how can i juggle nursing school, kids and a job without sacrificing either?

  1. hi guys

    I'm new here and I've been reading all the posts everyone has submitted and everyone seems so intelligent and kind (well 99%, hehe) anyway here it is... Im 27 with three amazing kids a supportive husband and a stressful part time job while attending nursing school full time. I am having so much trouble with time management. I feel like im running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Its starting to affect my grades. I would love to quit my job but it's the only place that i know of that the hours are flexible (plus we need the money) and I have been there for 2 years- anyway my question is , are there any other moms in this type of situation and how, or did you juggle everything and pass nursing school? If you have any advice.. please help

    thanks so much
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    "how can i juggle nursing school, kids and a job without sacrificing either? "

    You can't, if by "sacrificing" you mean doing everything possible in each category.
    Know and accept your limits, first of all.
    Secondly, respect and honor those limits.
    Prioritize your acitivies--jot down your schedule daily in the morning.
    Don't expect, or even try, to do everything perfectly.
    Remember to sleep and exercise and eat healthfully.
    Ask for help when you need it.
    Last edit by sjoe on Feb 26, '03
  4. by   bagladyrn
    Of course you can - many here have done it, some without the supportive spouse as well. What you need to accept is that there will be some compromises. You may not be the top of your class, but as long as you pass them, so be it, your kids will do just fine taking store bought cookies to school and eating frozen meals sometimes if it gives you more time to study and your supportive hubby can certainly understand you having less free time (even if he doesn't like it). Sit down with your manager at work and let them know exactly what your limits are - which days and how many hours you can work and stick to it - perhaps offering to "pick up some slack" during any school breaks when others want time off.
    Yes there will still be times when you feel like that proverbial chicken, but just remember - it will be worth it.
  5. by   mario_ragucci
    I wish for you to have a prosperous and wonderful experience and may everyday be filled with learning about caring and life, and always be aware of everything and everyone around you at all times. Follow all instructions and if you don't understand something, maybe you need to document your moves as you may very well hafta do as a RN.
  6. by   Sleepyeyes
    I had to work full-time and go to school because it was the only way to get the tuition reimbursement $. Hubs stayed home and took care of all housework, bills, and care of our child (except he hated parent-teacher conferences so much that I took pity on him, and I'd go to those!)

    I cut my hours to 32/week, and did weekend evening/night doubles as a CNA, except when we had no school, at which time I'd sign up for all the OT I could get to play catchup with the bills. (We got so friendly with our local paycheck loan person, he sent me flowers when I graduated! )

    Even though some of my credits transferred and I CLEP'd out of others, it still took 3 years to get through my ADN program, and I vowed that as soon as I graduated, I was going on a straight 40-hour week and spend some quality time with the family.

    The weekend after I graduated, we all got extravagant and went out to dinner and to Busch Gardens, and even if we're just watching TV together, we just enjoy it--because it truly was a family effort that got us through nursing school.
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Feb 26, '03
  7. by   emily_mom
    You need to know what your limitations are. I wake up in the middle of the night and study so I don't have to do it when my family is up. I'm completely exhausted, but it will be worth it in the end. All of my days are spent running around like a chicken.... You either have to adapt or cut corners somewhere.

    Just remember, this doesn't last forever!

    Kristy
  8. by   Katnip
    There are always compromises to be made. Make friends with dust bunnies. Have your kids sort socks, fold towels, etc. Or, don't worry about matching socks.

    List your priorities, choose a few that you feel you absolutely need and don't stress about the rest.

    Make time for you and hubby. Even if it's once a week. Spend quality time with him and yourself. Put the kids to bed, and watch a video. Doesn't have to be fancy. Doesn't have to be expensive.

    Good luck to you!
  9. by   sixes
    You can do this. I was a single mom children were 3, 4 and 9. This is how I did it. I pre cooked several meals on the weekend. Kids love TV dinners. When I hac to study my teachers were kind enough to photocopy me a few extra sheets esp anatomy. The children colored there homework (then they thought homework was fun) I studied mine. I bought a small recorder and put my test reviews on it. While I took the children to the park I put on the headphones and watched them play while I was studying.I worked mostly night shifts and the nursing home. This gave me extra time to study between rounds. It was also great hands on experience. I bought the children white pj's and uses permanent markers to map out the nervous system, muscles, viens and arteries ( get the hint) That way I studied while they romped around. Did I feel I was a chicken with my head cut off you bet I did. I had no hubby but I had a great Mom (except when she tried to vaccuum or do laundry while I was trying to get a few zzz's before the week began again) We compromised and she learned to look at the pile of laundry that eventuaaly got done. The children are now grown and I am the grandmother of a 9 month old. Stick with it the rewards are ever lasting and the children learned time management and to do thier own homework without complaining. Good Luck
  10. by   BadBird
    When I went to school, I was raising two little kiddos and working full time nights, going through a divorce too. How did I do it, because I was determined to succeed to be able to support my children and myself. I can't even begin to tell you how exhausted I was but the more resistance I got from my now ex, the stronger I became. I was determined and I made it, you are lucky to have a supportive husband. Be prepared for your house to be a mess while you are in school, laundry will never be caught up, quick easy meals. Just focus on one semester at a time and don't worry about the little things. You can do it, you will have to make many sacrafices but it is all worth it in the end. Good luck.
  11. by   Merry1
    I agree with all of the above. I would wake up at 0400 to study so that when the kids got home from school I could be with them morning and night. When I started full time nursing student I went to work for an agency, my work life was a buffett, took what I wanted and left what I didn't. Our instructors encouraged us to only work 16 hrs per week...I know that is not enough to pay bills but alot of us took out student loans to tide us over till graduation and is worth it cause most of those who worked more didn't make it through to the middle semesters. Get creative with finances and see what happens, you just might free up some time you would have missed without(or pass a test). Good Luck!
  12. by   nynurse2b
    "Where there's a will there's a way" You will and you can do it. As mothers we have to learn how to optimize our time. Block out time on a scheduale that would be just be for them. Even if its only an 1/2 hr to an hour. Things like trips to the grocery strore can be a nice way to catch up with your oldest(don't know the ages of your children). I work full- time and am in school full- time. I have 2 children ages 7 and 3. And yes sometimes I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown!!! My family has been sooooo supportive and my friends too!! I miss out on so much with my children...like on saturday's my daughter plays for a basketball team and I miss the games because I am in my clinicals from 7-5pm. But when I get home and shower and eat I take the time and watch the game with her on tape(that my husband tapes for me) and we watch it together like I was there....I cheer and clap and shout at the telivision!! Don't give up and keep the faith...Make sure you let you children know this is not going to be forever!! Tell them how awsome it will be to be able to work only 3 days a week and have the other days for them!!! Think positive always and take help from whoever, whenever you can get it...best of luck to you!!!
  13. by   altomga
    I have to agree with the posts here. Accept your limits and accept that you will have to compromise some. I went through school over 6yrs just to get my ADN!!! I took one class at a time until the nursing "program" but then I only had to take the core classes. I wasn't gone from home but @ 2hrs/day except on clinical days. I FORTUNATELY didn't have to work. We barely scraped by paying for bills, but you do what you have to do. Besides it was actually cheaper than paying daycare or a babysitter fulltime just so I could bring home what kind of pay?? nothing. We had no money, but I could go to school and still be a mom to my kids. I felt like a single parent while in the nursing program only b/c my husband was a long haul truck driver at the time and was only home for fri and sat night (If I was lucky)....it paid off in the end. I 've been a nurse for 5yrs and am also back in school again for my BSN (gotta love on-line classes!!! We have 3 kids now, the youngest is 3. My husband actually is for the most part a fulltime dad while I work nights. Money situation is better too.
    It can be done
    You will feel guilty
    Accept that you can't do everything
    Stay up late/get up early to study
    If at all possible cut back hours? (yea I know......)
    Keep your goal in your mind.
    You end up teaching your kids a extremely valuable lesson through all this too....
    Determination and persistance pay off if you want something bad enough.....
    Like I tell my oldest children...There will not be any excuse not to go to college and do well....if I could do it and still am doing it will children so can you!!!
    Good luck and every once in awhile take a "me" time!! It helps!!
  14. by   Rapheal
    Here is some advice my N100 instructor gave me in school. "LOWER YOUR STANDARDS." She was right. I hope these suggestions help you. Remember your situation is temporary and things will improve when you are out of school.

    Paper plates means less dishes.
    Make 2 or three meals at a time a couple of times a week. Freeze the other meals.

    Buy a box of all occasion cards. Helps for the last minute "Mom I need a card for so and sos B-day.

    Gift certificates make great quick gifts.

    Ask your kids to search out students with parents who might like to car pool. Then call them. Helps with the stress of ever changing clinical schedules.

    Make to do lists and homework lists for your kids. All family member put pertinent info (clinical schedules, conferences, kids sports ) on 2 calenders. Take one with you to class to compare with when scheduling conferences and such.

    Use notecards when making notes. I kept mine in my purse and really helped when I had a little spare time while waiting someplace or at my kid's sport games. Also these came in handy when studying for the final and for studying for NCLEX.

    Good luck!!!! You can do it!!!!!!!!!

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