Quote from higirl1995
hi! i am a 31 year old single parent of a 5 year old son. i have been looking into joining the air force but concerned about child care and raising a child so young on my own while in the military. i will be seeing a recruiter, but would like some feedback about being a single parent in the military would be like. i currently have a bsn and has 6 years of icu experience and would like to attend a crna program in the air force.
1. are there many resources for single parents?
2. how would work schedules be like? night shift or days?
3. do you work over 40 hrs a week in the hospital setting?
4. child care?
5. education and activities for children?
any single parents out there in the military? how do you do it? balancing family and military duties. any feedback or suggestiobs would be informative. thank you!
am i making a good decision by entering into the military with a young child?
i was in the af for 10 years...got out 3 years ago. i don't have kids but i'll tell you what i know...
you will first have to understand that the af's needs come first. not your needs, not your childs needs, only the af's needs. your work schedule will be whatever works for the af. your shifts will depend on where you're stationed...at a hospital or clinic or whatever. if you're not working 12s, you'll work about 10 hours/day monday-friday. work usually starts around 7-7:30 and ends 4:30-5 plus pt before or after work. if you work 12s, the schedule is typically: on mon, tue; off wed, thu; on fri, sat, sun, off mon, tue; on wed, thu; off fri, sat, sun. everyone rotates through nights; typically 3-6 month rotations. if there's an exercise (play war), you will work as many 12s in a row as it takes to get through the exercise (everyone usually works 12s in an exercise). exercises are usually 4 times a year and typically last 3-4 days. if you are short staffed, you will work as many 12s as it takes to cover the schedule. when i was in the er, it wasn't unusual to work 206 hours a month. no one calls in sick...like ever...there is no float pool so if you call off, one of your coworkers is coming in and they're not going to be happy about it. i've seen people wheeling their iv poles around at work! remember...the af's needs come first.
as a single parent (really all parents), you'll have to have a dependent care plan, which basically outlines what you're going to do with your child when
you get deployed. count on being deployed for 4-6 months once every 15 months. it's very unlikely it will happen that often...in fact i didn't know a single nurse that deployed that often. but if you prepare yourself for that, then the one deployement every 4-5 years won't seem so bad.
base schools and day care are awesome. the day cares ("child development centers") open early and stay open late for military parents. i think they're reasonably priced and sliding scale based on your pay. if i remember right, there can be wait lists to get in. there are usually lots of activities for kids. i think the af is great at trying to keep families happy.
i don't know what to tell you about crna school. that would rock
if you could get in to the mil crna school as it is one of the top rated. i just don't know how it would work out with your child. it depends on how the military views the school assignment-wise and whether they'll authorize dependent travel. i would definitely do more research on the likelihood of getting into the school though. i'm sure you have excellent grades and experience and you've heard how competitive everything is. it's just that in the military, there are other variables...like how interested your commander is in you going to the program. if your valuable to the hospital, they can be short-sighted and hold you back from your own goals. what did i say?...the af's needs come first.
your experience will totally depend on where you get stationed and what your leadership is like. i had some amazing experiences and some really crappy ones. i have days where i fantasize about going back in and days where i am so thankful that i don't have to deal with some of the b.s. (my husband is still active duty).
super good luck! do your research before you sign anything!