Any other previous at-home moms going back to school fulltime?

  1. I've been a work-at-home mom for 6 years, since my oldest child was 3 months old. This has worked out great for us - I'm still bringing in income but I have the flexibility of working at home so if one of the kids is sick, it doesn't really affect us. Now for the first time in my kids' lives, I'm facing childcare for my kids. Thankfully they're not prone to illness, but when they DO get sick, they're usually out for 3-4 days.

    How do you juggle school/clinicals that you absolutely CANNOT miss, and sick kids? Thankfully I have a husband whose job is somewhat flexible and will be able to share the burden of staying home with sick kids, but it's still a concern, because it's something we've never before had to deal with.

    Which makes me extremely grateful that we've got two parents here, and I wonder how on earth single moms do it?? What do you all do when your child is sick for 2-3 days in a row??
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   dramaluvr
    I also have been a stay at home mom for six years, my oldest being 6 and my youngest 14 months (two girls). I started back to school this semester and it has been very difficult. My husband is a medical student and so his schedule is not flexible. My oldest is in kindergarten and I put my youngest in day care. She has been sick since going in there. Constantly and actually I just got back from the doctor today as she has wheezing, crackles and her respiratory rate has been above 75. They wanted to actually hospitalize her, but did give me the choice to take her home first. So, we are trying it out at home. Luckily, today is Saturday and I am on spring break. I have actually been lucky that when my kids have been sick it is my one day off school or it happens on the weekends. I honestly do not know what I will do if I have to stay home and miss class. I am afraid that I will miss something I need and the school specifically states no kids. So, I will obviously either miss class or see if I can find someone else to watch them, although then if they have kids they will be exposed. Either way I'll do what I can to have my husband come home or find someone to take the kids, but if not I am homebound. Of course, they are always my first priority anyway.
  4. by   RedSox33RN
    I know it's going to be a challenge for me also. I've been home with our 4 children, ages 13, 11, 9 and 7 for the past 8 years. All the courses I've done so far have been online through a tech college in NH or at night.

    I'll be going full-time in the fall (well, not full time since most of my pre-req's are done, but several days a week), and have gotten into two programs - one in the afternoon/evening, the other daytime, but further away. In any event, I will be depending on my 13yo daughter to help out quite a bit, and my husband also. I may have to find after-school care 1 or 2 days a week for my 2 younger ones if my daughter is involved with an after-school.

    If you know what your schedule will be, do some "dry-runs" now, figuring out timing for travel and clinicals, and know what days you will need childcare, what days you might, and what days you won't. But be flexible. If you can find a sitter who can take be there at a moment's notice, or doesn't mind "drop-in's", that would be great.

    The big thing for me, because of the big family, is laundry and cleaning. I'm going to depend on EVERYONE to do their share, and a job list is going to be made. Their allowances will increase to reflect that, but they need to know that mom has to have time to do her own thing. All-in-all it will make me a better mom to be able to fulfull some of my dreams also!

    Good luck - to all of us!! :chuckle
  5. by   Achoo!
    Our local hospital offers a day care specifically for that. It's a place you can take your sick kids when they can't go to school or day care. I forgot the name of it, but it has helped alot of people.
  6. by   johnnrachel
    I just want to reply and say that I have been a stay at home mom for over 11 years. I am a first semester nursing student and it really is full-time. I just pray that everyone stays healthy, however, always have a plan b and a plan c. My mother is a great help, however, she is 40 miles away. My oldest is 12 and she can stay home with the other two if absolutely needed. (The other two are 8 and 9) But remember when we were all deciding "When to have a baby?" and there really is no good time to start, there is always something??? Well the same applies to nursing school. You just have to do it and not always think of the what if's. I know we are all good moms and our kids come first, but really try to rely on the people around you. My hardest hurdle was the decision to let go of the stay at home mom, but it is the best thing I ever did. Good luck to your decision and reach for your dreams
  7. by   rpbear
    I was a stay at home mom for three years, then I went back part time until my DD was in school and thats when I started nursing school. The best advice is have MANY back up plans. My hubby has a somewhat flexible schedule but it never failed she would get sick the day he had a meeting or had to go out of town! So I had my sis-in-law, my gramma, and even my nieghbor as my back ups. I had to use them a few times. Not only did I use them for when she was sick, but snow days, school days that I didn't have off like parent teacher days, half days, and everyother possible scenerio. If it is possible sit down with your school calendar and your childs and map out as many days ahead of time as you can that way maybe hubby can arrange for these days in advance.

    It is very possible to do. I graduated in December and never missed more than 2 days each semester.
  8. by   Sarah_Huff
    well i haven't even been accepted yet, but i'm already worried. I'm almost 24. my son is 4 and a half. i'm gonna try and put him into kindegarten this year, so in 2005 he'll be in school full time so i can go to nursing school. He does't wanna go to school. He has like no interaction with other kids, because there is none in my family. I'm worried how i'm gonna get him to school. he'll start school about an hour and a half after i start school. My school is about a half hour from my house, and i don't know any neighbors. We are kinda new to the neighborhood. There is no one that could help me. My hubbie starts at 5am in the morning and his work is NOT flexiable at all. He can pick him up after school though. My parents can't help me out because they are about 30 miles from me and my lil brother is 11. So between now and than, i have to find someone that will be able to take him to school every morning. i'm really scared. my dad keeps telling me not to worry about all that now. but i can't help it. i don't see how i'm gonna do it. Now i almost wish he was a lot younger so i could just put him into a day care. but i can't afford that anyhow. i'm all worried, and i problaby won't even make it into the program.
  9. by   smk1
    i have been a SAHM for the past 3 years and just started back sept 03 as a fulltime student. I have a husband who is great and we own our own business so it is somewhat flexible for scheduling. I also have backups in my mom and dad and if needed a few close friends whom i would leave her with if in a pinch , i will ask for more of a student loan though when i start the nursing program so that i can afford to put my daughter in the early childhood program at my school so that she is still close by when i have all day classes. (right now i take afternoon and evening classes only). anyway you can do it just stay organized and find a support system before you start.
  10. by   FutureNurse2005
    i'm a SAHM and hopefully will be starting Fall 2005 or Winter 2006. For me, my kids will both be in kindergarten (one in SR and the other in JR) so we will need childcare at least part time anyway. Sick days will cost us more, but at least we wont have to worry about me missing class or clinicals. Our families will be helping us out as much as they can also. Making casseroles etc, helping once a week or every other week with housecleaning/laundry and watching the kids also.
    I am very lucky to have this arrangement. Can your families help at all?
    Best of luck to you!
  11. by   LydiaGreen
    I was a stay-at-home Mom for seven years before going back to school. I returned to school three years ago when my youngest started JK. I am about to graduate in May (YAY!).

    First, find out the exact policy with regards to absences from clinicals. Speak with your instructor, facilatator, etc. about absences and the possibility of making them up. We were allowed two absences in each semester, I have tried to avoid them if at all possible, and I have never taken a sick day for myself, always for the kids (as long as you are following agency policy with regards to YOU being ill - universal precautions, dayquil, tylenol, advil, etc). Second, check with your childcare provider about illness. My babysitter would accept kids with colds, sniffles, coughs if they needed to stay out of school but would not accept diarrhea, vomiting, fever (and I would not have left my kids in that situation anyway). Third, check your family/friend resources beyond you and your husband. My mother lives an hour and a half away but has come to care for my sick kids (the only person I would be comfortable leaving them with when ill)... usually I have only had to miss one day, then she arrives and I am able to attend the second day.

    If you are lucky, you will have an understanding clinical instructor. I had the same one throughout my three year program and she was very understanding about sick children. She has three kids of her own and has always said that our children come first. If I went beyond my two absences because of my children being ill, I was always able to make up the time. Not all programs are this flexible... if your's is, great. And when you do require to be off because of a sick child and your program/instructor is flexible about it, remember to state your appreciation when you return and put out double the effort to show it and demonstrate that your learning has not been negatively effected by the absence.
  12. by   KristinWW
    Grandparents! Yes, I've been told you cannot, will not, miss any clinicals. I'm in the same boat with two small fries. It's not only sick time - how about volunteer time at school, field trips, etc.?
  13. by   klone
    Y'all are so lucky to have family nearby! The closest family we have is 1 1/2 hours away, my sister and BIL, and they both work fulltime, too. All our other family lives on the other side of the country. We've only lived here a year, so we haven't really built up a support network of friends who could help out. Where we used to live (Minneapolis) they had "sick kid daycare" but now we live in a small town and that's pretty much unheard of.

    Thanks for all the good advice, especially LydiaGreen! Your info was very useful and helpful!
  14. by   BarbRN2B
    WOW-- I thought i was gonna have it rough... haven't started school yet (fall 2004) haven't been accepted to the program yet either..I am a stay home mom too... well sort of... i have a small janitorial job i do just for extra cash and to help out my friend who owns the business, my boys are 12 & 13.. EXTREMELY active... BASEBALL BASEBALL BASEBALL... Boyscouts, music..and boystuff .. then I volunteer for Boy Scouts of America... I have a pack of cubs, a troop of boys, and a district chairman ... my hubby's job sometimes takes him outof town for a week at a time.. but that might change to where he's in town... guess I'm lucky that my boys are older and can pretty much take care of themselves...as far a family... not anywhere close by... but have some friends that are home too... but I'm still freaking out....

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