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horrendously long post... read if you dare (and if you have time?)

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jaysmom jaysmom (New) New

Specializes in Late stage Alzhiemer's in LTC setting..

Ok, this is pretty personal, but no one here knows who I am so here goes! I need any advice anyone has on juggling a full time family and full time nursing school. I get all A's and B+'s in school, I love clinical, I have made a few great friends in nursing school. Bottom line is that I've found my niche and I am going to be very fulfilled with my career as a nurse. I was a single mom for 8 years, my son's father was very unsupportive and then went to prison when my son was about 3 as well as my mother (long story, no good outcome). I new I always wanted to be a nurse but saw no way to accomplish my goal in any "traditional" way. I also had to find a way to be everything to my son that he needed and not deprive him of ANYTHING because of poor choices I had made or goals I had. I became a topless dancer. I accomplished some of my college prereqs towards my RN and met a wonderful, but difficult man who was tolerant of my independence. Long story short... RN classes are getting very difficult to get into and I am getting older. Gravity is going to take it's toll sooner or later and my wonderful man is growing less tolerant. We moved in together 2 years ago and in August I began a full time LPN program. He has been financially supporting my child and I ever since, but I still dance once or twice a week on the weekends to have money to help do what I need to with school expenses and my son. This is the only alternative I can come up with right now and I've been doing it for 7 years now. I guess it's my safety net. We aren't married, and he has no interest in EVER getting married. I won't push this because finding true love is so rare, why mess it up over technicalities right? Even though he supports me financially he gets so angry that I spend so much time on my school work. I am fascinated with everything I am learning and I know that slacking could be a matter of life and death someday. I've actually had the luxury of witnessing nurses make poor choices in the clinical setting and I often wonder if they were "slackers" in school only scraping by with the bare minimum of 75 to pass! He actually gets angry with me for doing school work and studying until 11pm. Sometimes it's later I'll admit, but I've been cutting back and attempting to make more time for him. He seems to just be jealous all around. He purposely falls asleep early on me and then wakes up after I fall asleep. This is just during the school week. On the weekends he is angry if I go to work. Mind you I work for 3 hours (that's with a 2 hours of total travel time back and forth) and come home with between $300-400. I cook homemade dinners at least once a week if not twice, on weekends I started a garden with his 6 year old to keep her busy. Did I mention that he has 3 kids??? They don't live with us but the 2 girls ages 6 & 11 come on weekends and actually the 17 year old boy lives with us when he comes home from his cousins house next door! Well my 10 year old son does live with us full time but I try to find activities to keep the kids busy on the weekends, feed the kids and all their friends, clean after all the kids, and keep up with the housework as best as I can. No matter what I feel like I can't win. I refuse to quit school, and I've tried to quit my job and work as a waitress, but still they were angry. I was away from home more often, had less money, the housework was never done, and none of us were happy at all. I think if I get my CNA license and do that full time I will be burnt out before I even get my LPN license. God bless all the CNA's out there... with 2 patients at clinical I am beat. I would feel so anxiety ridden if I could only give some care to my patients because I had 10 others to wake up and get to breakfast in an hour. Plus the fact that I wouldn't be making much, and I would have to work 40 hours to make what I can make in 3 putting me away from my family and once again making them mad at me. I've pretty much been a multi-tasker and a quick thinker all my life. I've been on my own since I was 15 and I know how to survive. Survival and happiness don't always go hand in hand however. I just keep telling myself that an end is in sight (January 2010) at least for the LPN program. My prereqs will most likely expire for the RN program if I don't bridge right in but I'm willing to make that sacrifice to keep my family happy. I will hopefully have the opportunity to go back for my RN in the future when my son is a little older and my man is a little less "needy". I think they will all just totally rebel if I continue my nursing education past January right now. I actually thought that I would hate geriatrics. I wanted to ultimately become an OR nurse. After my second week of clinical I found that I fell in love with geriatrics so my OR nurse dream can wait. I can fulfill my need for gore with wound care, plenty of that in most settings as a LPN and as I said, I love those little old people. I just don't know how to hold my family together in the mean time. At the beginning of our LPN program our instructors warned us that this intense 18 month program has been known to destroy marriages, finances, and lives. How eerily true that was. What they failed to mention was if the families ever recovered after the program. When the students graduated did the stress disappear? Were the white flags of peace drawn at home? Do you reach the finish line only to find yourself celebrating alone? How can one person be everything to everyone or just everything they want to be? I guess it's no wonder I'm being treated for chronic headaches and migraines since September! I don't know if anyone has any advice, has been there, done that, lived to tell the story (with a happy ending please!!!). Maybe not, or maybe this horrendously long post will help another mom/student feel not so alone. If you read this far, thanks for the listening eyes! Good luck everyone! :imbar

NurseLoveJoy88, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

I read you post and I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. First things first: Dump the " wonderful" boyfriend. He doesn't seem to support your schooling and I question how wonderful he his. Just because he can help out financially does not make him a good man.

The dancing. Who am I to judge ? However, you should be able to get you cna after the first nursing course so that way you'll get money and experience. I'm sure it won't be as much as dancing but it'll be something.

All I can tell you is keep your eyes on the prize and don't give up on your dream.

I agree with the pp. True love would understand your need for self fulfillment and achieving your dream of nursing. I'm not judging on the dancing however if you continue with your schooling and get your degree, your choice of career is a much more stable one. Even you admit that you can't dance forever (gravity etc)

Second ... honey, I don't know you but you need to start considering YOURSELF in your decisions or you'll have alot of resentment and regret later down the road. It's good to keep your family in mind, their happiness, peace well being etc but not at the complete sacrifice of yourself. You need to find that balance. No one can tell you where that is -- it's up to you to find it.

Best of luck to you.

psalm, RN

Specializes in Staff nurse.

I would really consider a different job now, no matter how well the dancing pays. How will it look on your resume? And I don't mean that as a prude, just ask Miss California, who posed in her underwear.

How will you handle patients who have seen you dancing? An hour away isn't all that much these days, there's a good chance someone from your past, a "regular" perhaps, will be your patient.

And ditto on the boyfriend. Do you really need him now? Is he sabotaging you? It takes commitment from everyone in the family to survive school successfully.

What about scholarships? Loans? Borrow from family? Sell items? Downsize where you live?

Many are rooting for you and praying for you to get there and sanely. Hugs.

Edited by psalm

I think if you enjoy it, it's worth the effort. The dancing, it's your call, but as others have said "Ditch the boyfriend" and focus on school and the son. Trust me...I was in a 5 year relationship, and it didn't survive nursing school. And it's okay cause I'll be a nurse! So hold strong and be there for your son...no matter how you have to support him...

jollydogg_RN, ADN, BSN

Specializes in OR. Has 12 years experience.

i dont see how old you are in the post, but obviously you are a non-traditional student.

can you not get loans or talk to anyone in the admin of the LPN program about lesser known scholarships and loans?

My dad was attending LPN school in Mississippi, and he ended up having financial hardships. he talked to the dean, and they ended up paying for his tuition, paying for his board, and books. i mean i dunno, it never hurts to ask.

im sure with your driven attitude you WILL find something!

and i agree with the previous posters: it sounds like you have such a drive, but this guy is holding you back. just have a sit down and serious talk with him if you are bent on staying with him. it sounds like you are being pulled in too many directions at once.

NoviceRN10

Has 5 years experience.

How do I handle my home, husband, and four young kids and nursing school? I have an awesome, supportive, encouraging, helpful spouse! Your guy doesn't sound so wonderful to me, what are you getting out of it besides room and board?

melmarie23, MSN, RN

Specializes in L&D/Maternity nursing.

This guy seems like a real jerk for lack of a better term. If he really loved you, he would support you, and your dreams and your aspirations to do better for yourself and your family. The fact that he is "jealous" of your schooling is absurd. He is an insecure douche, and my dear without knowing your personally, I can tell you deserve way better.

My first piece of advice would be to dump him. My second would be to go down to your school's financial aid department and talk to them about your situation and what scholarships and loans out there are available for you to apply for.

Please take the time and reflect upon on what YOU want and what YOU need. This guy sounds like the pits.

yes, dump the douche. (that might get starred out, Im not sure if that word is allowed? But really.. would you be with him if he didnt support you and your son??? Im guessing not.. And I hate to be blunt, but you dont mean anything to him. Dont give him the benefit of the doubt, if hes not ready to marry you now, he never will be. If he allows you to go dance topless for other men, hes not a man himself. Im sorry, but he sounds like a really bad apple. I dont judge you for how you make money, I really dont.. I can tell you want better for yourself, and thats something to be admired.

And my take on the whole.. "nursing school destroys relationships".. well quite frankly, if it does, that relationship was obviously not that strong to begin with. Ive been in nursing school for 2 years.. On top of it, during that time, my boyfriend went through the fire academy, paramedic school and now he is on probation (training) with the fire department.. talk about stressors!..but our relationship is stronger than ever...

Good Luck with everything.. nursing school is stressful, but you can get through it with hardwork and determination!!

Let me just say this...I came home from studying for final exams until 2 am (with the younger kids!), my husband rolled over, asked me to cuddle up and said "I miss you." When someone actually loves and supports you they don't make demands, they make accomodations. I've said before, when I have no energy, no motivation, and no life, my husband does my laundry for clinicals, he gets dinner (okay he won't cook...noone's perfect). It's not that they don't WANT you there, it's that they understand that in the end it's for the greater good of the family. Now my husband is nagging me because finals are over, and he wants to go out with me...so I guess I better finish this post:loveya:

funvirgoRN

Specializes in pediatrics. Has 12 years experience.

Sorry to say but this guy does not want to see you succeed, he will continue to bring you down. Get rid of him and focus on making a better life for you and your son. Also since your goal is to become an RN, I would suggest getting into a program before your prereqs expire. As an RN you will have more opportunities than you could as an LPN. Things may be hard for awhile but its worth it.

jaysmom

Specializes in Late stage Alzhiemer's in LTC setting..

Thank you everyone, after another night of bad attitude I decided that I am going to try one last time to make this work at home. I am sending out my CNA application tomorrow and getting that certificate. Money for school isn't the issue right now, I have financial aid but living and being able to afford living on my own with my son while in full time school is almost impossible. I have no family and no support system at all. My son's father is back in jail so no help there. Once I get my CNA license I will work per diem while I'm in school and I'm going to put my name on a low income housing list "just in case". If I make this last effort and he's still not happy I'll just leave. My son is my main focus, but sometimes it's just so tiring trying to be everything to everyone. Some way or another I will find a way to make this work until I finish the LPN course. Some people are just miserable no matter what and I guess he's going to be one of those people... I can make this asumption very confidently as we've been together 6 years and I think he's always been mad. The day he's happy would be a day to make me worry! Thank you all for the encouragement.

Your son is your first priority and then you. You seem like a strong woman who has overcome many hardships. You have the power within you to make the right choices for a bright future for you and your son. Don't stop believing in yourself and what you can accomplish. Remember you can only change yourself. You can not change someone else. Good Luck!

I'm going to annoy a lot of people here but I'd keep dancing one or two days a week. CNA is $10 an hour. You can't support yourself and your son on that.

Kick the loser to the curb and keep on keepin' on, girl. You can do this.

Mommy_of_3_in_AL..RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CRRT,.

I agree on the dancing part...If you can do it, it pays the bills, and you are satisfied with it, go for it. I agree with the PP that it may make others mad, but you know what...others arent you. Only you know what is best for you and your family (and as others have said, the man may not be best). You are not the only one to have danced to get through school, and you wont be the last. I dont think it should be an issue with getting a job as long as you are up front about it..There is a BIG difference in dancing and prostituting.

As far how to get through school with a child, and possibly no partner...it ca be done.In reality, sometimes, even with the financial difficulties you face being singe, the ride is easier alone than with someone holding you back because of their own insecurities and jealousness. Like others have said, look at where you can make cuts to help financially...for example, if you get rid of the looser, you will also be getting rid of the extra mouths to feed, clothe, and entertain. (Ok maybe that sounds a little harsh, but its true..it costs alot less to house, feed and clothe two people versus 4-6 or however many). Downsizing your home, cutting back on unnecessary things like expanded cable/satellite TV, and maybe cutting off the home phone and using only a cell are all options. Your son may not understand now, but the sacrifices you all make now will be worth it in the end.

You have so much motivation and determination..do not let anyone get in the way of your plans for your future. Good luck, and keep us posted!

All I can say from reading your post is that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship and you need to be strong and leave. True love does not involve anger at studying late. It has no guilt trips for pursuing your dreams nor is it manipulative. I think you know this or you would not have asked the question here. With your history of dating a man that went to prison and a mother that obviously is not on the right path, you have come from one abusive situation into an other. If you don't leave for any other reason, do it for you child, who is watching and learning how to be a man from a loser. You are at risk of having him grow to be the same type of abuser. Just because it doesn't leave a bruise, doesn't mean it is not abuse. Figure out how to get through school alone. Move away and start your life over. It is never to late to start fresh. You are strong and capable. You have come far but it is now time to make a big jump and leave that man. You will never find love if you stay with people with such low standards. Forgive my bluntness but you need a BIG wake up call.

You keep talking about your man is wonderful and that true love is hard to find but unless you make more and more time for him, he will continue to make you feel guilty about school. People are so quick to say leave him, but is that really going to make things better, and make you a happier person? Would you really be happier without him?

I am married with one child and although I haven't started the nursing program yet, I know that men can sometimes be hard to please. But if you really sat down and thought about it, MANY men are not satisfied with their partner doing all of the cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children. MANY men, including yours, are selfish and they need a lot of love and attention. And none of that includes cooking, cleaning, or caring for children. So, if you love him and you want to stay with him make more time for him. I am not going to tell you to ditch this guy because I can kind of understand where he is coming from. How would you feel if you were in his shoes, and your woman wasn't making much time for you? It is human nature to feel neglected at times. Guys don't generally care or express appreciation for the things we do, they just want attention.

I love my husband more than anything, but even he has accused me of using him. But that is just because he is insecure and jealous. But now that I know his insecurities I have to make tons of time for him and make sure that he gets all the special attention he needs, because my marriage is very important to me. So as I prepare to start the nursing program this fall, I am brainstorming various ways of making time for him. I think all of us should be doing this. Because if your relationship is important to you, and if there is something that you can do to make it better, then isn't it worth the effort? On the other hand, if you make plenty of time for him and that isn't good enough, then nothing ever will be.Nursing school will always be there but your man may not. So, if he is worth the fight, then keep on trucking. You will be a stronger woman in the end.

Whatever you do, good luck.

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