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Co-parenting?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SexyDoctor, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. SexyDoctor

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    I'm not too sure how many people are in this situation, but I'm currently a sophomore at a community college, and once I do transfer to my local University, I will be commuting back and forth from home.

    Now this is all fine and dandy, but since high school, I've played a huge roll in 'co-parenting' my brother and sister (One is a toddler and the other just started elementary school). My parents are too busy with work, and I normally end up babysitting, taking them to places, taking them to school and picking them up everyday, feeding them, tutoring them, disciplining them, bathing them, e.t.c Now that I've older, the responsibility has increased.

    Parenting is a full time job, and as a student who is involved in extracurricular activities and attending school full time, co-parenting becomes difficult and time-consuming.

    I'm not necessarily looking to put down 'co-parenting' down as an EC on my application, but it does take a significant amount of time out of my day to take care of them. I've had to turn down many classes in order to fit my schedule around their school time. There have been many times I've had to turn down extracurricular commitments because no one was home to babysit my siblings. I don't get paid, so this isn't a job.


    How do I explain to the adcomms that instead of having my weeks filled with extra-curricular activities and A's and B's on my transcript, I'm busy being a 'mother' to my siblings?


    Oh and I'm fully aware that there might be students out there going through the same thing as I am, and if it's not a huge determining factor, I'd understand that too. :thumbup:

    Thank you SDN :)
     
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  3. 1TB4RKSB4CK

    1TB4RKSB4CK wussup doge
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    This is what I would do. I'd explain to my parents why I can't be an efficient Mother/Father figure to THEIR children. It's their kids. It's your life. I can understand completely if they were your kids, but they are not. You have your future ahead of you. Don't ignore your brother/sister completely, you just need to re adjust some family matters at home. Don't get me wrong, your situation looks tough, but this is just what I would most likely do in your situation.
     
  4. SexyDoctor

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    I've explained that to them numerous times, but it's difficult. What are they going to do without me? Who are they going to rely on? Hiring a babysitter is out of the question.

    Besides, most of the time when I bring up the fact that I not their mother, they pull the whole "well we're paying for your education, the roof over your head, the car in the garage, the clothes on your back, and the food in your mouth" explanation...and that the least I could do is help them around the house and keep my brother and sister in check. :(
     
  5. drdoom12

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    If they're paying for your education, the roof under your head, etc, then why is hiring a babysitter out of the question? Take out a few loans to relieve some of their financial burden so that they can get a babysitter.
     
  6. SexyDoctor

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    Because they think it's a waste of money since I'm here to do the free labor.
     
  7. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    Compromise with them: get a weekend job. Work part-time to help pay for a babysitter...
     
  8. Elpenor

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    How about you stop being a little b**** and man up.

    Don't want to do what your parents say? then don't take their money

    it's really that simple.


    If they are paying for your education, house, car, and food then you don't have a choice but to do what they say.
     
  9. SexyDoctor

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    I have three jobs. I don't think I can get more jobs.
     
  10. SexyDoctor

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    Thanks, I already know that I have no choice to do what they say, but that wasn't my question...
     
  11. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    Why are you working three jobs?
     
  12. brandxnew

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    :eyebrow: And yet you can't pay for a babysitter?
     
  13. SexyDoctor

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    One pays for the gas in my car (pays very little), one I keep because I need it for health insurance (I have a condition), and the third is good clinical exposure.
     
  14. BrightandClear

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    This is what jumped out at me most from your post. Regardless of how you're spending your time, it's not going to excuse poor grades.

    If medical school is really where you want to be, you're going to have to figure out how to prioritize school and repair/maintain your GPA.

    There are applicants out there with kids of their own, and do just as much as you do, who still pull 4.0s...
     
  15. SexyDoctor

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    Obviously not if I'm still babysitting them.
     
  16. SexyDoctor

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    I DO have a 4.0, but it's getting difficult to maintain it with the little time I have.
     
  17. Astarael

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    The kind of responsibility that it takes to raise siblings without help (or without much help) from your parents is basically exactly what admissions committees are looking for. If you successfully juggle that with your classes and other activities, it will look really good on your application. How you address that is up to you-you might write it into your personal statement, list it as an activity, or write about it on a secondary application. When the time comes for you to apply, there will be people here on SDN that will be able to help you come up with a much more eloquent solution than I can.

    That being said, you absolutely cannot let your grades suffer. If your GPA is competitive and you had a lot of extra stuff going on, it makes you look really capable; if your GPA is bad, nothing will make up for it. Just keep in mind that you have to jump through all of the ordinary hoops. Being a third parent to your siblings will make your successes look better, but it won't excuse your failures.

    Good luck!
     
  18. senorsquishie

    senorsquishie Is a girl O.o

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    Maybe you can reduce hours at your jobs, or find a higher paying clinical job to pay for the gas and get rid of the job. Consalidate activities and make them high quality long timeline activities.
     
  19. tn4596

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    you only need to put in like 4 hr a week volunteer in hospital
    you dont need EC if you have 3 jobs
    you can study while babysitting
    i dont think you have a problem cuz there are people in tougher situations and still make it through.
     
  20. paul411

    paul411 ANES
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    This kind of approach is silly: you don't have it bad because somewhere, someone has it worse. Well, no s#!t. This doesn't discount anything.

    The responsibility you feel towards the upbringing of you siblings is certainly understandable and I personally find it admirable. This sounds like a meaningful responsibility that contributes to your personal growth. Work it into a secondary essay and it should add nicely to your app.

    Keep up the GPA and kick ass on the MCAT and you'll do just fine.
     
  21. Morzh

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    I don't know everything about your situation so it is hard to give personalized advice. But you have no moral obligation to raise your siblings. If your parents are unwilling to recognize this and are basically using you as a nanny in exchange for housing, etc. then maybe it's time to move out and spread your own wings.

    The whole disadvantaged-because-I-had-to-spend-all-my-time-taking-care-of-siblings story line works great if one or both of your parents is dead or disabled. But your situation just makes it sound like you come from a dysfunctional family and you're still immature and dependent on your parents for sustenance.

    Like I said, I don't know the details of your story. Maybe I'm way off base, but that's what it sounds like to me--and maybe that's what it will sound like to an admissions committee.

    All that aside, I have a wife and son and work a lot to support them. I'm also a full-time student and make time for some research, too. I'm really busy. It takes a lot of sacrifice. I've sacrificed a lot of things I used to spend tons of time doing: video games, watch a full length movie every day, hanging out with friends every Friday and Saturday night, etc. I occasionally get to do some of that, but my social life is primarily my family now. I spend a lot of Friday nights in the library to get caught up on school work. I learned to replace large quantities of leisure with large quality instead. That's how I juggle being a parent with all my work and academic responsibilities. I rarely feel overstretched or overwhelmed and am actually happier than I've ever been. But I had to learn that I can't do everything I want anymore. I can't be selfish. I had to learn what my priorities really were, because there came a point where I realized I was going to have to cut out some things that had once taken up significant amounts of my free time (bye bye TF2 :( ). At least that's what I had to do if becoming competitive for medical school was really what I wanted.

    If you want to keep raising your siblings then your life basically needs to become a balance between that and work and academics. You might have to give up your social life outside of that or whatever other hobbies you have, at least for the next few years. If, on the other hand, you decide that you aren't willing to make that kind of commitment right now then you're probably going to have to move out and start supporting yourself.

    For the third time, you didn't give us much to go with other than a generalized story, so this is a generalized answer with a lot of assumptions built in. Maybe it's helpful, maybe it's not, but it's how I handle being a parent with everything else.
     
  22. Medwell

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    Unfortunately, if your parents pay for your education, rent, car, etc. you're very much still a child, required to do everything your parents say. You will not be able to refuse your parents' request to babysit your siblings until you become an adult (independent in every way, including financially).
     
  23. Forca Barca

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    THEIR children are your brother and sister duh
     
  24. SexyDoctor

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    Thank you for actually answering my question!
     
  25. PJ meowerton

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    I'd be careful with how you word this in your app, I could see the adcoms being concerned that your parents are going to still try to rely on you when you are in med school, especially if you are applying to one near your hometown.

    Are you applying this year? I thought I saw somewhere that you were just finishing your freshman year, I could be wrong though.
     
  26. ElCapone

    ElCapone Don't Lawyer Me
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    That's probably the other Charlie Sheen on the board.
     
  27. ShockDoctrine

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    student loans FTW!
     
  28. vin5cent0

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    They can pay for your education but not a babysitter? Doubtful..

    Tell your parents to grow up (lol, ironic eh) and take responsibility of their lives. I wouldn't put my future at risk because my parents were too busy to take care of their kids.
     
  29. SexyDoctor

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    There's a reason why I'm commuting in the future, and there's a reason why I go to a community college ...money is tight.
     
  30. SexyDoctor

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    That's the other Charlie Sheen
     
  31. PJ meowerton

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    oh, what year are you then?
     
  32. ElCapone

    ElCapone Don't Lawyer Me
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    The original Charlie Sheen.
     
  33. SexyDoctor

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    going into my soph.
     
  34. SexyDoctor

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    that's right. :thumbup:
     
  35. paul411

    paul411 ANES
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    You're a winning warlock with tigerblood, alcohol and cocaine running through your veins?
     
  36. SexyDoctor

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    duh.
     
  37. StephanieZ

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    I think you should just mention it in your personal statement when you go to apply. But you absolutely have to keep your grades up. From what I can glean, with ECs, quality is more important than quantity, so instead of trying to beef up your resume with tons of ECs, how about just pick one or two and stay committed to them for the rest of your undergrad career? Same with volunteering. If you volunteer just 2 hours a week over the next 2 years, you will have over 200 hours.

    I understand how difficult it is because I have a daughter of my own, but I like what another poster said: Your hardships will make your success look better, but they will NOT excuse your failure. If there is one thing I have learned in college it's that everyone has a sob story. Everyone.
     
  38. paul411

    paul411 ANES
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    Nah. Maybe most self-identified "pre-meds" but not everyone.
     
  39. StephanieZ

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    You don't think? Everyone I've ever met with a low GPA and such will have some excuse as to why it's so. Myself included.
     
  40. SexyDoctor

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    I know it's not a sob story, but like commitments..it does take a lot of time out of my day, just as if anyone had a paying job. People here on SDN stress the importance of documenting a job on their application because it indicates that most of their time was spent providing for themselves. I was just curious as to what people with children, or who are in similar situations as I am, would include in their application. Who knows? Maybe this isn't a big deal and shouldn't even be disclosed? But 99% of my friends who are in universities in their dorms don't have the kind of responsibility I do with my siblings. I'm not going to use them as an excuse, because I have a stellar GPA and great ECs..but rather a 'well look here..I can do this AND kick ass with a great GPA/MCAT score.'..as cocky as that sounds.
     
  41. ElCapone

    ElCapone Don't Lawyer Me
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    You definitely will. :D

    Plus, having to look after 2 kids will make you more mature than most of the other applicants out there.
     
  42. LizzyM

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    On the other hand, you have no documentation, other than your parents' word, that you have been taking care of your sibs to the extend that you have. This sort of thing is an "experience" but it is not the same as a job where you would get a bad performance review or a poor letter of recommendation if you didn't do as instructed by the boss. If this sort of thing caught on, everyone with younger sibs would be claiming hours and hours of child care responsibility. :rolleyes:

    Furthermore, some people may take offense at calling this "parenting". You are not a parent. You are providing childcare for your siblings. There is a difference. It is a burden on you but it is not parenting or "co-parenting" so you'd be wise not to call it that. Applicants who are parents with custody of their children indicate that by listing the number of dependents on their application. Your parents' children are not your dependents.

    There could be a concern that your family will burden you with childcare or other responsibilities while in med school. You might want to talk about this with them now and how they will cope when you leave town. You might also force the issue by finding a summer research opportunity out-of-town next summer. This is a good experience toward your application and one that you may have a hard time with during the academic year given your 3 jobs and responsibilities at home. It might also be a good idea to live "on your own" even if in a dorm near your summer research lab at least for a summer before striking out on your own in med school.
     
  43. StephanieZ

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    I understand. Maybe sob story was the wrong word to use. I meant "Everyone has an excuse for their failures." It's tempting for me to put in my personal statement: "My GPA is a 3.7 instead of a 4.0 because I spend so much time taking care of my daughter." but I know that adcoms don't wanna hear that, even if it were true. I just wanted to stress how important it is for you to continue to keep your GPA up, which it sounds like you are doing fine with. As far as putting it on your application, again I would just mention it on your personal statement, but be sure to do it in a way that makes it look like you are recounting a hurdle you had to overcome, not like you are telling them an excuse for some kind of shortcoming.
     

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