Going Back to College - Buffalo,NY

Updated on December 18, 2010
J.G. asks from Buffalo, NY
17 answers

Hi Moms,

Just looking for some advice/encouragement! I have 2 kids, work some part time jobs, and I am interested in going back to school in Spring 2010 for nursing. How do other Moms do it? Raising kids, being a wife, keeping a house, working, going to school, studying??? I want to have a better financial situation for our family. I know it will be difficult for a couple years, but in the end it will be worth it. ( I hope!) Thanks Moms!

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answers from New York on

You can do it! My mother did the same thing when my brother and I were young. She was at school at night but it was so worth it! I too am in grad school with a 2 year old at home, part time job, and a full time job- so I hear ya- but you got this!

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answers from New York on

If you put your mind to it you can do it. I am going to school right now and at first didn't think I could do it either. But if you make a scedule you can do it. I am going for medical billing and coding so mine is not as long term as yours but I MAKE things work. Just think about the long term and how things will be. Once you are a nurse your schedule will be rough. All differant hours and such. This will be good practice. If I can do it anyone can. Just be positive. Good Luck to You!!!!!


answers from New York on

I went back first when I was 28, with three kids 7, 5, 1 and got my associates in nursing (part time). Best thing I ever did for myself. Now I'm finishing my BS (on-line) at age 46! (and with 2 more kids 8 and 4). It takes a lot of discipline to get in front of the books or computer but after awhile, you miss that time devoted just to yourself. YOU CAN DO THIS. No education is ever wasted.



answers from Atlanta on

I am in the same dilema. I have a 14mon old, help my husband at work a few hours a week, and enjoy my free time. I also want to go back to school in Jan. We have no family here to babysit so day care will be our only option... or an in home sitter. But I am finding that I don not like/care for how day care are run and do not like their "curriculums." I have to go back to school, I feel that I HAVE to b/c it is free thanks to my GI Bill. I will get paid to go to school which will cover the cost of day care. I applied for nursing school before I got pregnant and was not accepted, at a few different schools. I have not given up on nursing but at this point I am going to have to choose something else and maybe go back to it when my daughter starts kindergarden. In the meantime I plan on getting a degree in something, and I don't reallly care what it is in, I do know I would like to work in a childrens hospital. I am looking at Social Work and Psychology. But I am finding that the programs call for full time work. A part time internship and half class work in your senior year. I will be starting as a Junior. I would still like time to help my husband and continue with my social activities (I enjoy going to the gym and traveling.)Some programs even call for you to travel to other schools or far for work. I do not have that option as we own a small business here and I need to stay close to home... and my daughter of course. At this point I am leaning toward an online degree in Psychology. And going back to a traditional school for nursing when my daughter starts school. I should also say that my husband wants me to stay home, not go to school, b/c he knows I want to have more kids... so where does that fit in??? After I get a degree? He thinks that would be a waste.
So if I were to answer your question, You just have to do it. Get started and don't look back. You, your husband, family and even your children will help out to make it work. Don't be afraid to ask friends, neighbors and your community to step in...it takes a village. If it is important to you it will be to them as well. Its only a few years and in the end they will be proud and thank you. Your kids will look up to you and recognize hard work and determination. Go for it. Good luck, I hope you can get into nursing school.


answers from New York on

Hi J.,

I did it, I started nursing school when my son was 1.5 years old. Nursing school is extremely hard (I called it bootcamp). In order to succedd in nursing school you must know 100% without a doubt that you want to be a nurse. Your life becomes nursing school. You will eat, drink, walk, talk, sleep, dream nursing!!!!!

You will need alot of support from family. My husband took on alot of extra responsibility to allow me to focus on my study. Find reliable childcare. I enrolled my son in a daycare partime. You will not have time to do alot of the things you do now. You may have to let your house stay messy or eat more takeout. Study groups are great. When you are in nursing school you develop close bonds with the other students, You will need to support each other.

The professors are strict and at times down right mean. They try to break you. It definately prepares you to deal with the occasional rude doctor or patient, or family member.

I taped all of my class lectures, and took notes. If I didn't understand or I missed something I could go back to the tape and listen again. I didn't do alot of the required reading, I did use the books frequently for reference for specific ideas that I did not understand.

Going to nursing school was the best thing that I ever did. It builds confidence and a sense of security. There are so many career avenues that you can take once you get a little bit of experience. I encourage you to do it.

ps. If you are undecided about being a nurse, you can get a CNA liscense and work in the field for awhile to see if you like it. This will also help you in nursing school, because you will be comfortable with the hands on patient care. Also, many hospitals offer shadowing programs, You can call and explain that you would like to follow a nurse for a few hours. This will help you decide whether or not this is the right career for you.

Best of Luck to you. I know you can do it!!!!!!



answers from New York on

Lots of questions...
- What is your current level of education?
- What do you want to do with your career?
- What are your childcare options?
- How does your husband feel about this?
- What is your current financial situation? Can you afford tuition, books, materials and childcare?

I ask because education is never a bad investment as long as you aware of all of the costs associated with going back to school.

I finished another graduate program in May and did the program while pregnant and finished my last year of internship with an infant. It was not easy at all, but worth it.

The best advice I can give you (and have given other candidates for the program I just completed) is to sit down with your spouse and have a heart-to-heart. Take a look at the different course options, draft a schedule, call daycares (or sitters) and look into the "average" tuition costs associated with your program.

We sat down and took a look at our finances. I did not want to borrow money for the program, so we made some changes in our short-term contributions the year before I started to build-up a separate savings account.

We also took a look at "who does what" around the house. Because I was going to be working full time and going to school, he had to be willing to take on additional responsibilities around the house and with the baby. He also had to be willing to let some things "slide" and not give me a hard time about it. On top of that, he had to be on "baby duty" when papers and projects were due. It wasn't just me who had to make adjustments, it was my husband too! Make sure he's aware and supportive. If not, it won't work.

Going back to school will impact your entire family. It's difficult, but it is possible. It's about balance and recognizing when something isn't all that important- the laundry will get done and ordering pizza doesn't make you a bad parent! Your husband can put the kids to bed and can make the lunches for the next day- really, he can. It's also about letting go of the control we all have on our household routines. As long as the rugs are vacuumed does it matter whether or not the marks line-up?

Here's the upside- if your spouse is supportive and you are excited about it then there's a good chance that you will see your husband's relationship with your children strengthen. That's what happened in our house.

Good luck- think it through and make sure you have a real plan (and back-up plans for childcare).



answers from New York on

Hi J.. You can do it!!! I did it when I had a 2 year old and was pregnant with my second. That proved too challenging for me so I took some time off to have the baby and came back when he was 9 months old. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever done! but, my advice to you is to form a study group (or even just one other person) which is waht I did. Me and a friend would get together every saturday for several hours and study. It made it so much easier! Honestly, I did not read the book, just went by the notes the instructors gave us and would use the book to reference if I didn't understand something. Nursing school is incredibly hard, challenging and frustrating, but it's a wonderful career!! I have been a nurse for 3 1/2 years (I work post-partum floor so it's a great job!). I wish you all the luck!!



answers from Rochester on

I work fulltime, have two kids, and I am going to grad school. I find it is all about your state of mind and prioritizing. For me I focus on what has to get done and if I get to the other nice to do tasks great, but if not I don't worry about it. I also try to include my kids in study time if I can - I give each of them a book and have them read quietly while I do. If that doesn't work I do all the house stuff and let my older child help - they love to help and then I study when they go to bed. Your husband will have to pitch in more too.



answers from New York on

Hi J.,
I am doing it now and let me tell you it is very hard. I started when my youngest (son) was 4 and have had to take many classes over again. I was in a program in Springfield, MA but hated it and am now trying to get into another program in CT which is much closer to my home. Although nursing school is hard in the end it is well worth it, especially if you are going into it for the betterment of your patients and not just for the money.



answers from New York on

you can do it!! my best friend went back to school for nursing when she had 2 children, her second daughter was only 2 months old when she started back to school. Its alot of work but it can be done! You just have to have a good support system from your husband and maybe family as well! goodluck !



answers from New York on

I have 3 kids - 16, 4 and almost 3 yo. I also work part time taking care of an elderly woman several mornings a weeks and will hopefully have 2 more part time jobs in the coming days. Anyway, I go to school full time and have been doing so for the past 1 1/2 yrs. At the end of August I will graduate with my Bachelors in Community and Human Services and will be starting grad school in Sept at Stony Brook where I will spend another 2 years earning my MSW.

It's a lot of work, but it can be done. Each semester I have taken 4 classes and I love the end of each term when I see my credits that I have earned get posted. I go to Empire State College and I never have 2 go to class. I do 2 classes online and 2 classes independent study. I love it. Good luck. You should definitely pursue it. When you are done you will feel so happy!!!!!



answers from Utica on

Hi J.
I was in your shoes a few years ago. I was planning on going back to school but my boys were in High School. Our situation changed and I thought I would finish my degree.
Well, that didn't happen because I found out I was pregnant with twins, by the time spring semester started I was on complete bed rest.
I am not your typical case. Other people go back and do it. I have a friend who is taking courses on line to finish up. She found she had to organize and use her time wisely.
Just really wanted to say "I wish you well" and pray that you succeed we need more dedicated nurses. Are you working as an aid now? The hospitals here sometimes send good aids to school, sometimes they set up classes needed to complete. When I worked special needs I took classes from a pretty well known specialist, he was interning then. I get good response these days when I say I took classes from him.
Just a thought!!!
God bless you as you make decisions

K. -- SAHM married 39 years --- adult children 38,33, and twins 19



answers from Buffalo on

I did this when my kids were 3 and 5. It's definitely not easy. One thing that helped was the day care at the college since my mom-in-law had originally offered to help take my youngest son from one preschool to another while I was in class then changed her mind after I started my courses. Without RELIABLE child care while you're in school, there's no sense in even bothering.

Once that's out of the way, you also need an understanding husband who's willing to help out with the kids even after he's home from work and wants to relax. Otherwise, you'll have a heck of a time getting those essays done in time and studying for finals and mid-terms.

You say you have a part time job. Will they be flexible with the hours they give you? Your schedule will rarely be the same from semester to semester so if they're not flexible, consider working on campus. I was an English tutor and worked at the school paper for extra income. Don't consider any loans you can get over and above what you owe the school as a source of income or you'll find yourself in deep debt once you graduate and possibly in over your head for what you can afford. This happens to a LOT of people, myself included, because it's easy to think this $2000 would come in handy and I can pay it back later. Before you know it, that $2000 is $20,000 on top of what you DID need to pay for your classes.

Also, be sure to make yourself a priority. I started out full-time at a community college and during the last year there, I helped my sis-in-law through a NASTY divorce. I focused too much of my energy trying to help her instead of letting her stand on her own two feet and by the time I graduated, I was about ready to have a nervous breakdown with all the demands I'd put on myself and from my family. So learn to say no to family and friends. "I'm sorry. I'd love to but I can't." Otherwise you'll overwhelm yourself.

Finally, consider going part-time to school. When I transferred to the state university, I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep up at that full time pace any longer and I was right. Part time was a HUGE relief. Just two or three classes made all the difference than adding a fourth. And I took summer classes (five short weeks, same full credit) so I still graduated on time as if I'd been going to school full time.

Check into online classes that your school offers. My community college offered a large variety while the state school offered a basic selection. I was disappointed with the state school because I'd taken online classes through the community college and they were great. I got to check into when I needed at home (a minimum posts are required every week) and it allowed me to be home with the boys. Just make sure you're the type of person who will follow through on your own without a lot of pushing if you take online classes. It'd be too easy to ignore the class if you're not. But if you're the type to stay on top of it, then it's a HUGE time saver and all your class notes are already presented in writing for you through the professor's online lectures. Just copy and paste. I loved that aspect of it.

Finally, ENJOY YOURSELF! Going back to school, I really enjoyed learning. Much more than when I'd graduated and it felt like 13th grade instead of higher education. Take classes that will interest you and have fun! It won't be easy but you can definitely do it.



answers from New York on

Hi J.,
Going back to school? Good for you! You could always start with some online courses. I am taking an online course now (for relicensing purposes). I have a 3 1/2 yr. old in preschool for 2 hours 2 days a week and a 5 month old. Online is a good because you can do it any time of the day or night that's convenient for you. Good luck! :o)



answers from Albany on

It will be worth it. You will show your kids that it is never too late to pursue a dream and improve your life. It will be difficult to juggle everything, but keep your eye on the prize- a better life for you and your kids. Make sure you have a good support system, especially other students with kids who understand the difficulties.
Good Luck!



answers from Norfolk on

I left college eleven years ago. I owned my own business and took a job as a manager at an optical shop. I was never happy doing what I'm doing because I felt I have alot more potential than being a manager at an optical shop. Couple weeks ago I decided to step down from my position. This coming spring I had register for two classes. Instead of going for master in Business adminstration, I decided to study speech pathology. I had to start all over again. I realized how tough it wll be with kids and a full time job, but if you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. In the fall I plan on going full time so I can get closer to reaching my dream.



answers from New York on

I think going back to school is a fabulous thing...but you and your husband will have to work together to create a plan that is workable for both of you. (You are not in this alone!) As women, we often take too much on for ourselves and forget to ask for help...or to remember that we're not the only ones responsible for everything! Let him share the work - and the joy!

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