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Want to be a CRNA, but have to leave husband & kids at home, concerned about childcare

Posted

Specializes in SRNA. Has 5 years experience.

I am in the process of applying for Nurse Anesthesia programs. I have no programs in my immediate area and would have to move at least 4-5 hrs away to go to school. My husband and 3 elementary age kids would stay in our home because my husband's job is such that he can't transfer and it is too good a career to give up. I have tried to be clear on how rigorous school will be so they are prepared. My husband is concerned about the amount of money it will cost in childcare, especially since he can only hold a night job, so we'd have to have someone stay overnight. Has any current CRNA or SRNA been in this situation or had someone in their program that has? What do people do for childcare? I feel like things will work out, but he is less optimistic about this. We do have family in the area that can help some, but not enough to take the entire brunt of this.

jj224

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

We do a mix of daycare / nanny. Super effing expensive. My wife is a nurse, so when she does nightshift the nanny comes between 4:30-5 (when I leave for clinical) and stays til the afternoon when my wife gets up. Daycare when she does day shifts - 2 - 3 days / week is 200-250 per week.

fourthtimesacharm, BSN, RN

Specializes in SRNA. Has 5 years experience.

Thanks for your input jj224. I am not super excited about paying for childcare with student loans, but I think that might be what will have to happen. :(

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

I would not do this. Wait for a closer program to open up or until your kids are older.

In my opinion- HUGE mistake.

There may never be a right time...OP can make the time 'right' with reliable child care and mutual understanding with spouse.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

There may never be a right time...OP can make the time 'right' with reliable child care and mutual understanding with spouse.

We'll have to agree to disagree. I was looking at this from the children's point of view, because not once in the original post are their feelings/ concerns mentioned. That bothers me.

So how do you feel about deployed mothers? And single parents?

I'm also a mom-of three kids under the age of 5. Just because you don't mention your kids feelings in a post is no reason to think badly of someone. The LAST thing a mom needed is to feel more guilt when trying to apply to school. It is sooo hard to leave them and you want to make sure your family stays intact. I am planning to apply the next couple years. I hired an Au Pair from Thailand through cultural care Au pair. Best thing I have ever done. It is a huge chunk of our income but totally worth it. She lives with us. she helps clean, and LOVES my kids. She helps keep our family stable since I am studying/working full-time. we plan to continue with this program when I'm in school.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

So how do you feel about deployed mothers? And single parents?

That's not the issue and I was raised by a single parent.

fourthtimesacharm, BSN, RN

Specializes in SRNA. Has 5 years experience.

I would not do this. Wait for a closer program to open up or until your kids are older.

In my opinion- HUGE mistake.

meanmaryjean: I assumed when you said huge mistake it was because I would be using loans to pay for childcare not because I didn't mention my children's feelings about my going back to school. While I am concerned about their feelings during my time away from them, I do not see this as a reason to not continue my education. They understand that in order to get the job that I want, I have to go back to school. They are sad, but also are happy they will not have to move with because they have friends/cousins they don't want to leave. They are also excited to use facetime/skype/texts in order to keep in touch. You mentioned waiting for a closer program? There aren't any schools in the area that are looking to start one. Since nurse anesthesia programs are expensive to run there aren't many of them and it is common for people to move and even leave their family behind depending on the circumstances. As for waiting for my kids to get older....I will then also be older and closer to retirement. The cost benefit goes down every year I wait. I get that you wouldn't do it, this is not a situation for everyone. However, I would. I am just trying to get some ideas that will make this process easier for myself and husband if possible.

fourthtimesacharm, BSN, RN

Specializes in SRNA. Has 5 years experience.

I'm also a mom-of three kids under the age of 5. Just because you don't mention your kids feelings in a post is no reason to think badly of someone. The LAST thing a mom needed is to feel more guilt when trying to apply to school. It is sooo hard to leave them and you want to make sure your family stays intact. I am planning to apply the next couple years. I hired an Au Pair from Thailand through cultural care Au pair. Best thing I have ever done. It is a huge chunk of our income but totally worth it. She lives with us. she helps clean, and LOVES my kids. She helps keep our family stable since I am studying/working full-time. we plan to continue with this program when I'm in school.

We have been interested in hiring an Au pair. We have an extra room. Maybe it would be worth looking into again. Thanks for the input!

An au pair would be an option, although I would check to see how long their arrangements are for. I know that many are typically 12-month arrangements. For every story I've heard or read about a great au pair, I have also heard and read stories about au pairs who turn out to be nightmares (lack of accountability, messy, not good with the children, etc.). I would definitely do a LOT of research before going with that option, especially because your husband will be dealing almost 100% with the daily headache of a sub-par au pair as you will be far away.

I don't want to assume anything or get into your business, but I noticed that you mentioned that he was "less optimistic". I doubt I'm telling you anything you don't already know, but make sure he's 100% on board so the situation doesn't create resentment as logistically, he will essentially be a single parent for the most part. I was enlisted for 10 years and saw MANY parents go on deployment. I knew many of their spouses back home as well. Regardless of how supportive they were of their spouse and their career, the separation and increased responsibility really got to even the best of them and created a lot of additional stress and resentment at times. My fellow shipmates on deployment also had separation issues and found it harder than they anticipated to handle the fact that their family had a life that they were only apart of via Skype and e-mails, and that they missed out on so many events and milestones because they were far away. A lot of them ended up getting out of the Navy earlier than they initially wanted because they didn't want to deal with the separation any longer. It was a necessary part of serving in the military, but it definitely wasn't easy on any of them. I don't want to discourage you from following your dreams, I just wanted to relay what I have observed over the years regarding the non-monetary stresses of having a parent that lives far away. Before I considered an au pair situation, I would sit down and have a good soul-searching session. Ask myself if I were able to handle not only being apart from my family for 2-ish years, but if I were really ok with having another person taking over my responsibilities as a mom and living in my home in my absence. That's not meant to be judgmental, as many people would be totally ok with it (and that's fine!), but I would rather ask myself those questions in advance than be blindsided by issues and feelings I didn't anticipate when everything is already in motion and I had moved away. Good luck with everything!

fourthtimesacharm, BSN, RN

Specializes in SRNA. Has 5 years experience.

An au pair would be an option, although I would check to see how long their arrangements are for. I know that many are typically 12-month arrangements. For every story I've heard or read about a great au pair, I have also heard and read stories about au pairs who turn out to be nightmares (lack of accountability, messy, not good with the children, etc.). I would definitely do a LOT of research before going with that option, especially because your husband will be dealing almost 100% with the daily headache of a sub-par au pair as you will be far away.

I don't want to assume anything or get into your business, but I noticed that you mentioned that he was "less optimistic". I doubt I'm telling you anything you don't already know, but make sure he's 100% on board so the situation doesn't create resentment as logistically, he will essentially be a single parent for the most part. I was enlisted for 10 years and saw MANY parents go on deployment. I knew many of their spouses back home as well. Regardless of how supportive they were of their spouse and their career, the separation and increased responsibility really got to even the best of them and created a lot of additional stress and resentment at times. My fellow shipmates on deployment also had separation issues and found it harder than they anticipated to handle the fact that their family had a life that they were only apart of via Skype and e-mails, and that they missed out on so many events and milestones because they were far away. A lot of them ended up getting out of the Navy earlier than they initially wanted because they didn't want to deal with the separation any longer. It was a necessary part of serving in the military, but it definitely wasn't easy on any of them. I don't want to discourage you from following your dreams, I just wanted to relay what I have observed over the years regarding the non-monetary stresses of having a parent that lives far away. Before I considered an au pair situation, I would sit down and have a good soul-searching session. Ask myself if I were able to handle not only being apart from my family for 2-ish years, but if I were really ok with having another person taking over my responsibilities as a mom and living in my home in my absence. That's not meant to be judgmental, as many people would be totally ok with it (and that's fine!), but I would rather ask myself those questions in advance than be blindsided by issues and feelings I didn't anticipate when everything is already in motion and I had moved away. Good luck with everything!

Yes, thanks for this. We have already gone over the separation part. We both realize my time during school will be difficult. He has had times where he has had extensive time away from home when the kids were younger. This is a little longer, but we've dealt with similar situations. When I said he was less optimistic about it, I was referring to the childcare coverage situation. He is not an optimist and tends to think the worst. If I had someone that was already to move in and be there at nights, get the kids off to school and then help in the afternoons with sports already, he would be fine. I personally figure we have about 7 months from being accepted until the start of school to get the details nailed down. I am asking this question so people could say what worked for them in case it was something I hadn't thought of yet. I am still hoping for Mary Poppins :D

I am currently in a CRNA program with 2 people in a similar situation, and they both seem to be struggling more than anyone else in our class/borderline not going to make it through the program...Every program is such that even if you are in the best possible position you could imagine, it will still whoop you harder than you could ever imagine. In my interview, they stressed the importance of having everything in your life as stable and "ideal" as possible. In my opinion, with the understanding of how rigorous this journey is, and also understanding how passionate you probably are for anesthesia, I would highly discourage going to school in your particular situation...The worst possible scenario is that you get halfway through, then God forbid, something within or beyond your control happens and you have to withdraw/fail, you will be in massive amounts of debt with no good way out...

Bottom line...Anything is possible, I just wouldn't make it harder on yourself than you have to...

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 48 years experience.

One of my colleagues did a crazy plan like this. The divorce was expensive.

Hello! I'm in a similar boat as you. I have two young children. My biggest fear is the need to make school my number one responsibility. I will heavily rely on my husband to be the main parent figure while I go through school. I live pretty rural, so the closest program is approx 12 hours from home. We will sell our home and all of our assets to move for school. Moms are awesome and with a spouse, anything can be done. I'm thinking that the only way we can survive this is by having my husband find a part time job so that he can manage the kids while I give my all to my schooling. That, or maybe we can hire a full time nanny for a year or two. This has weighed heavily on my mind. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has to find a way to make it work. Here I am, kicking myself for not going back to school sooner!!!!

I'm sorry that you would have to be away from your family. I can't imagine how hard that can get. At the same time, the positive is that you can fully focus on school without major distractions.

I'm editing to add to my original post... I have since read through the negativity that others have written about. Don't let what others say discourage you. Yes, we understand that it will be difficult, but not all families who go to grad school get divorced! If you have a solid team player, anything is possible. If I get in, I plan to go for it, keeping in mind the end goal. My gf graduated last year from nurse anesthesia school and she delivered a baby towards the beginning of the program. She lived eight hours away from her husband who is a rancher and couldn't move. If she can do it all on her own, you can too! :)

Edited by icuCCRNurse
adding to original post

fourthtimesacharm, BSN, RN

Specializes in SRNA. Has 5 years experience.

I'm editing to add to my original post... I have since read through the negativity that others have written about. Don't let what others say discourage you. Yes, we understand that it will be difficult, but not all families who go to grad school get divorced! If you have a solid team player, anything is possible. If I get in, I plan to go for it, keeping in mind the end goal. My gf graduated last year from nurse anesthesia school and she delivered a baby towards the beginning of the program. She lived eight hours away from her husband who is a rancher and couldn't move. If she can do it all on her own, you can too! :)

Thanks. obviously my plan isn't ideal, and while there is a high % of divorce for CRNA students, I don't think being scared of divorce is a good reason to not go back to school. There ARE families that have made it through school intact. Waiting 12 years until my kids are grown is not an option. We will continue to try to pay things off and figure out how to make this work best we can. Thank you to those that had constructive feedback to give. Hopefully I can give advice in 4 years and let people know how we managed to do it. :)

My Au Pair has been with us for 16 months. They can stay for up to 2yrs, but sign for one year. The agency will get you a new Au Pair if you have issues for some reason. I don't think it really matters what agency you use. I think the reason we have had success is because we treat each other with mutual respect; just like any relationship. You have to have some management skills. You are kind of like a manager in your home. helping with scheduling, paperwork, and you can't be their friend or too distant/demanding. It is a fine balance. You have to be professional and also caring/treat her like family. Have clear expectations before your Au Pair arrives, be honest about your life and expectations. Then you should be fine! completely worth it; and I have grown so much as a person from having her in our home. I am a better person, we are a better family. Also she just got her CNA license! Helping others grow and develop confidence is sooo gratifying ❤