Advice on best time to have a baby (please!)

  1. I'm a pre-nursing student/career changer. I'm hoping to get into an ABSN program, with the goal of working a few years as a hospital nurse (hopefully L&D), and eventually going into midwifery. We're also hoping to have one last baby (we have two kids already). Currently tying decide if I we should try to have a baby now (baby would be 1 year old when I start an ABSN program), or shortly after I start work as a RN.

    My questions are - which is more intense/time-consuming: nursing school or working full-time? I assume the hospital shifts are very intense and exhausting, but for those who work three 12s, do you "take work home with you"/work beyond the 36 hours, or is the rest of your week actually free? And if school is more intense than work, is it still doable with young kids?

    FWIW, all else being equal, we'd rather have the last baby now for a host of personal/financial/health reasons. Nursing is my dream career, and I hate the idea of being distracted by pregnancy/taking a maternity leave soon after finally landing a RN job. Plus I have two kids already, so I'll being juggling school and motherhood regardless (what's one more to add to the chaos BUT I could much use the perspective of people who have actually been to nursing school and worked hospital shifts (read: I don't know what I'm talking about!)

    I know this is a highly personal decision; I just really need opinions from people who have been there. Thank you!
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   vanilla bean
    Quote from secondtimer14
    FWIW, all else being equal, we'd rather have the last baby now for a host of personal/financial/health reasons.
    OK then, there's your answer.
  4. by   Been there,done that
    You have not been accepted to a program yet. THAT's the hard part. IF you are accepted.. that will take all of your efforts.

    It's another kid.. or nursing . Pick your dream.
  5. by   Hygiene Queen
    Quote from secondtimer14
    Nursing is my dream career, and I hate the idea of being distracted by pregnancy/taking a maternity leave soon after finally landing a RN job.
    I would hate the idea of being distracted by nursing school during that important and special time of raising children.

    Nursing school will always be there, your children's childhood will not.
  6. by   Fiona59
    Quote from Hygiene Queen
    I would hate the idea of being distracted by nursing school during that important and special time of raising children.

    Nursing school will always be there, your children's childhood will not.
    Can't agree more! My youngest was five when I started my programme.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    Babies don't always come when you "plan" for them to. If the baby is important, don't wait to start trying ...especially if you're beyond your 20s.
  8. by   RNperdiem
    Although the shift is 12 hours, when you add commute, giving report, getting to work a little early and sometimes leaving late, my door-to-door time is more like 14 hours.
    When you graduate nursing school and work as a nurse, nights, weekends and holidays are part of most new grad jobs. Plan for them.
    To make long hours work, you need rock-solid childcare. Especially if you have several kids, you need the kind of person or childcare arrangement that goes beyond simply "babysitting".
  9. by   LovingLife123
    It's not easy at any time. Nursing school is stressful, NCLEX is stressful. But my first year as a RN was more difficult than any time spent in nursing school.

    The thing is babies and young children don't understand that mom needs to study. They want your attention. Kids don't understand the stress you will be under at work. It's hard not to bring it home sometimes. Labor and Delivery is not all peaches and roses. You will deal with a lot of drug addicts, women who neglected themselves in pregnancy, impossible family members. You will deal with infant death and infants born with horrible health problems. It's stressful and will get to you.

    You will have to have your masters to be a midwife which is more schooling. That's a tough road with an infant and small children.

    My first year, I spent many nights late at work. It's not just a twelve hour shift. You don't leave until your charting is done. In the beginning, i never left at 1930, it was usually somewhere between 2000-2100.

    If you can make it work, go for it. But you will need a lot of support. And plans in place for when things go wrong. Because it will go wrong.
  10. by   OldDude
    My #2 boy was born during my first semester of nursing school. I remember very little of his first two years of life other than staggering around in the wee hours while mom could get some rest and then stagger through nursing school because I was awake during the wee hours.

    I'm with Been there,done that. If you have a choice, pick one or the other.
  11. by   Pepper The Cat
    Don't have a baby. Get a cat. Cats are awesome.
  12. by   ldrnicuguy
    preferably as close to 40 weeks as possible...
  13. by   mmc51264
    Whenever you can get pregnant. I was in grad school to be a teacher years ago. It took me a year longer to get pregnant than I wanted. If you want a baby have one. Life waits.
  14. by   lcgivz12
    My best friend had her baby 2 months after nursing school graduation, and thankfully she had a easy pregnancy which allowed her to continue school full-time without any distractions or problems. I know of someone who had baby in the middle of a semester and had to drop out for the rest of that semester and start-up again the next semester. Good luck!

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