wow. i'm stunned by some of the comments on this thread!!
I am a married mother of 2 kids (ages 5 and 6) and I started nursing school back in the Fall of 2004 (kids were 3 and 4!!). I had some family members call me selfish for wanting to go because I was supposed to "stay home and raise the kids", but I looked at the bigger picture. When I graduate I will be able to PROVIDE for my family. Not to mention I will be a happier person! Isnt there a saying..."if momma aint happy, aint no one happy!!"
Here I am 2 years later and we are doing just fine. everyone is so supportive of me now. They see how dedicated I am and how much I want this. My kids and I do our "homework" together too! lol Yes, there are sacrifices, but I am also teaching my children how important an education is! My daughter learned to read because of me going back to school! (she wants to learn what mommy's learning!)
anyway, as far as your MIL wanting to help out in 3rd world countries, well, that may not be realistic for right now, but geez, by the time she finishes school anyway her family will be older and it would be a possibility! I myself am very interested in this too (Doctors without Borders). I realize that there are very real dangers out there, but honestly, there are very real dangers anywhere! Any one of us could get shot or hit by a car tomorrow. Thats todays reality. I'm not going to let other peoples fears deter me from making my dreams come true.
Bottom line, support her. Even if everyone else is against it, support her. Just having one soul on her side will help.
Wish her luck for me!!