time on this forum - not just posting your vignettes, but reading others comments, reviewing etc.
- Use your smart phone for every spare moment- read material, be on this site, see YouTube videos
on the potty, on the train, while waiting for kids to sleep
- Make the materials part of your conversations with people. They become more real and stick better. (Try explaining electricity to your 5 year old).
- Helps to exercise so that you can get the best mileage out of a tired brain and extend the hours of the day.
- Save videos for late night and save heavy concept reading for morning or work-time lunch breaks.
- Create a work-home calendar with all kids events etc. House projects have to wait.
- Set the exam date and work towards the goal as much as possible. Having a tangible deadline helps.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby BabingtonB » Fri May 15, 2015 1:05 pm

Thank you all for your tips! Anyone study successfully during maternity leave? How many divisions did you get through? I will be home for 12 weeks, alone with baby for about 8 hours (+/-) a day. Hoping this one sleeps better than my first did, but I'm hoping I can get through studying when I'm not sleeping!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sharchy » Mon May 18, 2015 1:42 pm

so good to see this post.I nearly killed myself getting through these exams with 2 little kids, one physician husband who is never home and a full time job! but I did it nevertheless. When I found out last week that I passed my last test - I sobbed for an hour just coz only I knew the ordeal I had been through to get through these.

So all the moms - you can do it. I did it with 0 support - no grandparents....no spouse. And I also worked with my kids to get them into all the gifted programs in school. I may sound vain but I am soooo freakin' proud of myself !
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby doingit » Mon May 18, 2015 2:08 pm

Great posts! You are not alone and I'm so glad to see that I'm not alone either. I've completed 3 and working my way through the others. I passed 2 while pregnant with my second :-) It's not easy with toddlers but it's possible with good time management, family support and the will to keep going. Good luck! Soon we can all celebrate. I'm so ready!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby archichef » Wed May 20, 2015 11:33 am

BabingtonB wrote:Thank you all for your tips! Anyone study successfully during maternity leave? How many divisions did you get through? I will be home for 12 weeks, alone with baby for about 8 hours (+/-) a day. Hoping this one sleeps better than my first did, but I'm hoping I can get through studying when I'm not sleeping!


In short, no. I tried, at first. But in the end, I decided to savor those weeks with my newborns and rest up as much as possible before returning to work. That's not to say it can't be done. But it didn't work for me.

As an aside, I just passed my last exam. Due with baby #3 here in about two months!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby doingit » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:29 pm

This is by far my favorite and most inspiring topic to read! Trying my absolute hardest to pass the last 2 exams by 2015 with a 3 and 2 year old and work. This journey has not been easy and definitely a challenge ill never Forget. I even contemplated having another Baby to get a break from This truly challenging moment. Fortunate to have a supportive spouse and network...the rest is up to me. BIG SIGH thanks for posting everyone and good luck!!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sarann221 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:49 pm

doingit wrote:This is by far my favorite and most inspiring topic to read! Trying my absolute hardest to pass the last 2 exams by 2015 with a 3 and 2 year old and work. This journey has not been easy and definitely a challenge ill never Forget. I even contemplated having another Baby to get a break from This truly challenging moment. Fortunate to have a supportive spouse and network...the rest is up to me. BIG SIGH thanks for posting everyone and good luck!!

I've told my husband I can't do #2 until I finish this! LOL! I'm scheduled out to hopefully finish by Feb. with my last 2 tests too! Keep chuggin' Momma we're gonna make it!!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby annabelleveal » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:21 am

First, BabbingtonB, I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I went through one myself and it's the most heart-wrenching thing to live through.

I wanted to post here to let you ladies know that I passed my last exam last month, while working and taking care of a baby. It was LONG journey, with starting exams before I got pregnant, which turned into "I'm going to finish these before the baby is born", and became "Holy s*%! How am I going to complete these when I can't even find time to shower or brush my teeth??"

I'm here to tell you that IT CAN BE DONE! It sucks, so much more than if you didn't have kids, but it's possible. I will say that I couldn't restart my exams until she was sleeping through the night. I would do some reading during my lunch hour and after the baby went to bed, but the bulk of the work came on weekends. Just hunkering down and studying for 5-6 hours every Saturday and Sunday and letting my husband watch the baby. And, it can also be done when BOTH parents are architects, because my husband and I were both studying for exams - we would alternate on who would be taking an exam that month.

All that being said, I really wish I could have finished them before having a baby, but, oh well.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby doingit » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:55 pm

sarann221 wrote:
doingit wrote:This is by far my favorite and most inspiring topic to read! Trying my absolute hardest to pass the last 2 exams by 2015 with a 3 and 2 year old and work. This journey has not been easy and definitely a challenge ill never Forget. I even contemplated having another Baby to get a break from This truly challenging moment. Fortunate to have a supportive spouse and network...the rest is up to me. BIG SIGH thanks for posting everyone and good luck!!

I've told my husband I can't do #2 until I finish this! LOL! I'm scheduled out to hopefully finish by Feb. with my last 2 tests too! Keep chuggin' Momma we're gonna make it!!



Yes we will!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby LittleBlackBug » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:05 pm

You can do it!! Only one of my exams was taken before getting pregnant or having kids. Hubby is an architect too, so both of us studying for exams with babies and or kids was a challenge, but we made it. A supportive spouse is huge. I would try to study for one day on the weekend, while hubby took the kid(s). Make sure to apply for the extension as Coach suggested, it gave me an extra year, which I needed every bit of. I started studying towards the end of my work day, before picking up the kids. There were times when I was pregnant that I was just too tired to study. I also applied for a medical break to pump as I tested a few months after my second child was born. Every little bit helps. Just remember you can do it, even if it takes a little longer. Structures took me seven tries, but I finally passed. You got this!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sarann221 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:27 pm

LittleBlackBug wrote:You can do it!! Only one of my exams was taken before getting pregnant or having kids. Hubby is an architect too, so both of us studying for exams with babies and or kids was a challenge, but we made it. A supportive spouse is huge. I would try to study for one day on the weekend, while hubby took the kid(s). Make sure to apply for the extension as Coach suggested, it gave me an extra year, which I needed every bit of. I started studying towards the end of my work day, before picking up the kids. There were times when I was pregnant that I was just too tired to study. I also applied for a medical break to pump as I tested a few months after my second child was born. Every little bit helps. Just remember you can do it, even if it takes a little longer. Structures took me seven tries, but I finally passed. You got this!


Wow! That's some determination! I've failed Structures and CDS once and BDCS twice, and SS and BDCS are now all I have left! Bah! I'm going to pay for the online SS seminar, otherwise I don't know how I'll do it.

I'm hoping I won't have to apply for an extension since with the rolling clock I've got until 2018. But life sure does happen and put a wrench in testing, doesn't it?!

Having a supportive spouse is very significant for sure! I have to get used to letting lots of the little things go too. Asking for help has been a huge lesson I'm learning and in communicating to my husband exactly how I need him to help me to get this done.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Every time I'm gearing up for an exam I come here to read the inspiring posts! I'm taking BS in a few weeks. I don't feel as prepared as I did for the previous 3, but I'm just gritting my teeth and trying to get through it. I have two kids, and I'd love to consider a third if I can get through more exams first! It's so hard taking time on the weekends to study - my kids are big enough to be sad that mom is staying home while dad takes them to a park or museum. So I never do exams back to back bc I need a few months of family fun weekends before cutting myself off again. I so wish my career had gone differently and I could have completed this before kids. At this point my goal is to finish before I turn 40! Good luck to all and thanks for the mom support on this thread!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby spiketwig » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:43 am

Wanted to add another post to the "you can do it!" chorus to encourage others to get the tests done - I just finished testing & IDP at age 31, with a 1 year old at home. I spent a total of about a year testing (starting when the baby was 10 months old), taking one every 6-8 weeks, and fortunately passing them all on the first try. I really busted my butt on studying, since if I failed, I knew that was going to be another 8-week study marathon and I wanted to get. this. done. and not be borrowing against time with my family anymore. I tried to squeeze in as much studying at work as possible - shot for a minimum of 1 hr per day (eg lunch break time), but was often able to squeeze in more between project work. I would need to spend time on a bit more than half the weekends studying, but never had more than 2-3 hours at a time (since the baby would start to wonder where mama was). A supportive spouse is so important.. he (mostly) happily would take the baby to the zoo and on walks, etc - but I think he's as happy I'm done as I am. The testing is not an experience I want to relive anytime soon. If I never see the inside of another Prometric center it will be too soon!

In many ways, I was actually much MORE motivated to get my tests done with the baby - I had been procrastinating on the ARE for years for various reasons - not enough experience, not enough study materials, not enough time, etc etc. But with the baby, it became a sort of now or never situation - it's not like I was going to get less busy, so I'd better just get it done now. And somehow the more I did (work, baby, tests..), the more I was able to do. It's like the discipline built on itself - like, I knew I only had an hour to study, so I'd better make it count.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:28 pm

I keep coming back here to read posts for encouragement b/c I am just about ready to give up. my kids are getting big (5 and 2) and they really care when mom is not around! they hate my studying, which makes it hard for me to sit down and do it. i dont take lunch at work, so i can make it home for bedtime...and i end up working from home most nights, so studying happens on the weekend. but my brain is not in it! i passed 3 (but the kids were younger...), and just failed BS a few months ago..trying for retake next week. i have been reading the same info for months and it still doenst full sink in. anything i have experience with IRL i know, and the other topics I just cant absorb. my brain instantly goes either in exhausted shut down mode...or it wants to focus on the 100 things on the to-do list including finding us a place to live, finding a school for next year for my kid...big things! i used to be really good at studying and retaining material, at least in the short term (which is really all thats needed here, lets be honest, we can look up most of this stuff or turn to expert consultants, particularly for BS!), and now i just dont have the mental energy or ability and my brain is just super-crowded and i can't seem to clear it for ARE material. if i fail this retake...i think i may be done. i hate to think that these exams are going to kill my career, but thats how it feels now! pep talks welcome...!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby rackbobo » Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:36 am

appletree; I read your message and thought it was me! I am in the same boat; 2 kids (6 and 3), work through lunch and still don't get out of the office early, work evenings and weekends. I'm finding I have the same issue of retaining information and having that required mental stamina. I also have passed 3 exams and failed more than I've passed. I'm taking BS in February and only because I've been rescheduling it! You can do this, do not give up.
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