guilt, kids and school is there truly a way to balance it?

Students LPN/LVN Students


hi all! i am having a huge issue.i am due to start LPN school in august. i have 3 kids 6,3,and 2 yrs old. i have gotten everything worked out with childcare and all but i have never had to put my kids in any kind of care. i have also been home with them for the most part except for working parttime on the weekends. so i started CNA class this week which is 3 days a week all day and i already feel like i am missing so already :crying2:! i know actual nursing school is going to be 100 times more intense than this class i am taking now and i will be away from them all day and then be studing all night. i just don't know how to get over this feeling of guilt and like i'm missing out on so much. i want to become a nurse so bad i have for many yrs now. i need to do this for me and my family. i thought it would be easier while they were little but, now i'm really second guessing my self and i don't know what to do. i've tried to talk to my husband but he just doesn't understand why i'm feeling like this since i'm getting everything i've wanted. so have any of you felt the same way, how did you get over these feeling and balance being away alot and still having that connection with you kids?? any advice helpful and greatly appriated. thanks !


825 Posts

I put my son into daycare so I can work full time and still finish pre-reqs for nursing school in the evenings and the weekend. I cried the first day I dropped him off at daycare (he was only 3 months old) and still feel sad a little bit to drop him off every morning. I have someone great to watch him though and it makes me feel better that he is happy every day I pick him up (he's now 2 1/2). In the mornings he can't wait to go play with his friends, which tells me I have him in the right place. I will tell you that it's very hard for us as parents, especially the first few times you leave them, but just know that it's harder for you then it is for them. Your kids are older too, so they should understand a little more why you need to study. I might also try and take an evening off from studying and spend with your kids. Friday night, my son and I have "date" night where we get a pizza or chinese and rent a movie to watch. We set up the living room like a campground and snuggle under the covers. He usually falls asleep and then I will pull the books out and study (while still laying next to him, of course!). He looks forward to date night because he knows that it will be strictly his quality time with me and I look forward to my quality time with him. Good luck and know that school won't last forever. When it's over, hopefully you can work a job where you will be able to spend that quality time with your kids! It's better for you and them in the long run!

Missy 424

22 Posts

I am getting these same feelings. I start Nursing School in August plus go back to work in August. I currently work in a high school in the special education department-tutoring.

The thing I am most worried about is the guilt I will have from not being able to see my son as much as I do now. He is only 14 months old.

He started going to daycare when he was 5 months old. The place I bring him is really nice...theres only a handful of kids and they are all children of teachers in my town. One of the boys is one month younger than he is and started going the same time my son did (last August). The other two girls there are 7 months older than my son (the same age as my neice). Its jsut a really nice setting. And its great that they are all about the same age and growing up together. I love that he gets to interact with other kids 4 days a week.

I hear people saying that waited until their kids were older to go back to school...saying that they wish they did it when the kids were younger. Some people feel the older they get the more needier they are of you being home and giving them attention. I can see how that is true.

Best of luck to you this year ! :) My program is only 10 months so lets hope I get through it without feeling too guilty. And at least my son will have his dad with him everynight! (Gotta love a bankers hours!) It takes a little of the guilt away.


208 Posts

Hi Butterfly! Honestly if you have someone that can take care of your kids and keep them safe, even if its a daycare. NOW is the best time to go. They will not remember this. Do you remember what happened when you were 2? lol.. Even if they miss you and whine sometimes, having a flexible schedule in the future to attend your kids soccer games and programs at school is worth this few years right now. If this is what you want to do, my advice would be not to delay. It is really not as bad as you think.


177 Posts

thank you guys so much for the response! i really needed to hear that advice from people who understand . about the remembering things when your little that was my whole justification for doing it now and not waiting because thats just it i don't remember anything from when i was 2! so i thought i get it done know and they won't know any different.and the date night is such a good idea. i think i am just letting fear of the unknown get the best of me. thanks again. butterfly


13 Posts

so here's the thing - i was talked out of nursing school by my mom and my then-mother-in-law when my first two sons were little... "so much school and clinicals..." now that they are late teens, i know and can tell you that the older they get, the more they need you. they need you there for advice and to just know who they are - teenage years are fun but critical at staying involved with them - so going to school while they are little, as long as you make specific time for them, will be 10,000 times easier! there is no guilt to be a happy mom, showing her kids how to go after your dreams! best wishes!!


73 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

I was a homeschooling, stay at home mom of two. Then My husband left me (high and dry, no spousal or child support). I still feel tremendous guilt at times. But my kids have adjusted, and they are very happy to have time away from me. Both are in public school (my 10 year old is living with my mom until August), and my son goes to Boys and Girls Club every day after school.

I do feel bad that we don't get to go to the beach or the park as much, but we have to deal with reality. I was in a horrendously bad marriage. Now I am in a relationship with a wonderful man, who my kids adore. And now they truly appreciate me and our (limited) time together.


73 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

I wanted to edit my above post, but couldn't figure out how to do it. I was thinking about all the missed oportunities I had, and how I wished I had gone back to school when my kids were young.

We can never tell what will happen in the future. I had a bad marriage, but I thought I could handle it "for the sake of my kids." I was really just scared and unwilling to give up the few good things about staying home. But there was one incident with my husband (he had a psychotic break after messing up his medication) that I look back on, and I realize now that I should have just left. My son was a newborn, my daughter was only 4 and a Type 1 Diabetic. If I had left then, had him deported (he is a British national, never became a citizen) then I could have gone back to school 6 years ago and I wouldn't be struggling now.

My point (and I do have one) is that you need to take the opportunities you have, while your kids are young. I thought my kids would be just devastated, being away from me for the first time. But they love it! It does them so much good to be around other adults, other children. I realize mine are older, but they do adjust and adapt to different situations, much better than we do. And they have so much more respect for me.

So go for it! It may be very, very hard at times. But you won't regret it.


54 Posts


I'm feeling the same guilt with our kids. Have you started your RN program and how is it now? I'm stressed about paying for child care while i pay to go to school. It's going to be an expensive two years. I loved reading the comments from the other posts, saying it's best in the long run. Still, it's scary.


3 Posts

I went from being a stay at home mom to a full time student too. I treat school as a 8-4 job. I drop the kids off at 8:00 (regardless of when classes start) and spend every second studying and reading. When I get the kids from daycare I spend 100% of that time with them. After bed, I hit the books again. I know it is hard but so far we've managed to make it work (but it's only been 3 weeks).

Oh, I'm in class with a few older mommies (kids in grade school) and they saw they wish they would have gone to school when their kids were younger. They have busy schedules (sports, school, friends etc) and find the balance much harder.

Find a balance and you'll be just fine!


32 Posts

Specializes in Ob.

I just started clinicals too and have been so worried about feeling like my kids need me at home. I have two boys my oldest is almost 3 and my youngest is just 7 months. I was a sahm and a part time student until now, so I've felt guilty because I won't be able to see all of my baby's first moments, and just really be there every second like I was with my 3yr old. But I also figure it's better to do now and by the time they are older and in school and look back, they'll think I've always been a nurse, lol. They won't remember this time much. I'm in week 6 and they've adjusted very well, I have a good support system too, my dh helps alot and takes over wth the kids on the weekends and in the mornings so I can study, then when I'm in class and he's working my mother comes over and babysits. They love it so it all works out well and I know they are in good hands. My mil also comes one night a week so that I can study while she watches the boys. It's already been pretty tough, but it's going pretty well. I already can't wait to be done though. lol. Just remember, by the time you really need to be there 24/7 you'll be able to be, just think when they get bigger there are alot more activities like sports and things to be there for and so now is the time, mama!! Good luck!

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

One of the ways I think you can deal with guilt is knowing that at the end of the rainbow, a better life may be in store. Many of us, unfortunately, don't plan to go to school first before we settle down with husbands and children, thus, have to squeeze education in between child-rearing.

If you have a supportive family or a situation where you can entrust the care of your children, it can help alleviate some of the stress, but also, learn to cheer yourself on! It is a challenge to go to nursing school, work, be a mother and/or wife. Keep the faces of your children with you...knowing that you are setting the right example for them to follow in their later years. And, best of luck to everyone!

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