Saturday, September 29, 2007

To Educate Or Not To Educate? THAT is the question.

So, I am struggling with a decision. I cannot decide if I should enroll in school for spring semester. I would have to do online classes for now, because of Josh's work schedule. Those darn kids require 24 hour supervision...where was that in the manual? Huh? :)

I have been thinking about it for years and even got accepted to a local university a few years ago. Then, I discovered I was pregnant with my 3rd daughter and decided to put it on hold.

However, now, I am realizing that if I am ever to achieve my dream of being a RN in labor and delivery...I'll need to just deal with the challenges of being a Mom in school. But, at the same time, I don't want to over-stress myself to the point that I am impossible to be around.

I know that all my pre-requisites can be done online and at the rate I will have to take them, will take me at least a couple years. Then, I will have to re-evaluate my life before applying to nursing school.

To add to it, Josh also wants to go back to school. He realizes that a degree will take him further in his job and *BONUS*...his work will pay for it. We are hoping that we can qualify for enough grant money to off-set my schooling costs.

So, I pose some questions:
-Can we be effective parents while attending school?
-Will my children suffer by having parents that work and attend school?
-Will we even be able to handle the stress of this added responsibility?


CresceNet said...
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Pam said...

Wow! I think you and I were destined to meet! Being a teacher means that I HAVE to continue to take classes or I lose my certification. (okay, it means I have to continue to do something- workshops, conferences, etc. but not necessarily classes). When I moved back to PA, I had to take 24 credits to make my certificate permanent so I decided to just get my masters degree and make the credits count toward something. Only....oops! Surprise....I am pregnant. Since I taught in MD for 3 years first, I didn't have any time to waste and needed to take classes then. Since Ashlyn was so little, I don't think she even remembers it. But, on top of it, hubby was taking classes as well since he is a teacher too. I won't lie to is hard and stressful. But it is worth it. You can take classes at your own pace...take one and then if it is too much, don't take any the next semester and try again the following term. You have to work during nap time or when by some grace from God the kids are all doing something calm and peaceful ;) I am a big fan of furthering yourself...even if it is just for you and you never use it professionally....making yourself better educated is a great thing. I also believe that while it will be hard and you will need to work hard at time management (but hey, you are a WAHM and an organizer - you will be able to do that!), the fact that you are doing something that will make you happy and put you in a job you will enjoy means that it is good for your family. A happier mommy means a healthier mommy and that makes everyone feel happier, healthier, and safer. I truly think you can handle this and that your children will not suffer. you will be setting a good example to them that a) mommies have to learn b) it is never too late to make your dreams come true and c) that sometimes we have to work hard for the things we want. I am sure there are a million more things they will learn too that I am just not thinking of this early. Oh and as for the cost, grants are great (as are online courses- those are wonderful for people with families!). But if you have to, you could always get a student loan. I know it means another debt, but it is a good debt and for your education. Finally, I love the idea of you as a Labor and Delivery nurse. I would have loved to have you at either/both of my deliveries. You have a fun personality and you are a caring and kind friend. You would be calm (being the mom of 4 you have seen it all, nothing would shock you!) and have the chance to help so many women through this wonderful process of childbirth! Go for it!!

P.S. Sorry I posted on your blog! This comment turned really long!

Common Mom said...

My hubby is currently getting his Ph.d in aviation safety through correspondence courses. He's gone a lot already with work (half the time he's gone from home) . . . and when he's home he's working on his coursework. He's also working on starting a new business with some coworkers (that is going very well yeah). There's a 5 year plan :-) I have to admit that I'm having more trouble with his pressures than he is. I'm trying really hard to understand that I need to do more of the regular stuff even though I'm a working mommy, and that when he's home now, he's not home like he was before - he's working on the new company and the schooling. He is GREAT as far as not doing this stuff instead of spending time with me and the kids. I couldn't do it - I know I couldn't. I would drive myself crazy trying to do school, work, and still keep everything at home up to speed. That is the tradeoff we have made . . . we've given up on trying to keep the house spotless like I like it and have been leaving some other things go - and really, it's been very liberating :-) I guess what I'm trying to say is that you have to find your balance . . . figure out what you're willing to give up. Neither of us are willing to give up time with our kids or each other because it's too important and the kids grow so fast. What we have figured out is that we don't need to landscape our no maintenance tree'd yard just now - we don't need a spotless house, just a comfy one - we don't need to kill ourselves carting our kids to every event possible - just the really fun ones that we all enjoy.

I have no idea if any of that made any sense for you :-) From what I've learned about you online, you would be an AWESOME L and D nurse . . . I would have loved to have you around for both of my kids' deliveries!

Do what's in your heart . . . and really, you can always decide to back off if it's not working out and postpone until the kids are more independent.

If I were you, I'd go ahead and give it a try!

Shalene said...

Hi! You probably already know my views on what a mother should be doing. :) But I'll share anyway, in case you don't. I worked outside the home for a long time, and I can say from experience that that was not in God's plan for me. The greatest challenge and responsibility that God has blessed me with is the teaching and ministering to my children by the life that I lead. I do believe that education is important, in that you never know what the future holds, and you may need it, if for whatever reason, you don't have the income that your husband brings in. However, I truly believe that you have to first consider the children. If your focus is taken off of them and their spiritual growth, in any way, then they do suffer. You don't want to give them the impression that your "dream" is more important to you than they are. You also don't want to give the impression that money is more important than your ministry to them as a mother. Remember, though the Proverbs 31 Woman was a business person, the bulk of her life was in caring for her household so that her husband and children would "stand and bless her." I am not trying to dissuade you, just advising that prayer be the biggest step you take in determining whether you should go back to school. Blessings to you, and I shall be praying for you. (And BTW I will not judge you, no matter what your decision.) :) Not that that should matter at all, but just wanted you to know. (I may take classes too, just so that I have something for when the kids are gone from my home. I have another 18 years before that happens, now.) :) That's a long time to get some kind of degree. :)

suebug said...

I am floating in the same boat as you this very moment, as you well know, my great desire for continuing my education has been in a constant state of limbo due to finances, and my desire to do what's right by way of the kids. But what it really boils down't furthering your education NOW help your family down the road for the FUTURE??

De said...

As you know, I am considering it. Or should I say I was considering it. For me, and this goes only for me, I was only going to take classes at home, and work at home. I really do not want to work outside the home more than I do now (very little on weekends to help with our business, and a lot of times I bring at least some of the kids). I know my reasons for wanting schooling, and but I again decided that I birthed these kids and it is my honor to be there for them until they move out. I figure I gave 18 years to my mom, I will give around 24 years to full time motherhood. That is only 42 years old. I still should have about half my life for me (and Knight). It's only in MY selfishness do I want to go back to school. I am not saying these are your motivations, they are mine. I am praying that you make the right decision. I know that if you follow the Lords will for you life, he will not steer you wrong.
~Blessings and prayers

mickey said...

Heck yes you can! Bob did it and we survived and you guys can do it to. Just set aside the proper amount of school related time, just like you do with work and you'll be fine. Remember it is something that will bless your life in the long run [finishing school] and it will be hard at times nevertheless-you can do it. You can also do it my way and train to be a doula or a midwife, I truly think you'd be a GREAT midwife with all you compassion and understanding. And to boot you get to be with your client on a more regular basis through out her labor and delivery. Good Luck on whatever path you choose!

Mommy said...

If you doubt that you can juggle work and school and continue to have happy children, read your own words on Friday, September 28th. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!