Selfish family?Student Mothers please read!

  1. 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?
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  2. 139 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    she was not born a parent
    early 40s ain't dead yet

    she will need a lot of support..if she has the organization to run a large family she can make it
  4. by   Lisa CCU RN
    With that many children with that spread of ages, they should be able to manage without her being there 24/7.

    Yes, they are being selfish.

    I won't even get into why.
  5. by   locolorenzo22
    She will need the backbone to stand up and say "this is what I want". To always put the needs of everyone else above yours means that your desires are never met, and you spend the rest of life thinking what could have been. I believe a nursing dx for this would be "Role strain/conflict RT family dynamics AMB family expressing desire to have client's desires placed below theirs. "
    Just a thought. She'll need support and it's not easy. I PURPOSELY am waiting to have kids until I'm working, as I want to get done with main part of ADN, then move on to more schooling gradually. I want to do the same thing(the 3rd world country, doctors without borders idea really appeals to me.) Good luck to her and tell her to get her butt on here for some encouragement!!!
  6. by   australianrn
    she has 3 year old twins and she wants to go to a 3rd world country ?
  7. by   PedsRN&momto5girls
    You say she never worked before. Being a full time mom is the hardest work in the world. Maybe she wasn't employed though? (sorry I get hung up on people saying full time parents don't 'work'). Anyway.....yes I think her family is probably being selfish. Granted she does still have young children at home so she may need to take things a bit slower than some, but she should still be able to fulfill her dreams. Her hubby is probably just mad because he has to throw in a load of laundry once a week LOL!!! :-) We also homeschool. My husband owns his own business and he is with the children when I'm at school. He has employees so he does need to be at his office so he makes up his hours when I get home which has been CRAZY on our schedule, but we manage. I never get to study until after bedtime, but that's okay because I'm getting to live my dream! It's something I've wanted to do forever and it just works out for us. Okay, that turned into something about me LOL. Really though I think they just need to get adjusted and stop trying to make her feel guilty for doing something she feels called to do.

    Melissa mom to Kaylee 9/14/97, Megan 12/13/99, Chelsea 8/9/02, Hannah 6/3/03, Sarah Grace 4/23/05, & 4 Angels In Heaven
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    Why do people assume that because a mother is not there 24 hours a day she is neglecting her children? If that is the case, then I have sooooo lost the award for "Mother of the Year".

    A family is a team...whether the children like it or not. It teaches responsibility, it teaches them how to work together, and as my father always said (who came from a family of 8), "It's hard to be self-centered when you are in a large family and have responsibilities."

    She has teenagers still living at home that are more than capable of taking care of the twins, heating up a pre-cooked meal a couple of days a week. The kids not living at home really need to butt-out...they are way too young to understand that "MOM" sometimes needs to do things for herself and that doesn't go away when you have children.

    AMEN to that mother who has a TON on her plate and still taking on nursing school with GREAT SUCCESS! She should be an inspiration to every mother on this board....I have never met her and she is already an inspiration to me!

    Sidenote: WHOAH! I missed the 3rd world country part...no, when you have small kids and need to be ALIVE for them, that's too much of a risk.
    Last edit by BSNtobe2009 on Nov 17, '06
  9. by   jov
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    she is mother of 13 children. one 21yrs, one 18yrs, one 16yrs, one 15yrs, one 12yrs, one 10yrs, one 8yrs, and two 3yr old twins. The... 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 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.
    (she wants to become a nurse so she can go to 3rd world countries and give people medical care)

    What do you think?
    Well, this is JMHO:
    While her aspirations to become a nurse are very noble, you still just can't up and quit your "day job." When she signed on for 13 kids, it's not a temp position. I was raised in a relatively large family (6 kids) and have 2 kids of my own. My own observations are the larger the family, the more important it is that there is someone at the helm running it. Just getting lunches done and in the right backpack is a 30 minute deal.
    Not only that but developmentally 3 years old is a big time to have an available parent - and she has two of them! Even the 8 year old and 10 year old will require a lot of time for someone to listen and hug.
    Furthermore, I definitely don't agree with having her older kids raise her younger kids. I understand the concept of working together as a team but I would like to remind you that it wasn't the older kids idea to have 13 kids. It was the parents'. Therefore I don't agree that they should have to raise ANY kids. I have seen a lot of kids from big families (I went to a Catholic school LOL) really resent that because they fell #2 or #4, they spent their time changing diapers, giving baths, feeding and babysitting little ones who fell #11 and #12. If you HAVE the kids, it's up to you to RAISE the kids and not shove it off on the older ones like I see some parents do.
    Also having been raised in a large family, I think the most important job is lovin' those little ones. It's not the same to sit on big sister's lap for your bedtime story as it is for MOM, having mom cuddle you and whisper in your ear and cover you with kisses. That's a job that can't be outsourced and it's a crucial one as well.
    At this point in time, I think she should focus on the job at hand and stick with her responsibilities as a parent. If she waits 7 more years until the 3 year olds are 10, then it would probably be a better time to go to school.

    two more points:
    1) you don't have to be a nurse to go work in 3rd world countries. I know. I've done it.
    2) Age 47 isn't too old to go back to school. Also I know. I've done it.
  10. by   sister--*
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    Why do people assume that because a mother is not there 24 hours a day she is neglecting her children? If that is the case, then I have sooooo lost the award for "Mother of the Year".

    A family is a team...whether the children like it or not. It teaches responsibility, it teaches them how to work together, and as my father always said (who came from a family of 8), "It's hard to be self-centered when you are in a large family and have responsibilities."

    She has teenagers still living at home that are more than capable of taking care of the twins, heating up a pre-cooked meal a couple of days a week. The kids not living at home really need to butt-out...they are way too young to understand that "MOM" sometimes needs to do things for herself and that doesn't go away when you have children.

    AMEN to that mother who has a TON on her plate and still taking on nursing school with GREAT SUCCESS! She should be an inspiration to every mother on this board....I have never met her and she is already an inspiration to me!

    Sidenote: WHOAH! I missed the 3rd world country part...no, when you have small kids and need to be ALIVE for them, that's too much of a risk.

    I have to agree! There is nothing like learning to be a team by being a contributing member and having responsibilities toward the success of that team. IMHO: Learning this and doing this is the greatest and most important life-lesson that children can master. Yep, even if the "kids" learn it as adults.
  11. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from BSNtobe2009

    Sidenote: WHOAH! I missed the 3rd world country part...no, when you have small kids and need to be ALIVE for them, that's too much of a risk.
    The third world part is in her very distant future!!
  12. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from sister--*
    I have to agree! There is nothing like learning to be a team by being a contributing member and having responsibilities toward the success of that team. IMHO: Learning this and doing this is the greatest and most important life-lesson that children can master. Yep, even if the "kids" learn it as adults.
    Thanks! My generation (x) is to blame for trying to be SuperMom and trying to do it all...the fact is, you can't. Especially if you have alot of children.

    I have met several kids, and I'm sure we all have, over the years that came from large families...have you ever noticed how pleasant they were? How easy they are to get along with? That is because they didn't have a choice when they lived at home.

    I've been watching the new reality series on The Buggers, that is the woman that has 16 children...yup, she gave birth to every single one of them.

    Get this: They pay their own way with her husband's income, and they are DEBT FREE! The house they are featuring on the show they are building, they spent 3 years building it so they could pay cash for it as they went along, and it is beautiful!

    Her house is clean, and the children seem clean, well behaved, non-stressed and happy! When they were taking group pictures of the children, she had every one of those kids dressed and they were STILL, they sat down and were quiet...none of this screaming and running around crap.

    She's the bona-fide supermom.
  13. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    The third world part is in her very distant future!!
    I'm glad to hear that!
  14. by   melissasmom
    So the kids have to pitch in to help mom achieve her dream. They grumble and complain because they have to do some extra chores around the house. So what- that's what parenting is- teaching your kids to be responsible adults who know how to take care of themselves and others. My big question is where is the hubby in all of this. Doesn't he have some responsibility in taking care of the kids too!

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