Tips for dealing with 4 kids, a husband and a household during nursing school?

  1. I start an ADN program this fall, and have 4 young kids (9.5, 8, 6.5, & almost 3) a husband and a house to manage.

    I have been a stay at home mom for the last 10 years, and my husband does not help around the house - ever. I don't mind while I'm staying home, as I see the household household chores as my "job", and he works 50-60 hours a week. However, now that I will be in class/clinical's from 8-4 every day, plus homework....we need to figure something out. He is completely willing to step up and take on whatever is needed.

    If you have a family, how do you guys split all the day to day stuff? Like cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, carting kids to activities, etc... just make up a weekly list and each pick stuff you want to do? Everyone is assigned certain chores indefinitely (like I only do laundry and never dishes and he only does dishes and never laundry)?

    Hubby doesn't usually notice mess too much, so I don't feel like taking a "everyone just cleans whatever when they notice it need's to be done" approach will work.

    My kids do help clean, and each have several chores already, depending in their age.... so that helps some!

    I'm probably over thinking this, but I want the transition to go smoothly. My first few weeks of nursing school will be stressful enough without worrying that the house was going to shambles (I don't mind messy....but I do mind filthy, lol) or forgetting that the kids don't have clean school uniforms until 10minutes before we walk out the door.

    As for the kids school stuff - my dad will be watching them after school until either my husband or I are home. He will be doing homework with them.... any tips for staying on top of the notes that come home from school and either need attention or ensuring everything gets done, homework wise? So nothing gets missed for their school work/projects/field trips?

    I already do freezer meals and plan to stock the freezer the week before school starts, and give the house a good scrub down too. I'll probably stock pile the non perishable essentials too so that we only have to shop for perishables for a while.

    It's odd - I am not remotely worried about the academics. Only that my family will suffer!

    Thanks!
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    8 Comments

  3. by   NurseJane101214
    Since I am about the be in the exact same position as you, I stared a family binder of sorts. Inside is my calendar with important dates like doctor's appointments, etc. I have a cleaning schedule organized by importance such as school uniforms. My kids school calendars are laminated and when an important date comes up it goes on my fridge calendar. For household items that seem to be needed when its too late (think toilet paper or toothpaste) I plan on using Amazon Prime with subscriptions so I don't need to worry about it. Freezer meals that can be popped into the oven or crock pot are a must- I have a deep freezer for this reason. Daily or weekly activities for the kids such as sports or clubs are posted in calendar form on the fridge and I create events in my husbands Google calendar. Otherwise, I overlook the floor that needs to be vacuumed and see that at least one preferably two loads are laundry are washed daily. Good luck!
  4. by   ThatBigGuy
    I would highly suggest a weekly staff meeting between you and your husband. Go over who has what, and where, and which parent will be responsible for each thing on the list. You (and your family) will need to sacrifice many things for this to work. A weekly staff meeting will help you guys identify to what is and isn't working, and how you need to adjust.

    This will take time to get running smoothly, and will change every semester. Your devotion to your husband and your family needs to remain the priority over nursing school, and vice versa for him and his work. If you keep your family at the center and communicate, you will knock this out and be better for it in the long run. Many people have done this successfully, including myself and my family, and you can count yourself among that group in a few years.
  5. by   rn2bcareer111
    I am a mom of four and more than halfway done. I'm not gonna lie- it's hard! Managing a family and keeping up with school takes a lot of energy and devotion. That being said it is doable! There are ups and downs, I just posted looking for tips too because it's gotten more stressful but as the previous poster said before, husband and kids need to be priority. I am so glad I opened this post tonight because I think I needed to hear that reminder. It's so easy to be caught up in nursing school world but we have to remember our priorities!
    Something that has really helped me was hiring a cleaning lady. I took out student loans to help pay for it. She does the laundry and cleaning and it's a life saver.
  6. by   CFnDogs
    I don't personally have kids, but many of my cohort do. Several of them have mentioned a weekly cleaning service (or bi weekly even) to get the "bulk" of the cleaning done, and the rest is manageable for them and their spouse to do on weekends/during the week.

    Kudos to you. I only have a husband and two dogs and I struggled to find time. Luckily, my husband loves to cook and meal prep so I hardly ever have to worry about food to bring to school. Good luck!
  7. by   MyAimIsTrue
    Oh boy, good luck. Be prepared for your standards to drop considerably. I have 3 kids and a part-time job and am enrolled in a full-time nursing program. My husband has always done lots of chores, some cooking, lots of grocery shopping. So he didn't need to be trained, really. But when I'm in school, we don't eat home-cooked balanced meals every night, that's for sure. The house is messy. If I have early AM clinicals, he's the one who gets the kids to school. My kids are older than yours, so more independent, but they are still a bit neglected, I would say. I'm not trying to discourage you at all, but I think it's important to adjust your expectations. A household losing a SAHM is going to have to adjust to mess and chaos. My family is doing fine however, and yours probably will too.
  8. by   Pacific Nurse
    Oh boy, I feel you on that. You are not overthinking at all. I know from previous experience when I was doing the pre-reqs, I've always had fallen back with keeping up my home and taking care of my family. I don't want this to be repeated. I am also going to start this fall, and before I even knew I was accepted in the program I have set up routines to make them a habit by the time I start school. I only have two kids, but they are much younger and very needy. As for my husband, he is not going to step up to help other than driving my oldest to school, soccer practice, etc. My youngest will stay at home with my p-i-l, but my m-i-l will only do the cooking, I do not expect she will clean the house or do the laundry (at her house she has a full time maid). Since I have started with the routines I saw that my house has stayed pretty clean and I only dedicated little time every day, but routines have to be consistent otherwise things will pile up very quickly and before you know it there will be more to do.
    I have a morning routine of 15 minutes, in which I go through every bedroom make the bed and a quick pick up, then the bathrooms, where I do a quick wipe of counters, splatters on mirrors, swish and wipe the toilet. Usually it's not more than 5 minutes per bed/bath. I also make sure the dishwasher gets emptied in the morning, otherwise the sink gets full really quickly throughout the day.
    In my evening routine I clean up after dinner and I set a load of laundry in the washer overnight, then I dry it in the morning. As your kids are older you can certainly give them specific assignments for after dinner. For example, one child clears the table, second child loads the dishwasher, third sweeps the kitchen floor, husband packs lunches and throws the trash, you can wipe the stove and kitchen counters, and your youngest child can put toys away or whatever your household needs are. Usually this array of chores is just mine and takes me about 20 min and I do it right after dinner. I think being specific about their chores is key.
    As for keeping up the rest of my home I have set up a weekly schedule of only 10 min per day for that specific task. On Monday I change bed sheets and towels and I launder them. On Tuesday I purge mail and junk mail, boxes, etc, and empty all trash cans. On Wed I dust surfaces quickly with a Swiffer, I do not get into detail polishing my furniture. On Thu I vacuum and Fri I mop. I also do a load of laundry every day which I put in the washer in the evening right after dinner, dry it the next morning, then fold it and put it away before I go to bed. You can get your kids to help with that.
    It probably sounds like I am going to clean all the time, but my goal is to maintain the house decent and livable, not shiny and sparkling.
    As for meals I recommend you make a menu for 30 days with shopping list and all, and then repeat that every month for the remainder of the semester that way you will not stressed out when dinner time comes. If your family likes slow cooker food go ahead with that, it's going to save you a lot of time. Stock up on nonperishable as much as you can and household essentials because it will you save plenty of time later. You'd rather be home with the kids or studying than shopping for toilet paper.
    I also recommend you get a planner and write down everything before hand: appointments, menu, chores that need to be done, your children's school stuff, etc. I started one like that and I was able to plan my meals, birthdays, chores, appointments, and everything in between up till December when the semester will be over. That way I don't have to think about all that stuff later when I'm busy with school.
    I know I have blabbered a lot here, but I had same worries as you. I am glad you asked this question. I looked back at past experiences and I figured what I had to do in order to be better prepared. I don't want to neglect my family, but I also want to be invested in school because that's our future.
    I'm sure you will be able to plan and prepare for what is soon to come. If you start now, by the time school begins both you and your family will transition very easy. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  9. by   TriChick
    Have you checked to see if any of your local grocery stores do order pick up? I know many of them are starting to (including Walmart). For us, it's a lifesaver as I can meal plan, create a list as I'm going through meal recipes, submit the order, and it's ready for pick up later that day or the next day. I just pull up, call to let them know I'm there, and they load everything up very quickly. At first I felt lazy, but the second I realized I didn't have to battle a grocery store with a 5 year old and a 3 year old that feeling passed lol. It's been a great time saver for us! In addition, start using iCal or Google Calendar if you don't already. My husband and I keep a calendar that automatically syncs so the other parent can immediately see when we have added something. It helps to keep appointments from getting lost in the shuffle, and we always know what's on the other person's agenda for the day so we can plan accordingly.
  10. by   TriChick
    As for school forms and information, perhaps have a little hanging folder or mail holder and get the kids in the habit of placing any paperwork that comes home with them in that as soon as they get home? That way, you know exactly where to look when you come through the door. Pinterest has a TON of great ideas for "family command centers", it's a great way for everything to remain centrally located. They also have some great, easy to follow cleaning schedules that break home tasks down by day (Monday-downstairs bathroom wipe down, etc.) that are simple enough that even a husband and kiddos can follow

    P.S. I'm so happy you posted this! I'm started an accelerated direct-entry MSN program next month and have been almost OBSESSING over how to keep my home working like a well-oiled machine during the 16 months I'll be in school (and hopefully from then on out!)

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