Selfish family?Student Mothers please read! - page 7

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   alexillytom
    I'm so glad I didn't have a bunch of negativity surrounding me when I decided to go back to school when my kids were 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years old. I love my children to distraction but I was a person other than their mommy for quite some time who had interests outside of parenting. Circumstances did not afford me the chance to attend college when I was younger, although I always wanted to go. I grasped the opportunity to pursue nursing when it was presented. I need to be a well rounded person in order to be a happy person. Now, FOR ME, that means having interests outside of those associated with my husband and kids. I started out taking free high school level refresher courses in English and Algebra. I attended those classes, one night a week, for about three months. After that, I enrolled in CC. I took two classes per semester until all of my prereqs were completed. I am now in the third semester of nursing school and will graduate in May. I attend dance recitals, football games/practices, read stories, check homework, and spend TONS of time with them. My kids, now 7, 11, and 12, have seen my certificates for the Dean's list, attended my induction into the honor society, and constantly brag about my good grades to anyone that will listen. They ask for explanations about something I may be studying and offer to help by quizzing me using my flashcards. They are happy and well adjusted children. We just had parent teacher conferences and all of the teachers talked about how well mannered, respectful, and hardworking they are. I would like to think it had something to do with having a good role model, even though they are natural geniuses. lol. Everyone has had to chip in around the house. Sure, they grumble a little but all kids do, even if their mother doesn't go to school. I applaud anyone who has the guts to follow their dreams, whether they have 1 child or 13. Being a mother and wife may be all that some need to feel fulfilled but for others, it just isn't enough. That doesn't make any party right or wrong, good or bad... just different. OP, I'm not trying to hijack your thread and make it all about me, I just wanted to let you know that mom's attending school while her kids are young doesn't = gloom and doom. Support your MIL. Someone needs to. My husband was "ok" but my MIL was my real support base.
    Last edit by alexillytom on Nov 21, '06
  2. by   SanskeetRN
    I'm sorry but the way I see it, bringing home the money is the easy part...work 8 maybe ten hours a day,get a pat on the back for being such a wonderful provider by the world, get a lunch break, respect and a raise every now and then, a paycheck and then come home and be catered to while mom works 24/hrs a day, seven days a week (but hey, it's not really 'work')cause she gets to be at home, gets no respect, no money and no help while taking care of 13 children and is called selfish for wanting to have a career...sure, HE really is impressive.
  3. by   SanskeetRN
    Quote from jov
    I don't know how much your husband makes but frankly I'm pretty impressed with a guy who makes enough money to support 13 children and a wife that doesn't work.
    :smilecoffeecup:
    I wasn't sure how to directly reply to this with my last post so please see my previous post..

    As far as how much money my husband makes, it's not as much as most people think is necessary for me to be at home 'living the easy life' that I do while hubby is out breaking his back.:trout: My hubby will be the first to tell you that I'm the reason his wage is able to stretch sufficiently. I wait for sales, I buy winter clothes in the spring, etc. I think it is sad that most SAHM aren't recognized for the sacrifices and effort they put into staying at home and then they aren't supported when they want something for themselves. I also think it is important to have a backup if something ever did happen to my husband. If I didn't, everyone would be complaining about having to take care of a lazy mom with four kids who has to be on government assistance. I guess we can't win.
  4. by   mollylalarn
    I am a mother of two and went back to school in my mid thirtys. My children are still small and need me and so does my husband. I found that cooking meals on weekends and freezing them helped alot. I am ready to graduate in two weeks and I was very lucky I guess that my family conformed to my schedule, however they always knew that they came first. Maybe if her children realized that they were more important to her then nursing school that would be enough to get her through also freezing meals helps this way even a few nights a week they have a hot meal on the table.
  5. by   workinghard
    Quote from hikernurse
    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 ;-).
    Yea...what she said!
  6. by   dream'n
    Bless her heart, I hope she continues to find the strength to follow her dream. I suppose some would prefer that the children have a SAHM that is unhappy, and perhaps resentful. I certainly think it would be much better for them to have fulfilled, happy mother, even if her attention to them was somewhat more limited. Perhaps they will watch her go to school and gain some new respect (sounds like they need it) and learn about striving to reach goals and dreams. For pete's sake, she not abandoning her children, she's trying to get an education! And the attitudes of some women, not necessarily saying here in this thread, but rather more in general society, that a woman that does not or can not be a SAHM is selfish or materialistic, just burn my buns!!!! I hear daily from some of the women I work with, the absolute gut-wrenching guilt society has placed on them for working. It is awful!!! They are made to feel like bad mothers, bad people, and if their children interfere at all with their job, bad employees. Please continue to give your MIL the love and support that you do, she deserves to be happy too. By the way, I certainly don't qualify as a 20-something and I have three children of my own.
  7. by   CNS2008
    go mom!!
    if she has her childcare needs covered, i say go for it! my little ones are really proud to see me chasing my dreams, i think its a great model for them. balancing work/mothering/school is really really challenging, but so worth it in terms of not having my kids see me dragging myself to a job i hate. i also think that parents have somewhat of an advantage in nursing school in that we know about multitasking and prioritizing and find a way to get the work done. we really know how to stretch an hour of "mommy time". i think its more challenging for people who have more free time, and even possibly a social life...
  8. by   jkfraser
    I think she should do something for herself and let her family adjust. It will be worth it in the end, since she will be setting an example for her children. The example would be that if you have a dream/goal, you work hard and enlist the help and support of your family and friends and you get it done! Being in nursing school is not unlike working a full-time job, and many other mothers do that and everyone survives! Just frame it like it's job training for her future career.

    Hope this helps!
  9. by   twotrees2
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    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 classes and getting A's) but just needed my help getting acclimated to the whole college registration thing. Since I already graduated with my ASD I know all the ins and outs.
    Any-who, she is mother of 13 children. Not all still living at home: one 21yrs, one 18yrs, one 16yrs, one 15yrs, one 12yrs, one 10yrs, one 8yrs, and two 3yr old twins. The 21yr old, and two older children that are already out of the house (one including my husband) are upset and want her to quit school. They think that because she is spending some much time with school that she is not taking her responsibilities as a parent and is making others that are at home do them for her. (My husband mentioned something along the lines of his mother should just quit school and do her job as a parent) I am not sure how valid their arguments are. This is why: I understand that school is very hard and requires some sacrifices (when I was applying to the nursing program I was told that you better inform your family now that there will be some nights when cereal is all that will be for dinner). Being in the nursing program has resulted in my own absence so I am unable to observe the accusations myself. However, I know that my MIL has never worked and has been a stay at home mom up until now. She even home schooled all of the children until the twins were born and still home schools the 10yr old. I feel as though her family is being selfish now that she is trying to do something for herself (she wants to become a nurse so she can go to 3rd world countries and give people medical care), and due to the fact that they have never experience anything else...change is hard, especially one so big. I want to support her because, although I am not a mother myself, I know how hard school can be aside from everyday life. But what ever I say in her defense seems to fall on deaf ears.
    What do you think?
    is she married? if so there is no reason dad cant pick up the slack - if she is relying on the older kids to take care of the younger ( which by the way i figured out i was doing to my daughter - its easy to do without even realizing it - so i sent my daughter tolive with my ex where she coudl focus on her and not her brothers and found a different way to get boys taken care of ( let idiot hubby back in house - maybe not the wisest of choices but couldnt find a sitter and refused to use my daughter anymore.,....) perhpas she can look into getting daycare for the younger ones. even when we pay our older ones ( as i did my daughetr) it still tales away from thier childhood and makes it so much harder and i do belive that in that area i was at one tme lacking in my parenting - as for why she is going if that is the case with her wanting to o it to go to 3rd world countries i dont expect she will do taht anytime soon ( she has 3 yr olds i am sure she doesnt plan to take them with nor leave them behond) perhpas her families concerns are legit and maybe she shoudl wait to go to school for a bit - say till the 3 yr olds are in school. that gives her 12 yrs to get a degree to be able to travel abroad and help others ( unless as i sid she plans to pack off with the kidsor leave them behind then i guess now is best) . as for it being your MIL - i make it a rule for me that i will state my opinion - yes they value it and we are close but ultimately they are my inlaws not my parents so it really isnt my business to keep on arguing - if you cont to side with MIL openly like that you may find yourself in a sticky situation with the rest of the family - i guess for me i wouldnt want that - so as i said i will let them know what i think and leave it at that. they know how i feel and their family can deal with it as a family.
  10. by   twotrees2
    Quote from RNinJune2007
    I'm sorry, but I feel that this arguement is flawed. In families like that, these responsibilities (like diapering or bathing) are just like chores are in other families. The families that I have seen that do these things are HIGHLY disciplined, the children are so mature (but can still be kids) and well-behaved.

    When I have children, we will work together as a FAMILY on everything, including the care of the younger children if I have many (which I probably won't, but I completely respect the parents that do).

    It's unfair to say that the other kids (and usually the "kids" helping out are older teens who need this sort of responsibility anyway) are RAISING the children for the parents when they are simply helping out.
    not always true- having a hubby like hers who thinks he has no responsibility but say work when it comes to the household when i wouldl be out working that pushed the responsibility to the teens of the house- NOT just chores andhelping - that measn they are the ones raising the kids and that is just simply not fair to the teens. now - if dad were doing the brunt with mom off to school and teens helped yes ok - but that isnt what it sounds like here- sounds a lot like i went through so i sent my daughter to my ex so my hubby had no choice but to take care of his boys - wsant her job to do it and it does get abused in some families especially where dad thinkas he is all that.........
  11. by   Pilotboy
    Nursing is about taking care of others. That being said, she should start out by taking care of those who need her most; her children. She had them and should fulfill the responsibility of raising them and then go to school later on to do something for herself. If she didn't want to do the job of a mother, why did she become a mother? If she decides not to take on the responsibility of being a good mother and neglect her little children by going to school at this time, that would be a sad thing because her children would be the ones who would pay the price.
  12. by   Deliasgone
    How exactly is going to school equating with not wanting to be a mother? And where exactly is the job description of a mother? Does it mean that you are with your children 24/7 to cater to their every whim while negleting yourself (because that's just selfish and irresponsible )? What about moms who have to or want to work? And don't say they're bad mothers. Not all single moms set out to be that way and not all married moms desire to be with their kids at all hours with absolutely no breaks. I personally see no difference between working full time to support your family and gong to nursing school. Actually, I spend more time w/ my kids now that I quit my job to go to school. And as far as fulfilling a responsibility goes, what about dad? How come you aren't including him on the responsibilities of parenting? Or do you think that he did his job by creating the kids and now all he has to worry about is coming home to have his shoes removed by his kids with a piping hot dinner on the table?
  13. by   bethin
    Quote from jov
    No, I am saying she should not go to nursing school because she has LITTLE kids. And yes, she can wait until she's almost 50 if that is better timing. If she didn't want to wait to go to nursing school, why did she have the twins 3 years ago?
    Wait, if you're a nurse, mother to a three year old and your husband works, wouldn't you have to send your three year old to the sitters? So what's the difference if mom is going to school instead of work?

    Ever wake up one morning and decide to change your life? I think most people have. That's probably what happened or maybe she's had this dream all along and felt that now was the time to do it.

    Oh, and maybe the twins were accidents. It happens even with the best protection.

    If she's been a stay at home mom all these years it will be tough on the twins. But you don't want to spend your life coddling and hovering over your children up until they graduate. It makes for a scary seperation when it's time for college. Those twins will probably like the change in scenery.

    I think the family is being selfish but I also think that this is a personal choice and that what we think doesn't matter. It matters what mom thinks and wants.
    Carpe diem!
    Last edit by bethin on Nov 23, '06 : Reason: spelling error

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