Making it through Nursing School with Children

  1. Hi everyone. I am a first year nursing student with two small children. I am now entering my second semester (I'm in a 2 yr. RN program). Last semester was very difficult with regard to juggling school and taking care of my family. I'm deathly afraid of this semester because we're starting IVs and Fluid and Lytes, and I'm just so scared that I won't have enough energy to juggle everything. I am determined...I passed with a B+ last semester, but I really struggled at times, and I cried a lot!

    Any insight and suggestiong would be wonderful.

    PS -- I have a very loving and supportive husband who is a godsend, but I feel guilty for escaping all the time to study!

    Thanks in advance for the advice!
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    About mommyrn

    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 15; Likes: 2
    Full time nursing student.


  3. by   ktwlpn
    The support of your husband and other family members will make a big difference.You children are probably too young to lay a guilt trip on you when you are busy with school related work so you are lucky there.You will have to relax your housekeeping standards a great deal to survive...Same with meal planning-your family will not die of scurvy during the school year if they have to eat mac and cheese 2 or 3 times a week.Turn down the lights and bring out the candles when company comes-they will never see the dust bunnies.Make sure you get the rest you need and take some vitamin supplements.Avoid too much caffeine.Make sure you do spend some quality time with your family-you need time to blow off steam.After you graduate and start working your dream job you can make time to scrub your woodwork-or pay someone else to do it for you...Good Luck...
  4. by   zumalong
    Mommyrn Good for you!! Keep at it --it will be worth it. I too am returning to school at 40 to get my BSN degree. I have a 3 and 6 year old and it has been hard. But I think it would be even more difficult if they were older and into sports and stuff at school.

    we have set aside "mommy" time where my hubby lets me do my work and he takes the kids somewhere special. It is definately worth having a supportive hubby. Also I have been teaching nurses for 7 years now. It is hard but my students get through the year and pass their boards. Most of them dedicate their graduation to their families.

    Good luck--keep chugging and it will be over before you know it.
  5. by   CATHYW
    studying, believe it, or not! My children were in 3rd and 5th grades when I went back to school. I needed to study at night, but they were always calling, "Mom!" My ex husband used to hunt me up, too, so I found that a closed and locked bathroom door did the trick! I just kept letting out cold water and adding hot, and propped my books and notebooks on the side of the tub. For some reason, we usually had big tests on Mondays, so my ex would take the kids to the park or to visit their grandma for 3-4 hours on Sunday afternoons. It definitely was a "we" project. I got the good grades, not only as an example to my kids, but to reward my family for all of their help.
    Keep going, and follow the excellent advice the other posters have given you. IV's electrolytes, blood gasses-all of that will be second nature to you before too long. Take one thing at a time, and don't freak!
  6. by   mommyrn
    Thank you so much everyone for your kind words of wisdom. It means more than you know. I started back to school today and I'm already panicking because it's getting really in-depth now, but I'll keep going on. I want this for me and for my family more than anything else in the world.

    God Bless you all.
  7. by   sgavette
    I started nursing school when I was 34. My 3 children were 12, 9 and 3. Luckily, my husband was and still is very supportive. The children didn't give me a hard time because they knew that when I finished school we would have the money to actually go on vacation which we did. We went to Disney in Floriday for a week and that is just the first of many.

    Good luck and I am sure all will go well. Remember that there are always people at school that you can speak to if you need it.
  8. by   SharkadelicRN
    I started nursing school when my daughter was 16 mos old. I was pregnant when I had 3 semesters left and had my son that semester. My last two semesters were with my 3-1/2 year old and an infant. My husband works offshore so I was alone with the kids most of the time. I found what worked best was to do my studying when the kids went to bed. Then for test time I'd study with other moms and the kids would entertain each other.

    It will be stressful, but the reward is great. Don't feel guilty about not having the perfectly kept house, or not being able to do everything that you think your family needs. I think as mothers we are cursed with guilt. There will be plenty of time to clean house and cook nice meals after you're out of school.

    Good luck to you, it sounds like you are doing great.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    YOu can do it! I used to spread my textbooks out on my bed and study there. My ds actually learned a lot of anatomy that way, by sitting there w/me. It ain't easy, I finished at 34 a military mom whose dh was gone away 4 months in the 4th semester. But it is rewarding to hear you kids cheer you on at pinning and graduating. Use that imagery to help you get thru it....youwill make it! Good luck!
  10. by   Rustyhammer
    Nursing school is HELL!
    But I have great memories and still keep track of some of my classmates (graduated in '85).
    Lean on your classmates and use their sitters, moms etc...
    Study together (I don't think there is any other way).
    I can't stress the closeness of the classmates enough. I couldn't have made it without them.
  11. by   NurseAngie
    I'm also a mommy and a nursing student. I am a LPN and my husband was home while I went through that program. Now I am in an ADN program(4 semesters) and my husband is gone for all of it. (He's military and stationed several hours away. I chose to spend my time going back to school. We will actually move back together under one roof the month that I graduate in 2004.) My children are going to be in the 2nd and 5th grades this year. Luckily, neither are playing sports and my husband's family live close by and can help out a little bit on the weekends.
    I have already decided to rely on my slow cooker for a couple meals a week and to have soup & sandwich night a couple of others. I will have to enlist the help of my 10 year old, but I think that it will be good for him to help out some. (just feeding the dog, taking out garbage, etc...) I do not stress about school. I stress about my children. My husband's grandparents have offered to help me with them if they are sick and that's a relief. I am just going to take it a semester at a time. I can get through 18 weeks at a time. I refuse to think further than that !

    I wish you the best and I hope you will continue to come to the boards to take a break and recharge your batteries.

    All My Best,
  12. by   Teshiee
    I always believed that people who stayed at home with parents should have an A+ gpa. Instead I am finding many women w/responsibilities doing it very well. You should be so proud of yourself. Nursing school is very hard at times and you just want to quit. I say give yourself a huge pat on the back many couldn't finish school if they were by themselves. You prove with perserverence and support from your family anything is possible. Keep up the good work and please keep in touch with us okay. :kiss :roll
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    juggling is hard to do in hell. Sometimes, you hafta say, "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands anymore!" and pull a Popeye. Popeye would eat spinach out of a can, but you can eat it raw and yule get even more power than he did. Truss me.
    This is obvious humor, but i can still talk like one who hasn't started RN school yet. you hafta go threw/through perhaps a ta-mole-chew-us time in order to grow. We all do. I really have no business even butting in here, because this is not the thread for a confirmed bachelor. I'm sorry :-(
  14. by   lisamcrn
    I graduated with my AA with a 4.5 year old girl and 3 year old twins girls. I put off my ADN by one year because I was seeming to barely keep up with my life. I then started my ADN that fall with a 5 year old and 2 3.5 year olds. I was also single parenting at the time. I did not work and got stuck with the loans...but hey..I wouldn't of made it any other way then.

    I had to set my priorities very carefully. I needed to take care of my girls and all that goes with parenting. My parents usually took them for a few hours on Sat. so I could study. I needed to be realistic about school. I always studied every noc, during afternoon naps, and some mornings before school. My grades varied week to week....depending on my life that week. I always seemed to balance out well in the end. I also survived after a weeks hospitalization due to a 12 week ectopic pg rupturing with 6 weeks left of the 4th semester. I did have to make up my last clinical rotation ....but we all survived. I breazed thru my boards while 30% of my class failed and I was stuck in the middle with my grades in school. But I made it doing the best I could with kids, homework, housework and their activities.

    I just got off working an odd shift for me and am rambling. My whole point is that you can do this, it will take planning, but set your study schedule in stone and life has to revolve around that for awhile. You will eventually find a way that works for your family. GOOD LUCK ....Lisa