RN School and Family Life

  1. 1
    Hi everyone. I am so confused on what to do right now it's not even funny. So here it goes!

    I have three kids ages 4, 2 and 1. For the most part they are good, but my 1 year old is the most challenging. He is getting ready to walk soon! My 2 year old has vesicoureteral reflux of her kidneys so I am expecting surgery for her sometimes in the future. My 4 year old has strabismus and sees her eye doctor usually every 2-3 months and will be getting another surgery here soon too. So as you can see, our plates are mighty full!

    Since 2008, I have wanted to go back to school for nursing (this is when my first was born). My hubby said that I could as long as I worked on top of it. Well at this time, I was working 40 hours a week. So I told him I couldn't if I had to still work. Baby #2 came in 2010 so I wanted to go back again and again opted out because now I had 2 children to care for and I was working around 30 hours a week. Baby #3 came in 2011 (wasn't planned) and wanted to start in Spring 2012, but I was forced to quit my job so now I am a stay at home mom. I am happy to be home because my kids are hardly sick and I get the added bonus of spending time with them.

    Now that I am 27 years old and I am not getting younger, so many people have told me different things. I was told to go now while the kids are young that way they don't remember it and then you can enjoy them more when they get older. I have been told another to wait and go when they are older that way you don't have to feel guilty of losing time with them while they are young and you will have better study times.

    I am enrolled to go this Fall 2012 but I have at least 4 classes to pass before being on the waiting list. Then I have to be on the list for 1 year and I will be able to do clinicals. I have been told the easiest is to take the clinicals by themselves since they are so difficult!

    I know the house will not be the cleanest and the laundry will pile up, but that I can sacrifice. I am more scared if one of the children gets sick and I have to go to class for a few hours. My husband works nights right now but he will be on days hopefully within the next year or so. Last year, our children were so sick from stomach flus and we were hit with 2 respiratory flus and RSV. It was aweful! I cannot imagine surviving this while in school. Now that the kids are not in daycare nor a babysitter, they have been very healthy. I am hoping that the 4 months I have had them has helped build up their immunity a little bit.

    I know that our school has a zero tolerance policy on tardiness and absences. I don't think you can miss more than 1 day. Now when I get into clinicals, since the kids will be older, I am hoping it will be better. I am expecting that my pre requisites will take me around 2 years or more. I am very fortunate that my college is only 2 mins from my house and this is the main reason why I felt now is the time to go back. Aside from the fact I have no college degree and I really love helping people. I am not in nursing for the money. If I was, I wouldn't go into it because nurses go through hell and they should deserve a better paycheck. My concern lies on my children. Since I won't spend as much time with them, I feel guilty. Then I don't know how I will get studying time in. I can study after the kids are in bed, but they aren't normally in bed until 9pm at the latest. This gives me only about 2 hours of studying time. Now, my 2 and 1 year olds still take naps so I understand I can study during this time, but it is very rare if they nap at the same time. I can study with my two oldest around because normally they are well behaved. Then another thing I have to worry about is getting my oldest ready for kindergarden. She is starting in 2013 and I want to be sure she is ready. Plus my 2 year old needs to start learning things too. My goal was to get crafts for them and learning tools so that they are learning things. But how do I expect to fix breakfast/lunch/dinner, teach my kids, study, do homework, etc.? My parents can help out on the weekends, but during the week is the help I need. Without me working, my hubby works 6-7 days a week and sometimes it is hard to make the house payment (over $1,000/month). I have tried finding a sitter to come to the house but most of the people way overcharge or they want a Mon-Fri job. I can only give them about 3 days a week if that.

    Can someone please give me some insight here? I am confused. Should I just go now and start getting the classes out of the way or should I stay home and wait until my kids are older and hopefully we are out of the woods for surgeries? PLEASE HELP ME!
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    Ok, I'm going to admit that after reading for awhile I started to just scan, because your post reads pretty much like dozens (and I do mean dozens) of others who have young children and are considering nursing school or going to nursing school now. I don't mean to offend, but your situation is far from unique.

    Many MANY people juggle young children/older children while going to school, myself included. Frankly, because so many people think of nursing as a later-start career (because they were laid off from another industry, because their first degree is useless, etc etc) it's as common as dirt.

    The bottom line is this: what do you want to do, will it improve your family/home life by doing it (at least in the long run)? If it means going to school, then you WILL FIGURE IT OUT.

    What do you do when one of the kids is sick? Better have a backup plan, because you're right: you will NOT be missing classes and/or clinicals because of it. School vacations, holidays, snow days....always have a strong backup, because you WILL NEED IT.

    Sometimes we know what our kids need medically ahead of time. Sometimes not. You know your husband will not be available much; do you have a strong network to pull from? If yes, school is an option. If no....it really isn't.

    If you are dedicated to the desired outcome (becoming a nurse), then the rest is just scheduling. Guilt? If you're an unhappy woman who will always regret not returning to school, believe me this won't impress your kids later on down the road. A happy mother is a better one, IMHO.

    Now, if you're the type who will put school on the backburner because of glitches (snow days, sick days, etc etc etc), it won't matter that you "want to help people"...you won't succeed in school.

    Decide what your goal is, and GO for it.
  5. 1
    I agree, that many people are struggling out there. I have a family and work full time and I am doing my pre - nursing. My husband is also back in college, as he wants to become a nurse also. We are busy and we have a 2 year old. We are just determined to not give up. And though we may struggle now, the future will be worth it. Keep your head up and if you want it bad enough you will achieve it.
    Liamsmama likes this.
  6. 0
    Please keep the responses coming. I want the truth and appreciate all of your honesty. I am currently in route of finding someone that will take the kids while they are sick. I have a very reliable person to watch the kids but it is at her home and I would rather have someone come to the house so that way I do not have to worry about going and dropping the kids off. Plus the added "if the kids get sick". That is my biggest dilemma right now.
  7. 2
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Ok, I'm going to admit that after reading for awhile I started to just scan, because your post reads pretty much like dozens (and I do mean dozens) of others who have young children and are considering nursing school or going to nursing school now. I don't mean to offend, but your situation is far from unique.

    Many MANY people juggle young children/older children while going to school, myself included. Frankly, because so many people think of nursing as a later-start career (because they were laid off from another industry, because their first degree is useless, etc etc) it's as common as dirt.

    The bottom line is this: what do you want to do, will it improve your family/home life by doing it (at least in the long run)? If it means going to school, then you WILL FIGURE IT OUT.

    What do you do when one of the kids is sick? Better have a backup plan, because you're right: you will NOT be missing classes and/or clinicals because of it. School vacations, holidays, snow days....always have a strong backup, because you WILL NEED IT.

    Sometimes we know what our kids need medically ahead of time. Sometimes not. You know your husband will not be available much; do you have a strong network to pull from? If yes, school is an option. If no....it really isn't.

    If you are dedicated to the desired outcome (becoming a nurse), then the rest is just scheduling. Guilt? If you're an unhappy woman who will always regret not returning to school, believe me this won't impress your kids later on down the road. A happy mother is a better one, IMHO.

    Now, if you're the type who will put school on the backburner because of glitches (snow days, sick days, etc etc etc), it won't matter that you "want to help people"...you won't succeed in school.

    Decide what your goal is, and GO for it.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I certainly concur.
    Fearless_leader and RNsRWe like this.
  8. 0
    I am also going to school with small children, (Boys, 6 & 2.5) Luckily, my oldest is in school so that does help. Right now I'm only going 2 days a week and my youngest is in daycare on campus with me. I will, hopefully, be starting nursing school in Jan. and will have to find other arrangements for him since the campus I'll be attending doesn't have child care. "What is one of them is sick" is always in the back of my mind, but to be honest you have to take that chance if nursing is something you really want to do. Nursing school takes a lot of time, energy, devotion etc. and if you really want to do it and do it well then you have to let go of all of the what ifs. I've decided that I DO want to do this and I will just deal with the emergency situations as they come (if they come!). When I first went back to college in 2010 I moved up the kids bedtime to 7:30-8. It had to be done to make sure I had adequate study time and could still get into bed at a decent hour. It's works very well now because they are used to it and my oldest has to get up pretty early to catch the bus anyway. When I decided to go back to school I had to make sacrifices...child care arrangements, time away from them (at school or studying), etc. I had to learn to schedule and separate my time to make sure I could get everything done, including family time! But, this is something that I really want for myself and also for my kids so I look at it like a sacrifice now with good things to come in the future! I say if you REALLY want this then find a way to do it and let go of the what ifs!
  9. 2
    Start with baby steps if you have to! If you haven't even begun your pre-reqs yet, you have a while before you would need to sweat that kind of stuff (it is not the end of the world if you miss a pre-req class for a sick kid, like it would be in NS) ....Talk to an adviser and get going on those classes!! Many of them are offered online/hybrid/nights. Start with that and quit worrying about the rest! You sound so much like myself this time last year! I hope to start NS in fall of 2013, and I worried so much about how I would do it all.. (money, childcare, working, etc..) But I just set my goal, and got going, and everything DID fall into place (well so far, anyway. Just do SOMETHING and everything else will fall into place if it is meant to be, girl! I agree that you will need to have a strong backup plan if possible. But really, if you can take a chunk of your pre-reqs online or when someone is available to watch your children, then you have a while to be coming up with other plans once nursing school comes into the picture. (Your post was really long, so If I missed something...lol, I am sorry!) Just know that there are tons and tons of moms just like yourself getting through nursing school. If you really want it, and are willing to sacrifice and work for it...you will have it!!! Don't beat yourself up about your family, like everyone else says, this journey is only temporary and you AND your family will benefit greatly from your hard work!! I wish you the very best of luck in all that comes your way!!
    carakristin1 and studybudy12 like this.
  10. 2
    I'll put in my 2 cents ....

    I have a 12 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. They are the light in my eyes! So is my wonderful hubby. I've been working on my pre-req's for about 2 years. One class at a time, during the day. Yes, it is took a loooonnnng time....but I wanted to get A's as well as be able to be here for the kids if they get sick (one class = about 2 days a week for an hour and a half, not including lab time). i am turning 48 in October....sometimes I wonder how old I will actually be by the time I am ready to work as an RN.

    Anyway...I am starting my 2nd semester of NS on Aug 30th at night. Yes, I miss a lot of the kids afterschool activities (mostly just the taxi duties and homework....not so bad in retrospect ) Last semester I was able to tuck the kids in at night probably 6 nights of the week. I am home studying while they are at school (able to pick them up from school if they get sick...I was even my son's class mom). When I get home late and they are asleep I sneak in and give them kisses and hugs. (usually they don't even wake up but it makes me feel better).

    I'll be honest....I don't like going at night but I felt that I had no choice...my kids are up later at night now that they are older so realistically I would only be able to get about an hour of proper studying after they go to bed (without waking up with the textbook covered in drool!!). Weekends are for the family (unless I have an exam coming up - which seems like ALWAYS!). I don't get to have "date nights" with my husband since he works most weekends (he's a fire fighter so shiftwork is a must...). The only way this works is that my hubby is hugely supportive....I have a wonderful mother-in-law about 6 minutes from my house if I run into trouble as well as a friend that has kids the same ages as mine (lots of playdates). She works, so if her kids get sick, I pick them up from school and if I need a hand she reciprocates.

    I guess my point is....maybe take the slow road - one class at a time. Look at all options (nights works really well for parents in my program) Does your school offer an evening program? I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do this nursing school thing. As long as you do it, right? Things tend to fall into place (well everything but the laundry and toys....I no longer get aggravated at the dust bunnies - i just give them names and consider them part of the family).

    Good luck Sweetie....
    carakristin1 and studybudy12 like this.
  11. 2
    I have wanted to be a Nurse since I was 13 (I am now 52). Due to life getting in the way I am just now in my 2nd semester of Clinicals. It is a full time job. My son just turned 19. I did my pre-reqs when he was young while working a full time job and I regret the time away from him. I am going to go way off the wall here and recommend that you stay home with those babies for a while. You will not regret one minute of time that you spend with them when you are done. Take some classes here and there if you can work it out with your husband but don't take the time away from your babies. They are more important than anything else in this life. The rest can wait.
    gkash and cheri1859 like this.
  12. 0
    I am a mother of three and taking pre requisites now. My kids are 9, 7, and 4.
    I took A&P I and II and nutrition this summer. It is very very hard to juggle house, child care and studying. I could not have done it without the help of my husband. My mother has pitched too. I suggest you don't take more than two classes a semester and try to balance them out in a way that they're not both hard classes.
    It is, however, doable. I managed I finish both with As, of course I have had no life outside of studying and the kids. Every spare minute I tried to be with them and the rest I studied all the time.
    Your kids are at a tough age too, they get sick so often when they're little. It gets better, that's or sure.
    Good luck!


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