Mommyhood and Grad School - page 2

Was wondering if there are any mothers out there who are starting grad school or just started grad school. How is it going and how did you prepare. I hope to start Frontier in the Fall for the WHNP... Read More

  1. by   UVA Grad Nursing
    I agree with all that has been said (especially from BBFRN).

    My mother went back to school for her BA when I was in elementary school, and completed her masters degree when I was in middle school. She went to college for the first time in the 1950s when an associate's degree was more than enough for women. But in the 1970s she wanted more, and pursued her BA in Political Science/History, then a M.Ed in counselling. Her determination to pursue her dreams (and the great support that from my father who took over the shopping and cooking) had a great effect on me. I grew up with two role models who worked together as a team to meet her professional and educational goals. The kids were also put to work around the house (I vacuumed the house 2x a week, and changed all bedlinen weekly; my younger brother was in charge of bathrooms).

    I never regretted my mother being in school when I was young. I remain very proud of her ability to balance, prioritize, and to manage time. Those time management skills stuck with me and helped me in school/life as well.

    So yes, going back to school will have an effect on your kids. It may actually help them mature.
  2. by   NHRNmomof3
    I'm sure you can do it. It sounds like you have thought things out and have a plan in place. I take my last final tomorrow of my ANP program. I am a wife and mother of 3 children, 7 and twins that are 5. The first year I worked 1 day a week. I have done this in 20 months. During this time we also added a new puppy to the household and my daughter got diagnosed with Chron's. Time management, support, and flexibility can make your dreams come true. My kids are very proud of what I've done and they are constantly talking about it at school to their teachers and friends. I think besides a better work schedule for my family it also has shown them to value of education and hardwork. They can't wait to go to graduation next week. Best of luck to you.
  3. by   StaRNew
    Thank you so much NHRNmomof3,

    Congratulations on your impending graduation! I am happy to read about your children's reaction.
    Do you think it is better to finish school sooner? Or go the part time route? What was your experience. I keep thinking that reducing the time of the program by switching from part-time to full-time would in the long run better? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    I am so excited about the road ahead. It took a while for me to try to figure out what was the best route for me to take!
    Enjoy your graduation!
  4. by   loganable
    I have had Moms on my parenting board chastize me for "letting strangers raise the kids" or neglecting them, but I've never had someone say it to my face. Honestly, that is SO unbelievably rude it makes clear the speaker has issues that have nothing to do with you.

    I have 4 kids, ages 6, 9, 12, 15. I will be going to an on-line FNP program FT in the fall. 4 classes/12 credit hours a semester. I work nights in a slow paced tele unit. I am confident I will be able to do 50% of my school work at work, and I'll have all day while the ankle biters are in school to do the rest. I have been missing school plays, awards ceremonies, athletic events, band performances, birthdays, holidays etc etc for 10 years. FNP school means not having to do that for the rest of their childhoods. My kids already have a lot more responsibilities than their friends, but I think it is a good thing. My husband already does most of the cooking and the kids do most of the cleaning. My main job is chauffer, and I'm passing as much of that on to willing friends and neighbors as possible, lol.

    It will be busy, but I don't think it is going to be overwhelming. Anything worth having is worth sacrafice and hard work to attain.
  5. by   psychVARN
    It will be as hectic as we make it...our families will suffer if we go into it thinking they will suffer. Our families will survive and thrive if we do! Cheers to all the mommys taking the chance and going for it!
  6. by   StaRNew
    Happy Mother's Day. Spent mine watching Star Trek! Live long and prosper!
  7. by   aec rn bsn
    Reading this thread has been inspiring. I'm also contemplating going to Grad school, I have a 20 month and a 2 month old. I want to get this school out of the way while they are still young. I'm also having some guilty feelings when I have to study which takes out time for my kids, but I try to do my homework during lunch time at work. I'm glad that there are other mothers feeling the same way that I am and it is encouraging to read the comments from all of you.
  8. by   psychVARN
    Well, I started graduate school full-time. It is very rewarding but yet very difficult!!!! I am doing my best to enjoy my family but at the same time I love studying! It gets irritabing when I am trying to juggle ten things but my husband helps and my daughter is a dream (most of the time!)...but I won't try and paint a rosey picture...I wake up at 4:30 full time...go to bed around midnight! But I will share a my friends talk about the joys of relaxing...I get a RUSH out of turning in a scholarly paper and I totally enjoy the discussions with my classmates/future colleagues. I realize I am only 4 months into the program...and I know I will have super bad days of total grouchy-ness...but I am also proud of myself...I love my family and my decision to go to graduate school did not mean I did not love being a full time simply meant that I can do both! My daughter and husband think I am awesome! go for it! P.S. I am sleep deprived...but I mean everything I said...tomorrow I might be angry at my husband..but in the end...I believe it will be worth it...learning is something everyone should continue to do for personal growth and development...
  9. by   Serenyd
    Quote from StaRNew
    Was wondering if there are any mothers out there who are starting grad school or just started grad school. How is it going and how did you prepare. I hope to start Frontier in the Fall for the WHNP program and I have two children-23months and 8 months. I have had mixed reaction from co-workers (but who cares!:angryfire) and lots of support from family and hubby. Trying to be proactive and think of what I could do before school actually starts.
    Does your school offer a part-time option? I'm doing part-time and will probably finish in 4-5 years instead of 2. My school allows up to 6 years to finish the program. I'm doing FNP. I was able to do online classes while my son was a baby and that really helped. I'm going to spend a year just working on my thesis, since I'm expecting another baby in October. I'm planning to finish up my thesis and defend by this spring. Then I can start back with classroom classes next fall and I won't actually start clinicals until the spring semester of 2011. The class I started with graduated this May, and while I'm sad to see them go, one nurse in particular has been a great resource, as she has already done what I am doing/getting ready to do in the program and can offer me advice. I also work part-time (weekends only), so I'm able to spend a lot of time with my kids. I wouldn't have it any other way!
    Good luck, I hope it works out for you.
  10. by   StaRNew
    Thank You Serenyd,

    I am toying with which option to pursue (full vs part-time) but will meet advisors in 1 week and see what they think. I am so excited! Also a bit nostalgic about watching movies in my spare time and seriously considering ending my netflix account. Will update you guys on how it goes.
  11. by   Moogie
    I've had slightly different experiences than some of the other posters and wanted to share my rather bumpy journey. I was a SAHM and away from nursing for fourteen years, then became interested in getting back into nursing when my kids were teenagers because I wanted to serve as a parish nurse for my church. When I was doing my RN refresher course and the parish nurse preparation course, my marriage fell apart. It was tough for me but even tougher for my kids. Shortly after the divorce, I decided to go back to grad school to pursue my dream of teaching nursing.

    I think what made it rough for me was that I was dealing with a tremendous amount of life change as well as role change. I found it hard to be a single parent---I had financial support but no other parenting support from my ex. The school I attended was over 100 miles away and, at the time, online classes were not an option. Sometimes I had to make difficult decisions and do things that were right for my kids but not necessarily good for my academic program. One semester I had to drop a night class (the class was only available in the evenings) because one of my sons was failing English and needed me at home. My ex would not cooperate and would not take the boys, not for a weekend, not for even an evening, so all the responsibility fell onto me. I admit that when I think about my grad school experience, sometimes I feel angry because had my ex been at all supportive, I could have finished on time and I wouldn't be stuck in limbo like I am now.

    My kids also went through a lot of emotional turmoil when my ex remarried. Yes, we had therapists and wonderful, supportive people (especially my then-pastor) who helped us all get through the emotional fallout---but I had difficulty finishing my own work. My older son was trying to make the decision about which college to attend and I felt it was more important for me to listen to him than to read Chapter 13, 14, and 15 before the next day. It was my decision and I made sacrifices because I thought I was doing what was best for my family. (Not trying to say I'm Mom of the Year and better than someone who might have made a different decision---I did what I felt was right for my family at the time and my particular situation.) No regrets on being there for my kids---I do have regrets that I didn't finish my MSN when I thought I would and I ended dropping out of the program when my alimony ended. I found it quite overwhelming to try to balance a full-time job on top of full-time education and single parenting. But then again---those were my circumstances and my decisions. Yes, I do feel resentful for not having finished but I decided to take that energy I'm wasting on being angry and use it to something positive---and now that the kids are both in college and out of the nest, I'm going back to school to realize my dream. I now have a supportive spouse and, well, fifty is the new thirty and I intend to be working for a long time, so I might as well do what I really want. This time, now, is for me.

    Sometimes I wonder why I didn't go back to grad school when my kids were younger. But then I remember how unsupportive my then-husband was---he was a control freak and wanted me to be a SAHM, not so much because he thought that was the way he wanted to raise his kids but because it was a way of keeping me in line. I did, however, have a ten-year career as a free-lance writer (and of course he objected to the amount of time I spent writing) and for me, writing was a good occupation while I was raising my kids.

    I agree with other posters in that if you have a supportive co-parent, someone who will happily take over childcare responsibilities when you need to study and someone who will be proud and happy that you're going on for further education, you can make it work. But please---do understand that it can be stressful and do what you must to take care of yourselves so you don't burn out. When you take on multiple, challenging roles you can experience role conflict you may need to re-evaluate your priorities, maybe work less, have the kids in daycare more---or less---go to school part-time instead of full-time. I think if you find yourself unhappy, angry, anxious or if your health habits have become less healthy, you may be experiencing role conflict. It is disappointing to have to change educational plans, to take longer to finish a program or to have to drop out---but I learned that such disappointment is not the end of the world or even my dreams. Just a different route---uh, let's call it the back roads or the scenic route, LOL!

    I also think if you know you're going to experience role conflict when you go back to school, you need to be proactive and figure out how you'll handle it. I think it's possible for people to avoid the pitfalls I experienced when going back to school---I had no clue of what to expect and was thus totally unprepared. This time, I have a loving, supportive husband and am being proactive in coming up with ways to deal with the inevitable stress I will experience when going back to school.

    BTW---all of you with supportive partners---go give them many kisses and hugs every day. You definitely have a treasure if you have someone who will help you through this wild and crazy journey! (Especially when the kids have the sniffles...)

    Good luck on your journeys. (Please wish me luck as well!!!) And StaRNew, love the Star Trek reference!
  12. by   StaRNew
    Thank you for sharing your experience. It speaks to the sacrifices that are inherent in parenting. BTW I truly believe that 50 is the new 30! I am so happy that you have found a partner that will fully support your endeavors and that both your kids are in college! I don't think anything will be able to stop your progress now.
    Will you be able to transfer any of the credits that you completed?

    On a different note! LUV Star Trek.
    'Curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.'
    -Spock, Star Trek, "Errand Of Mercy"

    Another of my favorite quotes!
  13. by   Moogie
    Quote from StaRNew
    Thank you for sharing your experience. It speaks to the sacrifices that are inherent in parenting. BTW I truly believe that 50 is the new 30! I am so happy that you have found a partner that will fully support your endeavors and that both your kids are in college! I don't think anything will be able to stop your progress now.
    Will you be able to transfer any of the credits that you completed?
    You are welcome. And thank you for the positive support.

    It is very difficult to transfer graduate credits, at least in nursing. I don't know about other disciplines. When I tried to transfer to a program closer to my home at the time, I was told that they would only accept 9 credits---and this was from a school that was in the same state college and university system. I had completed about 26 credits. At the time, it made me quite angry and very frustrated. Actually, when I think about it, I am still frustrated. The folks at the doctoral program at which I am looking have said that they will accept some of my credits in transfer but I need to wait until I find out if I am accepted. Actually, you gave me a great idea---I need to get in touch with the department chair to go over transcripts and see what options are available to me at this point. Thank you! Waiting is excruciating!!!

    Quote from StaRNew
    On a different note! LUV Star Trek.
    'Curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.'
    -Spock, Star Trek, "Errand Of Mercy"

    Another of my favorite quotes!
    Yay! Another Trekker! Live long and prosper, my friend!