Selfish family?Student Mothers please read! - page 4

I recently helped my mother in law sign up for classes at our local JC. She is in her early 40's and has never been to college. She wants to become a nurse also. She is very smart (taking all honors... Read More

  1. by   adnstudent2007
    Speaking as a single parent of a 4 year old, I can't imagine why she would want to go to nursing school (of all things) as a way to do something for herself. I understand and completely respect how she wants to do this to help others in the long run, I think the sacrifices she will have to make in nursing school (rather than just pre-reqs) are going to be a lot harder than she can imagine. I have had to sacrifice on time I am able to spend with my daughter and it is hard on both of us and with only one I've had major time conflicts. While I do have outside support, sometimes my little girl just needs her Mommy. Since it sounds like she has little or no support from her husband, she will in essence be functioning as a single parent. What is she going to do when a child is sick and she has to be at clinicals or has an exam? And she will miss sports games, dance recitals, or whatever activities her children are involved in. Even with the older children helping with some chores and babysitting it sounds virtually impossible to me given my limited knowledge of the situation. I think I would encourage her to wait a little while until her youngest are a little older and more of them are out of the house. (Yes, there are women in their late 40's and 50's in my program). Perhaps she could do something less intense that would give her some fulfilment, such as volunteer at a hospital for several hours a week?
  2. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from adnstudent2007
    Speaking as a single parent of a 4 year old, I can't imagine why she would want to go to nursing school (of all things) as a way to do something for herself. I understand and completely respect how she wants to do this to help others in the long run, I think the sacrifices she will have to make in nursing school (rather than just pre-reqs) are going to be a lot harder than she can imagine. I have had to sacrifice on time I am able to spend with my daughter and it is hard on both of us and with only one I've had major time conflicts. While I do have outside support, sometimes my little girl just needs her Mommy. Since it sounds like she has little or no support from her husband, she will in essence be functioning as a single parent. What is she going to do when a child is sick and she has to be at clinicals or has an exam? And she will miss sports games, dance recitals, or whatever activities her children are involved in. Even with the older children helping with some chores and babysitting it sounds virtually impossible to me given my limited knowledge of the situation. I think I would encourage her to wait a little while until her youngest are a little older and more of them are out of the house. (Yes, there are women in their late 40's and 50's in my program). Perhaps she could do something less intense that would give her some fulfilment, such as volunteer at a hospital for several hours a week?
    She already volunteered as an English teacher at a charter school. I know that it is going to be really hard, and maybe she won't be able to do it, but no one should have that attitude. Who knows where the little engine that could would be if he had an attitude like that. I don't mean to say 'set yourself up for failure', but no one in history has made great achievements because they thought it might be hard and that they could possibly fail. Thats what makes it so much better when you get it.
    Last edit by HeartsOpenWide on Nov 18, '06
  3. by   adnstudent2007
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    She already volunteered as an English teacher at a charter school. I know that it is going to be really hard, and maybe she won't be able to do it, but no one should have that attitude. Who knows where the little engine that could would be if he had an attitude like that. I don't mean to say 'set yourself up for failure', but no one in history has made great achievements because they thought it might be hard and that they could possibly fail. Thats what makes it so much better when you get it.
    But she does need to realistically consider everything. When you are a parent, you need to do what's best for the family both in the short term as well as in the long term. For example, assuming all goes well, I plan to graduate in May. I know that because I have a young child, I may not be able to take my "dream job" if the hours don't work out. There are a lot of things I will need to consider when taking a job. That doesn't mean I'll never get to have my dream job, I just may need to wait until the time is right. (While I strongly agree that a childs wants don't always need to be met, her needs do come before my wants). Similarly, I'm not saying she should not become a nurse if that is her dream. Of course it's up to her and what she thinks she can handle but she should make an informed decision and realize the sacrifices.
    I noticed you said that you weren't around her house much recently because you are in nursing school. It also sounds like you don't currently have children. Try imaging doing all that you do and then add as many children as she has living at home. I've done school both without and with my daughter and it is entirely different.
  4. by   PedsRN&momto5girls
    [QUOTE=adnstudent2007;1930915]Speaking as a single parent of a 4 year old, I can't imagine why she would want to go to nursing school (of all things) as a way to do something for herself. QUOTE]

    adnstudent2007, you say you can't imagine why she would want to go to nursing school as a way to do something for herself. I COMPLETELY understand that. It's what I'm doing as something for myself, however, it happens to be benefiting my family (five daughters) too. I am probably in a better situation than the OP's friend in that my husband is extremely helpful and does the schooling with our children when I'm gone and maintains the home as I would (well close to it LOL). Some people want a challenge in order to do something for themselves, while maybe others are perfectly happy getting a pedicure or going to a movie or something. Nothing wrong with either one of them. It's just a preference. I am in agreement that if the children are somehow being neglected then no she shouldn't do it, but I highly doubt that is what's happening here. I know I spend the majority of my time with my kids except when I'm in class or clinicals and even then their daddy is with them. I don't even study until they go to bed. Maybe that's how this mom accomplishes things too. I understand what you're saying though about making certain decisions when you have young children. I won't be employeed full time after I graduate because I want to be with my children more than that would allow, but that's not what works for everyone.

    Also, some people actually want all their children. We actually tried for all of ours, except the last one. She was a surprise due to some problems my body was experiencing, but she's absolutely wonderful!!!!! People are wired differently. Some people can have two kids and be overwhelmed or just be done and be content and some can have 5 or 8 or 13 and still love them and be able to give the attention to them that they need too! My husband was actually scheduled for a vasectomy before we found out I was pregnant with Sarah Grace. He went ahead and did it during my pregnancy, but if we wanted to have more children there would be nothing wrong with that as long as we could support them, love them, and give them what they NEED (which we do)!

    Melissa, Kaylee 9/14/97, Megan 12/13/99, Chelsea 8/9/01, Hannah 6/3/03, Sarah Grace 4/23/05, & 4 Angels In Heaven
  5. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from jov
    well, then, that's good that your three year old is in a place where he gets more attention. Lord knows they need someone to take time with them.
    however in the OP situation's, it doesn't sound like the mom will be sending her three year olds to Montessori. In fact, it sounds like she is a home schooler.

    Not saying you can't go to nursing school with little kids. But would everyone who is such a proponent of The Family Doing Everything Together, like everyone helping out, working together, etc. please consider the idea of maybe this should be a family decision? And it sounds like this family is vetoing her idea.

    not saying that's good or bad. Just saying it sounds like that is where that family is at.
    Heaven forbid something should stand in the way of keeping her home, barefoot and pregnant til she mercifully goes through menopause.

    She has been putting everyone else ahead of herself. What's she supposed to do...keep subjugating her wishes til she's too old to finally do something she's dreamed of?
    Last edit by PANurseRN1 on Nov 19, '06
  6. by   ortess1971
    Quote from Jolie
    Absolutely not true. While the Catholic Church does not sanction the use of "artificial means" of birth control, it actively TEACHES methods of natural family planning, which it stresses are useful for not only preventing, but planning pregnancy.
    A GYN I know told me this joke recently...What do you call people who use natural family planning? Answer: Parents! They can teach those methods all they want but it's been proven that for a lot of people, particularly women with irregular cycles, it's not very reliable.
  7. by   PedsRN&momto5girls
    Actually it's VERY reliable if you follow it 100%, but most people don't follow it that 'religously'! :-)
    Melissa
    Last edit by PedsRN&momto5girls on Nov 19, '06
  8. by   hikernurse
    Quote from ortess1971
    A GYN I know told me this joke recently...What do you call people who use natural family planning? Answer: Parents! They can teach those methods all they want but it's been proven that for a lot of people, particularly women with irregular cycles, it's not very reliable.
    Like Melissa said, it actually can be extremely reliable. The rhythm method, not so much (the one where you avoid certain days based on your average cycle), but if a woman is checking her cervical fluid/temp/etc., it works very well. It's actually a great option--if you are willing to use barrier methods during the times when you are fertile, then you are not limited at all--and you don't have to use the barriers when they aren't required.

    Anyway...Sorry. I like NFP because it teaches women to work with the natural rhythm of their bodies. And for a lot of women, education r/t that is sadly lacking. And your joke was funny :-).

    And back to the original topic People with kids go to NS all the time--myself included. I think it's been harder on me than on my family, actually. I've had to lower my standards on housework, outside activities, etc. so that I can spend time with my kids reading, playing, etc. I tell people if the mess is going to bother them, not to come over until I graduate; otherwise, scoot over some laundry on the couch and sit down. Better yet, fold while we talk

    Not to put too fine a spin on this, but NS may be the best thing for her. JMHO, she may be in a situation that is somewhat, ummm, I don't want to say abusive, but her husband doesn't sound much like a partner in the marriage. He may be afraid that if she has other resources, that she may not want to stay in the marriage.

    It would do those kids a great service to see that Mom, as an adult, has interests that extend beyond the family. Don't get me wrong, I was a SAHM for 19 years; it was hard, but I loved it. But, children are still going to know that they are the most important part of your life--just maybe not the ONLY part. Besides, even if she does go to third world countries, by the time she gets done with NS and feels competent enough to help, her little ones will be much bigger. And with some planning, no reason those kids can't go with her and help. Maybe even Dad would participate ;-).
  9. by   luvmy3kids
    I can't believe there are people on this board who are calling your mother selfish for wanting to go back to school just because she has children!

    This wouldn't even be a discussion if it was the father going back to school with 13 children!

    If she want's to do something for herself, and that something is going back to school, then she should do it! It won't be easy, but if her heart is in it, she will do just fine!

    Maybe she could take it slowly... just one pre-req at a time... then by the time the 3 yrs olds are in school, she could attend more full-time!

    Whatever her decision is, it is going to be up to you to support her. It doesn't sound like she has a whole lot of help from anyone else in the family.

    Tell her good luck from me!!!

    (Mom of 3.... going back to school!!!)
  10. by   firstyearstudent
    I support a woman's right to follow her dream no matter how young her children are (as long as she's made arrangements for them to be looked after well). Personally, I found out I was pregnant when I was accepted to school so I put it off for two years and I'm happy I got to have those two years at home with my youngest and I'm happy I went back when I did. Many authorities believe that by three the majority of children are ready for preschool.
  11. by   FutureNurse2005
    wow. i'm stunned by some of the comments on this thread!!

    I am a married mother of 2 kids (ages 5 and 6) and I started nursing school back in the Fall of 2004 (kids were 3 and 4!!). I had some family members call me selfish for wanting to go because I was supposed to "stay home and raise the kids", but I looked at the bigger picture. When I graduate I will be able to PROVIDE for my family. Not to mention I will be a happier person! Isnt there a saying..."if momma aint happy, aint no one happy!!"

    Here I am 2 years later and we are doing just fine. everyone is so supportive of me now. They see how dedicated I am and how much I want this. My kids and I do our "homework" together too! lol Yes, there are sacrifices, but I am also teaching my children how important an education is! My daughter learned to read because of me going back to school! (she wants to learn what mommy's learning!)

    anyway, as far as your MIL wanting to help out in 3rd world countries, well, that may not be realistic for right now, but geez, by the time she finishes school anyway her family will be older and it would be a possibility! I myself am very interested in this too (Doctors without Borders). I realize that there are very real dangers out there, but honestly, there are very real dangers anywhere! Any one of us could get shot or hit by a car tomorrow. Thats todays reality. I'm not going to let other peoples fears deter me from making my dreams come true.

    Bottom line, support her. Even if everyone else is against it, support her. Just having one soul on her side will help.
    Wish her luck for me!!
  12. by   pyrolady
    I agree with jov....the older children did not sign on to be young parents. I have a girlfriend who is the second in a family of six. She got pregnant her senior year. Reason? "If I'm going to raise children, they might as well be my own!!" (from the mind of a 17 year old...). She remained married and had four more children and was mom to all of them - no outside work from the home. 13 children is a HUGE responsibility - one that I am sure was thought about before doing (I hope?). Seven more years won't hurt to wait - children grow too fast and are always at a crucial age, no matter what it is. Perhaps Mom can take one class a semester working toward her goal - there are always a lot of pre-req classes to get out of the way. Mom to chilodren is an important job - Mom to THIRTEEN children is huge. Good luck to you - btw, I was in my 40's before I went back to school as well. You're never "too old". Also - third world country???? UMMMMMMMMM, I'd have to think about that one. You have plenty of people here who live in the same conditions as a third world country, thay need volunteer help - perhaps you can even help them in some way now and include your children for the learning experience.
  13. by   RNinJune2007
    PyroLady,

    If this mother's dream is to help a third world country who are we to question it? Everyone has a different calling, and obviously, she feels strongly about it.
    She is obviously not you (or any of us), and we are in NO place to place judgement on such a woman.

    There is so much more to the story than even her Daughter-in-law knows, I'm sure.

    I am still on the page of, GO FOR IT! Of course, without the support of her family, it will be even harder, but she can do it if she puts enough into it!

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