Thanks for the kind replies everyone. I have lots to think about. Raising my children is my #1 passion and commitment. I don't want them to suffer so I can further my education. I guess I can try it and see how it goes. I'm not going to take more than one clinical class at a time, carachel. I AM having trouble picturing how this is going to work out in my mind. You make a good point that they will most likely miss me more as they get older.
I don't unschool but we home-school on a fairly flexible schedule, linearthinker. I don't have to stand over him while he does his work so that helps tremendously. I was home-schooled as a child and it worked out well for me. My mom was a homemaker and I feel like I need to live up to that standard of always being there for my kids. But I also want to have the money to give them things I did not have. Working p/t weekends, I feel like I have the best of both worlds. Part of me thinks I am crazy to mess with this schedule, but I also know that I'm going to need more $$ coming in as they grow up, and it would be nice to have a career I enjoy rather than one I tolerate. Being a Med-Surg nurse is ROUGH sometimes and not something I want to do for the rest of my life (no offense to all the wonderful career med-surg nurses out there).
Blessedx3, yes, I totally feel pulled in every direction. I'm one of those people who is always striving to do better, and I can't be the mom, employee, or student I want to be because because it is just not physically, mentally, or emotionally possible to give everyone my 100%. I just do the best I can. I have not accepted any grants because I do not want to work full-time right away when I get out of school and they all seem to require that.
Spacklehead, Yes, I do have a decent support system. My parents will help with the kids and their dad can keep them some mornings when he doesn't have to work. My sister has also offered to watch them sometimes. I'm breastfeeding my youngest, she is a year old, and will be 15 months when I start clinicals this spring. I breastfed my first son while I went through my BSN program when he was a baby. It was difficult being away from him so much, I swore I'd never do that to him again, or to any of my other children.
Thanks again, everyone. I have written a book! Hope everyone has a good weekend.