Does it HAVE to be an either-or situation???

  1. Hi everyone! I've been lurking on these boards for a few months and just today decided I might actually benefit from joining, so here I am.

    I am a single mother of three (ages 12, 5, and 1), with no family or friends nearby, so I really *am* doing this solo, and I just started school back in August. I'm taking mostly preqs right now: applied anatomy/physiology, medical terminology, gen. psych, math for meds, college math, anatomy lab, and computer essentials. So far I'm carrying all A's, and I am so proud of myself since I've been out of school for 12 years now, lol...but it's been really exhausting, too. My first responsibility is being my kids' Mommy, so I don't study until I have them all in bed for the night, which means I'm up until 2am and then sleep for four hours and get back up at 6am four-five days/week.

    While I don't start my actual nursing classes until Jan. in the meantime, I have a lot of questions about what's ahead of me. It seems like the second-semester-and-beyond students just make it sound as grueling and awful as they possibly can and I can't tell if they're being serious, or if they are getting some amusing satisfaction out of watching me squirm. They make it sound like I better kiss motherhood goodbye for awhile and basically hand my kids over to someone else until I'm done with school because that's the only way I'm going to make it! I don't know...I guess to me that's probably the worst thing anyone could say to me...it is absolutely the most discouraging feeling. There is this one student (she's second sememster I think), and all she ever talks about is how awful her son is and how her mom has to take him for a week at a time or she'll just 'lose it' on him (he's only 4) and the few other single moms in that class seem to relate to her but I just can't at all!!! I am SO attached to my kids - every day after my last class I just can't WAIT to pick them all up and get my little family home again!!!

    Is it possible to be a real, present and attached mommy AND a good student at the same time??? I don't want to have to have them with a sitter all the time, just the thought of it breaks my heart...my youngest is already in daycare from 8:45am-4:30pm while I'm in class and working...that's more than enough already!!! I really need some encouragement right now...
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    About Busy_B

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 2

    10 Comments

  3. by   smk1
    I am a still really connected with my family. Granted I am married and only have 1 (5 yr old) daughter, but I still say it is doable. The house has gone to pot though, and I don't always have time for the bake sales and selling candy for the school fundraisers. You will miss out on some things and have to learn to say no to others. I still spend a lot of time with my little one though, and there is a bit of a transition from the kids getting all of the attention to learning to play a bit quieter and by themselves more. But that isn't necessarilly a bad thing. I am in 2nd quarter and so far keeping A's but there definitely is a lot to do and not enough time to do it in.
  4. by   Mistysmoke
    You may just have to be creative with time, and maybe you already are. Now, this is coming from someone who isnt in school yet. I have a 9 yr old and a 3 yr old, and my husbands grandparents live with us (when Gpa gets a job I will care for granny).... maybe do your studying while your older children do thier studying. Have your kids be a part of the studying, let them quiz you on things. I dont know, like I said, Im not even in school yet.
  5. by   HARRN2b
    This is how I am thinking about it. When I first wanted to have a baby, everyone said how awful being preggo was and the delivery. I was so scared that I almost did not even have children. I heard about every trauma there was. Truly, I almost had my tubes tied and did not have children because OTHER PEOPLE caused me such great fear. Now, I may be wrong, but I am starting to think this is the exact same thing. When I signed up for A and P. Everyone told me I would fail. Blah, blah, blah. They all said it would be too hard, too stressful and on and on. I got an "A" and did not stress once. Again, it was OTHER PEOPLE telling me this. Even the lady at the college bookstore told me I would not pass it! SHE does not even know me!!!!! So, take everything with a grain of salt. Just because some idiot tells you you can't does not mean it is so!
  6. by   studentforlife
    I have also begun to wonder about the third semester students who feel the need to constantly "encourage" us by stopping by to say, "say good-bye to family time" or "be satisfied with a C because you'll never get another A".

    I'm a first semester student so I don't have much nursing school experience under my belt but so far I have refused to give up my family time. I study after the children are in bed just as I did for all of my other classes and so far I have "A"s in all of my classes. Of course it's early yet so who knows what will happen. All I know is that, although I'm driven to do my best, the fact is that I'm a mom first, student second (two kids, ages 7 and 9).

    One thing that I can definitely say is that I'm exhausted! That's okay though, it will be worth it. Meanwhile, I've upped my vitamin intake and am trying to maintain a healthy diet.

    Also - be careful about trying to survive on so little sleep. It can impair your thinking process (bad for test taking) and can lead to depression. If you get adequate sleep you're study time will be more effective.

    Good luck to you.
  7. by   Busy_B
    Awww! So I'm not the only one dealing with this! Thanks for all the great advice - I have been taking prenatal vitamins again (my little guy is still nursing) and it's made a noticeable difference in my energy levels; but I know I need to be getting more sleep as well. My perspective is so much more positive and optimistic when I'm well rested...besides, it's hard to study when my eyeballs are rolling in my head and my head keeps nodding, lol. As far as the discouraging "advice" from those second + semester students, I guess we will all have to prove them wrong, won't we? I'm just going to try not to worry about what's ahead and just take things as they come. I'm doing very well, even in classes that are giving some "traditional" students fits, so that gives me hope...and I like to think that my age and life experience is giving me an edge in the matter somehow...like maybe stress-management or multi-tasking or something, lol.

    Nice to meet you all!
  8. by   maryshome8
    Quote from HARRN2b
    This is how I am thinking about it. When I first wanted to have a baby, everyone said how awful being preggo was and the delivery. I was so scared that I almost did not even have children. I heard about every trauma there was. Truly, I almost had my tubes tied and did not have children because OTHER PEOPLE caused me such great fear. Now, I may be wrong, but I am starting to think this is the exact same thing. When I signed up for A and P. Everyone told me I would fail. Blah, blah, blah. They all said it would be too hard, too stressful and on and on. I got an "A" and did not stress once. Again, it was OTHER PEOPLE telling me this. Even the lady at the college bookstore told me I would not pass it! SHE does not even know me!!!!! So, take everything with a grain of salt. Just because some idiot tells you you can't does not mean it is so!
    You are so right on the baby thing...my entire life, I was petrified of childbirth....so much that when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter (and I had always wanted children) I had briefly considered terminating..I was just so fearful.

    I ended up having a c-section (which I was afraid of even more) and when it was over, I was like, "That was it? We're done?"

    Heck, I could have 5 more.
  9. by   EmerNurse
    When I started nursing school, I worked fulltime and had 4 kids at home (I was married but don't let anyone tell you that hubby's don't need attention too!).

    I finally bought a voice recorder. I'd read my school study stuff (chapters, drug info, whatever) ONE time, and out loud into the recorder - then put it on CD with my 'puter and listen to it. Got tired of listening to my own voice, but I was able to listen while I drove, while I cooked, whenever. Repetition helped me to learn and I could not carry around that 5" thick textbook everywhere I went. I still have those CD's believe it or not.

    I also, once I learned the joy of listening, bought a CD course for NCLEX review - in my 1st semester of nursing school. It covered all the med-surg stuff in a nutshell and I just put in the CD that covered whatever I needed to know at that time in school. It was awesome!

    And finally, I bought the CCRN review by Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio - again early in nursing school, and listened to it/watched it all through nursing school and STILL do now that I've been a nurse a while and am in ER. She's humorous and the material is easy to remember... my dh still will look at me and say "sit down... today is your lucky day...", quoting the tapes LOL.

    One more little thing, if you can't do audio or it isn't your style...when it comes to med-surg, CEUs are your best friend. You can find the articles online (often for free if you're not turning in the test for credit) and you can find exactly the subject matter you want, it's current and VERY concise and nurse oriented which is what instructors test on anyway. Once I discovered that, I never used the text book LOL, just the instructor notes and the CEUs - but make sure it's a reputable CEU site as some are better written than others.

    Good luck! You can do this, just have to get creative. Also, textbooks make great bedtime stories for your kids - puts 'em right to sleep!

    :wink2:
  10. by   smk1
    I alos habe a "date" time just for me and my daughter. Even if it is just going to the wildlife preserve to bird watch or going to the library and reading new books. It really is a nice special time for us.
  11. by   Princess74
    My best friend is doing it and you can too! She is 31 and single. She has a 14 year old, a 12 year old, and 2 year old twins. Plus she works. I don't know how she does it but she actually makes it look easy. It seems like she has more time then I do and I don't have any kids. She attends volleyball practice and games with her daughter, basketball practice and games with her son and takes the twins to the park or the playground at the mall almost everyday, and on top of that she's a volunteers EMT. It's all about time management. She's my hero lol!
    Last edit by Princess74 on Oct 2, '06
  12. by   soingal
    Quote from harrn2b
    this is how i am thinking about it. when i first wanted to have a baby, everyone said how awful being preggo was and the delivery. i was so scared that i almost did not even have children. i heard about every trauma there was. truly, i almost had my tubes tied and did not have children because other people caused me such great fear. now, i may be wrong, but i am starting to think this is the exact same thing. when i signed up for a and p. everyone told me i would fail. blah, blah, blah. they all said it would be too hard, too stressful and on and on. i got an "a" and did not stress once. again, it was other people telling me this. even the lady at the college bookstore told me i would not pass it! she does not even know me!!!!! so, take everything with a grain of salt. just because some idiot tells you you can't does not mean it is so!
    don't you just love it when ppl try telling you that you can't do something?!

    when ppl try this with me, it just reinforces my determination! why, my driver's ed teacher from 20 years ago told 'other' ppl that "she (meaning me) will never get her driver's license..."blah blah

    my experience dealing with driver's ed wasn't too hot, let me tell you. i was young, immature, fearful, and all of that jazz...

    once i got my license (at the ripe old age of 18! ), i discovered that practice, practice, and more practice is what really counted. i always drove by myself and that's what has made me fiercely independent. my spouse tried pulling "you won't be able to do that!" on me when he tried belitting me several years ago when i was contemplating seeking employment in the nearby metropolitan city (we live in a small rural area).

    again, i proved him (as well as my driver's ed teacher, dufus that he was--and probably still is!) wrong by becoming a very competent and skilled driver, whether it be interstate/city or small town/rural driving.

    i believe the same goes for learning: i find myself feeling petrified at times when contemplating pursuing a career in nursing. i didn't do that great in high school. english and reading were my best subjects. since i didn't really care about the other subjects, i didn't apply myself like i could've/should've. i never took algebra, chem, bio, or any college "prep" courses.

    i am anxiously/nervously awaiting a book on algebra (one of those complete idiot guide books, btw) from an amazon seller and am trying to be proactive about this entire thing by getting a grasp on what [possibly] lies ahead of me.

    that thrills me that you persevered and am doing great academically! it's not fair for others to "diagnose" how you or i or anyone is going to "do" anything in this life.

    determination is key, that's for sure!!!umpiron:

    hoosier

    p.s. i have 3 young children, ages 8, 6, and 3 years and a hubby who isn't really supporting my decision to attempt re-entering the workforce. he's on his way to becoming a truck driver. i don't have any real help with things around the homestead, either. however, i have a dog-with-a-bone tenacity about me and persistence that you wouldn't believe!

    good luck in your schooling and future employment!

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