How do you rally your family round?

  1. The books, the nursing orientation, the advice from friends...all say that you MUST have practical support from your family to get through nursing school, but what if your family is High Maintenance and has been really spoilt for years, because you've been a SAHM and housewife? Seriously, I have been trying to re-train my family for the past 18 months while doing my pre-req's, and now I'm due to start nursing school in August and they are still totally hopeless, no improvement whatsoever. This is really worrying me now, because there is no way I'm going to be able to do 100% of the housework, laundry, cooking, childcare and petcare when I'm at college for 8-12 hours a day. Hubby is no help at all - he's a company manager and has to go away on business often, and I never know what time he's going to be home from work, could be 6pm, or it could be 11pm. All our family are overseas, so I've no help from them, and I have an 8 year old girl, and a melodramatic/primadonna 13 year old girl who definately does NOT want to have to babysit her little sister every day after school until one of us happens to arrive home. To top it all, hubby's latest 'bright idea' has been to enroll in a Masters Degree, because he doesn't want to get bored and lonely if I'm going to be studying all the time!!! (a cookery course would have been more useful LOL!).

    Seriously, I've tried to talk to my husband about this, but he never wants to talk about it - I don't think he even wants to think about having to do any housework or childcare, so he's ignoring the situation. What makes me really mad is that this whole nursing thing was HIS idea in the first place, because he thought it was time I had a career again.

    Any ideas? - or should I just give them a straight ultimatum and threaten to quit the course if I'm not getting the help I need within 2 months of starting?

    Anyone else had to deal with this?

    Paint.
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Brickman
    Is it possible that your family is not happy with the thought of you spending your time on something that is not about them? Could they be hoping that if they don't help, you will get tired and quit school? If you think that this might be a possibility, even a little bit, then I would let them know in no uncertain terms that for a change you were coming first in your life and they can just deal with it. All the way through nursing school I watched students struggle due to families that were actively working against them out of resentment that mom was not devoting 100% of her time to their needs. Please don't let this happen to you!
  4. by   fourblessings
    Yes, i had to deal with this. I have 4 children, all under 9, and a husband that works alot. When i took all my pre reqs, they have been all online, which worked out pretty well for me. I could still do the washing, cooking, taking care of my kids, and still get my 3.6 gpa. But when clinicals start for me this Fall, they are only one day a week for 4 hours, and I now tell my husband that he has to "pull his weight" while I study. I told him point blank, if he isn't going to help with the washing, clean the house etc, it just won't get done. I wouldn't drop out of the program if I were you, tho....you can do it, I don't have one single person to help me either (my family all live in Ca, and my In laws aren't on.... shall we say...speaking terms), but I know I can do it. If I can do it will 4 kids under 9, you can do it with 2....we will work together...just don't give up!! :wink2:
  5. by   Energizer Bunny
    Good post Brickman...

    fourblessings...I am with you...I have one support person at this point and she works most of the time, so it isn't much support really.

    to the OP...you gotta put your foot down. Quit doing things around the house, seriously!!! they will either learn quick or it will be a big blowup where you can get things REALLY out! That's what I would/will do if I find myself in your situation come fall.
  6. by   fnimat1
    Paint,
    Don't give up...just do it...whatever doesn't get done just doesn't get done.... ...and that's that. I have come to the realization that that is how it's going to be. I"m starting the Fall program in September, I've been married for 10 yrs...have 4 children (2 dd's who are 9 and 8 and 2 ds's who are 3 and 17 mths.). My dh also dropped a bomb on me also....he decided that he wants to go back to school....I looked at him like he was crazy. Why does he have to go to school now....why didn't he go when I was taking semesters off at a time when I was pregnant, etc. But if he wants to go, hey let him do what he wants to do....but i WILL NOT drop the program. I have already started planning menus for the Fall semester, I've started buying school supplies for myself and my dd's. I think the key thing is to be as organized as you can....but you can do it....you can do it....you can do it...


    Fatima
  7. by   EMTtoRN
    Hehehe do what I do. Hubby wont help with laundry so I do mine and my daughters. He has all white socks and undies so I leave it. When he runs out of clean clothes and whites he has no choice but to do them!
  8. by   S.N. Visit
    I can totally relate to this thread, although I'm not due to start my nursing program until next summer. My husband also has long irregular working hours (he owns an aluminum extrusion plant) and has mentioned he'd like to take a few business courses ;we have 3 girls ages: 8,6 & 2; and no extended family either. I'm only doing co-reqs but I just don't have the time to keep the house spotless anymore. I've got my plate full running the kids around to their activitities, while trying to keep my GPA.
    I've told my husband to either help or hire a maid. Just this morning, he ironed his own clothes

    Best of luck to everyone!
    Last edit by S.N. Visit on May 27, '04
  9. by   nursewho
    but had to go back to work b/c my husband is unable to work due to depression, on disability, but we need benefits...

    my family is supportive, not necessarily helpful, though. ...my kids are 7 and 9...the three of them depend on me for everything. i work full-time and go to school right from work. while i'm running around like a maniac, my husband is home, usually not doing anything.

    the house is a disaster...laundry is a lost cause, and its tough to find time to study, because of household/family obligations.

    the only reason my husband is so supportive is because my working takes alot of pressure off of him...otherwise, he would rather me be home.

    just know you are not alone...be proud of your acheivements, accomplishements.yes, you are a wife and mother, but you are also an individual, with dreams and goals all your own. good luck to you.

    rose
  10. by   jenrninmi
    Honestly? I have a 5 and 6-year-old and a VERY busy husband. The most important thing when I get home is to feed the kids and spend time with them. This means my house is always a mess! Sometimes on the weekend I'll get to cleaning, but that of course depends on what else is going on. My husband helps when he can, (he does a lot of the laundry, does breakfast a couple days during the week, does most of the lawn work...

    I've found we're happy as long as we spend time together. We take walks together as a family almost every night, have dinner together every night, we read to the kids every night...these to me are more important then making sure my house is spotless.
  11. by   lisamc1RN
    I posted something very similar to this several days ago. I felt guilty for studying instead of spending that time with my family. I was given the same advice as you, and I intend to use it! I have set up a schedule of chores for my kids. We had one before, but I have increased the load a bit. I have also had a long talk with my hubby. He understands that if I need to study and he needs supper on the table, then he is going to have to open the fridge and come up with something. We also talked about making sure that my family does get me time. I don't want to just drop everything and everybody. Trying to balance it all out is going to be a challenge, but we are up for it. Good luck to you!
  12. by   txspadequeenRN
    Please dont drop out, it's gold to make it in nursing school these day's. I have a similar situation. I have 5 kids 3 are toddlers and 2 are 11,14. My husband full time engineering student and only helped with kids/chores on weekend when I work 44 hours. So here is what I reccomend Realize that it is OK to have a dirty house ,people rarley die from diseases they caught from their house. Leave the laundry eventually someone wont have any clothes and come tell you. Thats when you get out your pre printed instructions hand it to them and say "HAPPY WASHING". Buy paper plates and forks, nothing wrong with that, let stouffers make dinner for you. I attend no outside functions and when people come over they may need to make their own seat on the couch. Your husband sounds like he is a buisness man ,does he entertain clients at home and does your 13 year old like having friends over I bet so, try this for a coulpe of weeks and I bet you have some extra hands. I too like you kept house and commited my life to making my husband and childrens life flow easier, but then realized hey what about me. Husband didnt want me to go "right now" go next semester he would say. Then he would say after I get out now he is talking about getting a PHD. So I just stopped giving a **** ,told him I was going and did it. Everyone in this house has chores even the 2 year old (folding clothes). Dont get me wrong I love my children and husband , but I love me too.My children think Im evil and mean , but just think with the extra money I make I can buy them good therapy.

    :roll :roll :roll :roll


    Quote from Paint
    The books, the nursing orientation, the advice from friends...all say that you MUST have practical support from your family to get through nursing school, but what if your family is High Maintenance and has been really spoilt for years, because you've been a SAHM and housewife? Seriously, I have been trying to re-train my family for the past 18 months while doing my pre-req's, and now I'm due to start nursing school in August and they are still totally hopeless, no improvement whatsoever. This is really worrying me now, because there is no way I'm going to be able to do 100% of the housework, laundry, cooking, childcare and petcare when I'm at college for 8-12 hours a day. Hubby is no help at all - he's a company manager and has to go away on business often, and I never know what time he's going to be home from work, could be 6pm, or it could be 11pm. All our family are overseas, so I've no help from them, and I have an 8 year old girl, and a melodramatic/primadonna 13 year old girl who definately does NOT want to have to babysit her little sister every day after school until one of us happens to arrive home. To top it all, hubby's latest 'bright idea' has been to enroll in a Masters Degree, because he doesn't want to get bored and lonely if I'm going to be studying all the time!!! (a cookery course would have been more useful LOL!).

    Seriously, I've tried to talk to my husband about this, but he never wants to talk about it - I don't think he even wants to think about having to do any housework or childcare, so he's ignoring the situation. What makes me really mad is that this whole nursing thing was HIS idea in the first place, because he thought it was time I had a career again.

    Any ideas? - or should I just give them a straight ultimatum and threaten to quit the course if I'm not getting the help I need within 2 months of starting?

    Anyone else had to deal with this?

    Paint.
  13. by   RNNoMore
    Thankyou, you guys have really made me smile this morning with your replies

    Brickman, I totally agree with you - my daughters definately don't want Mum either going back to school, or going back to work, and I understand that, as I've always been there for them before, at school parties and special assemblies and volunteering to help out on field trips etc., which I'm not going to be able to do much of any more - but at least I still get most of the holidays free, as well as all summer, so we can still have fun then.

    What I can't understand is my husband's attitude. As I said, it was HIS idea that I go back to school and get a career, although I am enjoying studying again. He has always had the attitude that his job is the most important, the most tiring, the most stressful in the world (sounds like nursing huh?), but I've been able to cope with that because I wasn't working, and have been quite happy to just be in the background doing the domestic stuff. The problem is, is that attitude still isn't changing: I told him the other day that attendance at clinicals was mandatory, and that if one of the kids happened to be sick on a clinical day, that I would need him to stay home from work and look after them - his answer was, of course, that there was no way he could do that (company would fall apart without him, blah blah blah). I've also bent over backwards trying to get classes as late in the day as possible for my first semester, because he won't take my youngest to school for me if I have an early start for clinicals (and I don't think that waking an 8-year old up at 5am to bundle her off to a child-minder is acceptable - I live an hours drive from the nearest clinical site). I don't know what the class options will be for future semesters, but it may not be as flexible once I start clinicals.

    At our nursing orientation, we met with second-year students who told us that child-care was a big problem because the clinical sites were often overcrowded and when they turned up for, say, a 2pm to 6pm clinical, were often told that the times had now been changed to a 4pm to 8pm clinical because of overcrowding. The nursing students who had kids then had to call round & try to arrange extended/alternative childcare at just a couple of hours notice. I THINK I've got the first bi-semester classes sorted out OK, but they don't even tell you the clinical times until after you start the course, which is great for those of us with kids to think about!

    I'm not too house-proud, although I get very mentally stressed when the house is really in a mess, I have learned to just shut the kids bedroom doors and ignore the devastation at least LOL! I do have a system where I break the chores down into 10-minute jobs and do them while I'm studying: 30 minutes study followed by a 10-minute chore, which seems to work well when I'm at home at least (stops me falling asleep over my books too LOL!). Hubby did do his own laundry for about a year, but that stressed me out so much because he would tie up the machines for days (you know, wash a load on Monday, leave it in the washer, wash it again on Wednesday because it had gone smelly, leave it in the washer again, finally dry it on Friday, leave it in the dryer for at least a week....Aaaaarrrrgghhh LOL!), so I just started doing it again myself. He does do his own ironing though, because ironing is the one thing I just don't do! Hubby always notices if the house is in a mess, and I get 'comments' when he walks through the door, but not much help. He will vacuum occasionally (very badly), but will have nothing to do with the 'yukky' jobs, like cleaning the bathrooms or mopping floors. Despite me nagging them every day, the girls STILL spit toothpaste out into the washbasins and don't rinse it away, so I have to scrub those twice a day, and nobody except me seems to know what a laundry basket is for. My youngest daughter still wets the bed occasionally, so I often have extra laundry to do first thing in the morning.

    Cooking will be the biggest problem I think, I'm a Virgo and naturally a very organised person - except for menu planning, although I have got into the habit of cooking twice the amount and freezing half, it's still hard because eldest daughter keeps experimenting with Vegetarianism (meaning cheese pizza because she doesn't actually like eating any vegetables except for corn cobs and potatoes), but I'm not happy feeding her cheese pizza every day, especially as we have a family history of heart disease. Hubby simply will not eat anything out of a box, frozen, or otherwise classified as junk or convenience food, and likes 'exotic foods' like Moroccan and Indian dishes, which the kids won't touch anyway, so I often end up cooking 2 or 3 separate meals to satisfy everyone. We also like to eat healthy, low-fat meals - so 'hamburger helper' has never been on our dinner menu LOL! I'm sorry to say that hubby's usual reply, if I ask him to cook dinner or do any housework, is "I've just worked a 12-hour day and need to come home to relax, not start cooking/cleaning!". (I can't wait until I can come out with that line too ).

    Yes, I have had to entertain business associates & do the dinner party thing from time to time - but hubby is OK with just going out to eat as an alternative thank goodness!

    I'm starting to feel really overwhelmed by all these problems, and am getting stressed out and tearful before I even start! Still, it's comforting to know that I'm not alone, and that others have coped with similar problems. Keep the advice coming please - I need it

    Best wishes, Paint.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    Your stories are all too familiar for me. I went back to school when my kids were 5 and 10 and hubby was overseas in the first Gulf War. Talk about a yucky time in my life! Then, while my husband was gone, oldest son was hospitalized multiple times with angioedema (severe allergic reactions) - I was so grateful for some military wives who were strangers and helped so much with my youngest son. It was extremely stressful. However, when my husband came home - he helped again like he always has. I think it helped that we were both in the military when we met and married and had our oldest son - we both had to do quite a bit other than work and school in order to make it. Now, with both our boys grown, we still share the workload around home. So...the moral of the story is...start the sharing early and then it just continues on its own. Good luck everyone - you can do it!

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