Babies & Studying

How can you folks cope with having infants/babies around when you study? I am a retaker and by the time exam time rolls around the baby will be 1 yr old. I am already afraid how difficult this will be for my wiife and myself. We are first time parents and already the time commitment is huge… With studying I am afraid I won’t have ample time to study… I am not as smart as all of you so it will take at least 4 -5 months of solid prep time for my retake of the L3 exam…I plan to start Jan 1st… does anyone have any advice?

You need significant spousal support. My wife works in a very demanding job and we had a great deal of difficulty working in study time for me in the evenings (one of us has to take care of my son each night) after work commitments. You need to just study whenever you have a chance - 1/2 hour here and there if necessary. I passed Level II but it was close. Hoping to get an early start on LIII (didn’t start on LII until late Feb/early March) so it won’t be so much of a burden. From the age of your kid, though, take heart that things will get better as the exam approaches… 9 mos is much better than 2 mos, sleep and time wise. You kid will hopefully be asleep by 7:30 or 8pm each night after a few months, which will potentially give you a few hours of uninterrupted time each night.

You’ll soon (probably month 3 to 4) find that the baby will start going to bed around 7 and sleep most of the night (might need to feed them at 10 for a few months), so it will give you a nice chunk of time to study in the evening. My son was 9 months old when I sat for LII (also a retaker) and it actually help me manage my time as you knew when quiet time was going to be available and you no longer had distractions like going to a bar, etc. I was also juggling building a new house and moved twice in the time between retakes. Go out and buy “Becoming Babywise” and it will help you have a baby that gets in a good sleeping pattern.

I would get to the office around 5 AM stay till 4 PM. . . drive to get the baby. . . try to put her down by 7 or 8 and study till 11 or 12 and do it over and over and over. On the weekends try to do 4 hours a day. We had an easy baby so that helped a ton. The ol’ wifey needs to take the lion’s share of child care for a few months. . . but don’t slack on your fatherly duties too much.

I was in the same position this year. My daughter turned 1 on the exam day! Happy frikkin’ birthday! I started studying this year in February so I got in a good 4 months. This was my 3rd attempt on this beast so I had covered almost everything already…twice. I studied at work for about an hour a day (during lunch or just have a book open in front of you to glance at occasionally) and tried to get in 1-2 hours at night after we put the baby to bed. On the weekends, I tried to get in 3-4 hours a day during the baby’s naps. I would also give yourself some breaks when you don’t study. I usually took Friday nights off and then studied a lot on Saturday so that I wouldn’t feel guilty on Saturday nights. Sometimes my wife would take the baby out shopping so I could really focus. Hopefully your wife is very supportive because that made a huge difference to me. We both wanted me to be finished with this thing! It was not easy because you feel guilty about not spending a lot of time with the baby, but I think there is a balance that can be found.

And don’t forget to let your wife know you appreciate her. I am taking my wife to Hawaii as a celebration for passing L3. She will probably get something small, shiny and sparkly as well.

Plus, all that time for sex will be reassigned to free time for awhile!

I got married in 9/07 while preparing for 12/2007 Level I. We had a child in 4/08 while preparing for 6/2008 Level II. I know, I know everyone in this forum can subtract… But with a very supportive spouse I managed to pass both of them. Just explain to her that this will help provide a better life for your children long term and the sooner you pass the more benefit your family will get from it. If she’s a moral woman she should step up and take 95% of the baby responsibilities. I hardly had to do anything with the baby and she works 40 hours a week as well. With that said, if I failed an exam I’d have had hell to pay.

It took me 3 times to pass that stupid LII. First attempt, I found 2 nights before the exam my wife was pregnant (little bit of a shock, 3 differrent MDs from 3 differrent states said she could never get pregnant…) . 2nd attempt my first kid was 6mths old. 3rd attempt my 2nd daughter was borned 9 days before the exam… so I think the morale of the story is… the more kids you have, the easier it gets! On the serious side… I made myself a promise that this designation would not affect (negatively) my family, so I woke up at 4.00 am everyday to study (weekend included) and sacrificied work by studying in the office (yeeek, hopefully employer is not on AF) rather that taking any family time. Everyone has different approaches to this.

Not going to lie, this program and young kids is a tough grind. This is my 8th year in the program and my kids are a direct link to that. Not complaining, I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done over the years. I think you have to approach everything with one word in mind. Quality. Everything you do leading up to the exam make sure you are doing it 100%. When you are with the family make it quality time so they are getting enough of you. When you are studying, make it quality studying time. No TV, no radio, no distractions. If that involves you getting out to the library a couple times a week for a few hours at a time do it. Try to fit it in on baby’s nap times on weekends. Don’t worry now about all the things that go into being new parents. By no means is it easy, but when you look back later you’ll be surprised at how natural alot of it comes to you. It seems daunting right now, but from my experience it was alot easier for me to study when I had my first and he was very young. Now that he’s 8 and playing hockey and soccer and swimming lessons and homework…that takes up a HUGE amount of my time during the year. The other one is three and he’s at that stage where he’s into everything and one of those kids that has no fear so you can’t take your eyes off him for a second. There will be times during the year when you and your wife will be ready to kill each other. Make sure to implement a count to 10 rule before saying or doing anything stupid. Communicate with her frequently to keep her informed on how you are feeling about the studying. She’ll be more on board if she feels like she’s part of the process and helping you with this accomplishment, because IMO there’s no harder job in life than that of a 1st year mother. Finally, there are many on this board that have gone through what you are about to go through. Keep asking for specific advice as there are so many helping hands around here. Good luck.

thank you all!!, I will give it my all this year and push even harder than last year

my cousin did it, she had her first babe beg of last yr, then she did mba, took cfa, and works in gs ib now…depending on how much you want it and how smart u are…

Send them to the outlaws for a holiday the week before the exam, or go and stay at your folks…

My wife and I had a baby in December. I was a re-taker and found juggling the fatherly responsibilities and studying for the exam extremely challenging. Several times I felt that passing the Level 3 the second time would have been “easy” if I didn’t have the baby too, even though my wife did most of the work if I am truthful (nevertheless, there is always something you need to do with the baby to relieve her of overwork). A lot depends on the baby though. Our baby still doesn’t sleep through the night and has to be watched constantly. That made everything more challenging…My wife half jokingly said that she was a “single mother” while I was studying for the exam. While she doesn’t work anymore, we didn’t have any other help other than a occassional visit from a helpful mother-in-law. CFA and babies can be done but it makes it far more challenging. I really liked Big Babbu’s post above…that is a very good one indeed and well worth a read. I managed to pass CFA Level 3 but couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife. I jokingly said that I’m going to give her one of the letters of my C.F.A…her choice :-). P.S. I think you are wise to start studying in January. At least maybe get Ethics or Behavioural Finance out of the way by end of January…with a baby you need to allow extra time in your study schedule because something important with the baby will always come up and infringes on your studying time to some extent.

When I took Level 1, my daughter was just turning one. When I took Level 2, my daughter was almost 2 and my son was 6 months. When I took level 3 my daughter was almost 3 and my son was 1 and 1/2… and my kids are nuts. What you need is a supportive spouse to say the least. I think with kids, you know exactly when and when you can’t study, so your time should be that much more structured. The CFA is probably tougher on your wife than anything. SHe does all the baths during the weeks, basically works a full day. I did Schweser including the weekly online seminar, which I would do on Sundays (archived). This way it’s like you have a class to keep you on pace. Also, read the entire Schweser notes and do CFA text questions before January. That way you will have gone through the material at least once prior to January.

Great input by all. Hopefully the child goes to sleep at 7 or 8 and stays that way or your spouse will assist if there is a wake up. Last year was a good situation for me as the little one was a good sleeper and the wife was pregnant with No. 2 so she got tired and went to bed earlier. I thought it was a great situation but I couldn’t capitalize. This year was tougher because the new one was not a good sleeper and my wife clocks out to the living world around 10p and to be honest, she is secretly thinking “like it matters.” I can’t blame her. I have learned to live with it better. A few years ago, given the way I approached it and put her off, we started going down the path of divorce. I think kids helped because she was too busy and/or tired to worry about doing this or that social thing or a trip in the spring. I’m at the point where I will continue on until I finish because I just can’t quit and I don’t think my boss will let me but the charter will never be worth it to me. Never. I won’t go into personal details as to why but that’s just me. There will be no celebration. Just relief. I could care less now about the certificate and the letters after my name. I just want my Memorial Day weekend back. Golf in the spring. However, I have found a way to separate those feelings and approach the material as ‘continuing education’ vs. say required readings from CFA. I just can’t process it to the exam for some reason. I would never choose to do this program again but unfortunately I can’t bring myself to quit. There was a point a few years ago where I knew walking out of the exam I should have done this or that but the last two years, I was confident going in and going out. I felt 10x more confident than I did when I passed Level II which is why have so much trouble understanding the system. My scores don’t make sense to me and the CFA graders don’t have office hours to argue the merits of subjective answers on the essay. I think I need to account more for the unexpected by starting earlier. Kids getting sick and ‘fire’ drills at work can hurt when there is no margin for error in a study plan. It would help if indeed the curriculum is similar instead of a 40% change out.

Put all babies up for adoption. Thats the only way to pass.

This thred may continue as girl friends & studying… might be as much challenging…

all of the information on here has been really helpful. my wife and I are expecting our first in late December and I was curious how many others had gone through that before. I figured there had to be a lot of candidates here who could offer good advice on how best to handle studying and raising a kid. My plan for right now is to get the curriculum and start studying as hard as I can until December rolls around because I have a funny feeling that sleep and time will be hard to come by once the baby is born. Just a hunch though. I hope to be able to pick it back up in February if all goes well. From the posts on here and from talking to friends/relatives it sounds like the two month mark is about the time when you start to get into a good routine and the baby is sleeping longer. Hopefully we have a typical baby that starts to sleep longer by that time.

oh never mind I thought this post was about babes and stdying…