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How does school affect your kids?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by crrchngr, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. crrchngr

    crrchngr Junior Member
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    :) My kids are so demanding on me as a mother, and I am just starting my post-bacc this coming spring (I have to take all upper level science since my BA didn't require anything to speak of). I am worried that they (the kids) are going to make it very hard to even finish post-bacc courses. My schedule will be entirely different. I have to keep working full-time...mortgage and cars are too much for my husband to do w/ just his paycheck. I completed my BA with 1 kid and preg w/ 2nd. Just wondering if the post-baccs were conisderably more rigorous. If I only take 1 or 2 at a time, will I be doing myself a favor? If anyone has a similar situation...I'm all ears.

    ;) Thanks...
    crrchngr
     
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  3. robh

    robh Senior Member
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    This is pretty hard to answer b/c I don't know how old your kids are and a bunch of other details. I'm applying right now. I have two kids 10 and 8. I've been doing my post-bac work at the same time my wife was working on her graduate degree in nursing. I work full time to support the family. So I have great empathy for your situation. It's pretty tough.

    I did not find the pre-med coursework that difficult, but I'm an engineer and I've been studying and working in the sciences for many years. You have a BA, and it sounds like you didn't take much science. It's hard for me to tell how hard you might find it, without knowing more about you. Whatever the case, you are in for a lot of work!

    Here is how I would approach your problem. I would start my post-bac with 1 class and see how it goes. If it works out okay and you feel you still have extra time, add another class the following semester. This approach will allow you to ease into your new schedule (and subjects) and hopefully not over-commit and crater. Med-school is too competitive to chance having a bad semester/qtr.

    Make sure your husband is on the same page as you, and is willing to help in concrete ways. You do not want to start this process if he is not behind you 100%.

    This will no doubt extend your post-bac program significantly (1 year?) but your workload will be more manageable. Your grades will be better. By the time you go to medical school, your kids will be older and require less attention from mom, and you'll still have a husband ;)

    If you have any more questions you want to ask me, PM or post. I'd be happy to share experiences from my little corner of hell. Seriously though, All the tribulations not withstanding, I haven't felt this energized in years... Good luck! :thumbup:
     
  4. crrchngr

    crrchngr Junior Member
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    I reallyappreciate the kind words...my kids are 3 and 5. I have had science courses but it has been a while...I may do better to start from scratch. I am 29 and a Spanish teacher...served 6 years as a sonar tech in the Navy...so I think I am up to the challenge! I just didn't want to be blindsided...

    Thanks again!
    :thumbup: crrchngr
     
  5. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    I was in a similar boat. I now have 3 small kiddos (5, 3, and 1). I also work 50 hours / week between software engineering and emergency medicine (EMT). My degree was in IS/Business so I needed to take all of my prereqs. I started off wanting to get it all done within a year so I can matriculate in two. That was three years ago. I realized that I couldn't throw caution to the wind as my responsibilities as a father and husband were in no way lessened by this endeavor. I took 1-2 classes at a time, which has allowed me to continue to do well at my current career, maintain some semblance of a family life, and ace all of my post-baccalaureate classes. I have only applied to 3 schools and have interviewed thus far at two of them. I'm waitlisted at one and my wife and I are anxiously awaiting the decision from the second. We have had to adjust our lives and really, really learn how to manage time well. I have a wonderful relationship with my kids, a wonderful supportive wife, and we are desparately hoping that everything pays off soon. God willing, I'll matriculate this fall.
     
  6. crrchngr

    crrchngr Junior Member
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    Good luck to you...I only hope it goes as smoothly for me!

    crrchngr :thumbup:
     
  7. FrkyBgStok

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    i have a baby girl, two car payments, mortgage, blah blah, everything you said. It hit me a little harder this semester than i had hoped and i will most likely get Bs and Cs as final grades, but I have other GPA that will counter that. good luck!
     
  8. Jaguar

    Jaguar Member
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    It is definately hard to balance kids and school. The worst times are the crunch before exams... when more traditional students can drop everything else in their lives and just cram for two weeks straight. Kids :love: just can't be dropped while we prepare for exams. This has been the hardest adjustment for me. I am trying to be more organized throughout each block so I don't have so much cramming to do, but I still find my grades suffer, especially in the heavy-memorization courses.

    On the flip side, having kids provides a reality-check when school is stressful. There is nothing as good as hanging out with a 5-year old when you need to get some perspective :laugh: .

    In terms of how school has affected my kids - well, they don't see me as much :eek: . But I think even as little kids, they respect me for what I am doing, and hopefully I am setting a good example for them.

    Good luck
     
  9. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    I agree that there are worse times than others, but all in all, it can be done successfully. I know that leading up to the MCAT, I spent quite a few hours glued to the computer doing practice test, etc. One evening, my 4 yo daughter came in my office and was asking me to do something with her. As gracefully as I could, I told her that I couldn't that night and said something like "you know that daddy is trying to get into medical school". Without missing a beat she said "I know daddy, but I'm trying to get in your lap." What could I do but scoop her up and love on her! It's all about finding a balance, and sometimes we need to push away from our studies to concentrate on the other important things in our lives.
     
  10. Jaguar

    Jaguar Member
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    Good luck Medicalbound (in hearing from your schools I mean)!! My kids are similarly spaced to yours, but now a bit older (5, 7, 9) I am in med 2 and it only gets better! Fun years ahead ;) .
     
  11. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    Thanks Jag. It is always encouraging to hear from others like yourself that are walking the path that I'm heading down. The time away from the kids was by far the largest factor that my wife and I had to address when deciding to become a physician. We just take it one day at a time and keep plugging along. I wish you and yours the best. Trust me, I'll let everyone know when I get accepted!

    God, please let it be this year!!!!
     
  12. EUROdocMOM

    EUROdocMOM Senior Member
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    I'm an MS4 with 9 & 10 yr old daughters, and the most important of all an VERY supportive husband!
    crrhngr-It sounds like it is going to be stressful to do this post-bac. If you trluly have to keep working, I would suggest that you try to only take 1 or 2 classes at a time. It is so easy to get stressed out/burned out. There is plenty of time and you want to make sure you do well in your classes.
    I started med school at 30, I have friends that started at 37, and even 50+!
    I think it is a benefit to have your kids in elem school when you start med school. Plus if you can keep them as the focus, and not work & school, they will be so much better adjusted.
    When I was studying for the MCAT, and taking a few grad classes, I only studied at night after they had gone to bed or while they were having a quiet time. I would get up 2 hours before them & study then. They really didn't even know I was in school.
    I guess my point is, that you have plenty of time. It is a very long process! And since you have a family it will include them no matter what. So make it a good journey, keep the stress low, keep your perspective, and priorities straight (not always easy) and GO FOR IT!
    Good luck!
     
  13. MiesVanDerMom

    MiesVanDerMom D.o. or Die
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    I am a mom of an 18 month old and a 3 week old. I had baby #2 on Thanksgiving and went back to class the next week. That's not something I would have thought I was capable of before. What I have found is that my family and I are able to handle more than I thought we could. It sounds cheesy, but when I'm feeling crappy I think about my great-grandfather working his farm by day and in the coal mines by night or my grandmother taking care of 5 kids etc etc. Life is hard, ya know? I'm glad I have a chance to give something to my kids even if it is hard. I agree with previous advice: take one class at a time, need a supportive husband, very do-able. You asked how the post-bacc compared to college. I would say it is not any harder and if you can do just one class at a time that actually makes it easier (even with your hundred other responsibilities, it's still nice to only have one subject you're focusing on in class). I was doubtful going into it but I took orgo 2 my first semester in and kicked butt and I knew the rest would work out. Go for it.
     
  14. Ebete

    Ebete Senior Member
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    I wonder the same as far as medical school years. I am now studying for my 2nd. MCAT round. Took it in Aug but didn't quite make the score. Anyway, I had my 2 daughters while finishing my post-bac. and thank god I decided to take 1-2 each semester. I also took a few grad. level classes (1/semester) . Doing this I was able ace all my classes (Just got my Physiology final grade...99% :D ) and spend lots of quality time with my kids/family.
    The trick is to balance and organize your priorities. My must do chores are the obvious...feeding/bathing the kids, laundry and keep the floors clean!
    Yes dusting does not get done often, but at least I have time for an ocational Law & Order :p .

    So the U/G post-bac is absolutely possible with great grades; the med school schedule, I really don't know but would also love to hear from our non-trads med students.

    I would also love to know the "morning person" trick; this studying till 4AM is really getting :eek:
     
  15. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    1.when you got into med school did you have to move your family?
    2.did you have to move while doing your 3rd and 4th yr. rotations?
    3. were you able to spend time with your family ?
    4. what about next yr. do you have any idea where you will be?
     
  16. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    Hi. My experience so far has been pretty good with my kids and med school. Currently I'm a MS3, so this year has been tough, with the least amount of time for them, but my husband is so supportive and has really stepped up to the plate for them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually had more time at home during first 2 years of med school than I had working full time as a RN. This year is going to be the worst of it all (except maybe intern year) but we've survived so far. My kids are 10 & 5. Good luck!
    PS - A good hint - if your kids are interested, pick up a kids anatomy coloring book, my daughter loved "studying with mom"... even would ask to look at the "book about people getting sick" (big Robbins Pathology book) over her children's books.
     
  17. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    as an ms 3 and an ms 4 do you have weekends off ? i heard the 3rd and 4th years aren't that bad b/c they want you do do a residency at there hospital, so they are somewhat nice. any truth to that?
     
  18. EUROdocMOM

    EUROdocMOM Senior Member
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    Questions answered: I moved from Germany to Kansas city for med school, so that was a bit of a move initially! We have family in the KC area, so it was a big draw to come here. We also liked to midwest for the good cost of living, less traffic, and slower pace of life. I knew right from the start that my school was family friendly.
    I have not moved since school started, but did have the option.
    Next year, I am taking a residency spot back in DC where I am from, so back to big family help, heavy traffic (and high cost of living).
    I have spent lots of time with my family. I make sure that I do. I totally agree with the other parents. Your kids can help you study! My daughter's favorite was to point to an organ/nerve/muscle, etc and I would name it.
    Also, be efficient! It is so easy to waste time, you won't have it to waste in med school. The volume of reading is huge. Just have a set schedule and stick to it. You will be amazed how much time you will have in yrs 1-2 if you get in a set routine.
    Yrs 3-4 are more unpredictable. Surgery/IM/OB-gyn rotations were tougher in general than peds/FP/psych for me. But you really design 4th yr, so ,more control.
     
  19. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member
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    Hi : ) It's heartening to read all of your posts about combining school w/ family. I'm getting ready to do my prereqs (I'm teaching full time now, have a 2 yr old, decided I want to do MD, hopefully I'll be ready for MCAT next Aug).

    I think, based on what I've seen in the forums here, on mommd.com, and at school, it's no easier or harder to do work/school with a family than it is to be an MD with a family, especially if your specialty has wild hours.

    My one fear is residency -I really really don't want to do 80 hours a week, even if that means I do a shared residency and take twice the time. I also hope that I'm able to find a practice or hospital after residency that will help me set hours that allow me to spend time with my son for the first few years (I figure he'll be at least 12 by the time I finish) with the understanding that I could work all sorts of crazy hours just a few years down the road.
     
  20. Lucinda

    Lucinda Junior Member
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    I'm an MSIII with a 13 month old daughter - I had her Nov of second year and was back in class 3 days later. I also breastfed up until a few weeks ago. She went to daycare at 10 weeks old and when family says "can I help?" I jump on it!!! The secret to my success is twofold: 1) a super supportive hubby who is an artsy fartsy architect and therefore has a flexible schedule (i.e. it flexes when I need it to!) and 2) as an older student, 34, I treat med school like a job, like all of my previous jobs - I get to "work" at 7 am, earlier for some rotations, and am done at 3:30/4. From then until my daughter goes to bed, it's all about her and my husband - I usually study 1-2 hours at night. Same with weekends - I take a full day off to spend with my husband and daughter. On the other day, I only study a half day (6 hours), during daughter's nap time.

    Like a PP said, 1st and 2nd years were easier - I skipped most classes after my daughter was born and studied daily from 10 - 3 while she was at daycare.

    Honestly, the hardest thing so far has been pumping and breastfeeding - I really had to stick my ground with younger residents who didn't get that I couldn't just skip a pump now and then - I went to HR for the school and hospital ahead of time and found out my rights for pumping and casually and professionally told those who were clueless. Most of the attendings were at least my age, many had kids, and many would often just say, "go home" to me early b/c they knew I had a daughter.

    4th Year should be easier...and we're going to have another one babe spring, if the fertility gods so decree!
    Good luck - you'll find med school is no different then juggling a job and kids - tough, but SOOOO fulfilling!
     
  21. Lucinda

    Lucinda Junior Member
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    I'm an MSIII with a 13 month old daughter - I had her Nov of second year and was back in class 3 days later. I also breastfed up until a few weeks ago. She went to daycare at 10 weeks old and when family says "can I help?" I jump on it!!! The secret to my success is twofold: 1) a super supportive hubby who is an artsy fartsy architect and therefore has a flexible schedule (i.e. it flexes when I need it to!) and 2) as an older student, 34, I treat med school like a job, like all of my previous jobs - I get to "work" at 7 am, earlier for some rotations, and am done at 3:30/4. From then until my daughter goes to bed, it's all about her and my husband - I usually study 1-2 hours at night. Same with weekends - I take a full day off to spend with my husband and daughter. On the other day, I only study a half day (6 hours), during daughter's nap time.

    Like a PP said, 1st and 2nd years were easier - I skipped most classes after my daughter was born and studied daily from 10 - 3 while she was at daycare.

    Honestly, the hardest thing so far has been pumping and breastfeeding - I really had to stick my ground with younger residents who didn't get that I couldn't just skip a pump now and then - I went to HR for the school and hospital ahead of time and found out my rights for pumping and casually and professionally told those who were clueless. Most of the attendings were at least my age, many had kids, and many would often just say, "go home" to me early b/c they knew I had a daughter.

    4th Year should be easier...and we're going to have another one babe spring, if the fertility gods so decree!
    Good luck - you'll find med school is no different then juggling a job and kids - tough, but SOOOO fulfilling!
     
  22. Fantastik19

    Fantastik19 Member
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    Wow, so many supportive posts in this thread. Its nice to hear from women (and men) who are doing the parent thing with med school. Good luck to all!
     
  23. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    I received an acceptance from the University of Colorado SOM today! I ran into the living room laughing and jumping up and down -- my 4 yo was really amused. I told her what happened and she said "Daddy, we have to have a big party to celebrate". I said yes, sweethart yes! She said "I'll go get my beanie babies!"

    I am still reeling from the news. My wife and I feel blessed beyond measure! And yes, I played beanie babies with the kids to celebrate.
     
  24. Dr IWannaBe

    Dr IWannaBe Class of 2012
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    Congratulations! if you don't mind me asking...how old are you? I am a 33 year old pre-dent and I just started, and I be applying to Dental school in 2007 and hopefully entering in 2008 , which means upon graduation, I'll be 39-40. I have a 5,3, and 3mo old. :scared:
     
  25. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    I am 32 years old. My 4 and 2 year old girls are almost 5 and 3 and my man-cub is 15 months. I'll be about the same age as you when I get done with residency. Best of luck to you!
     
  26. Jaguar

    Jaguar Member
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    Hey congratulations medicalbound!! Such great news!! :D
     
  27. melhos

    melhos Junior Member
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    I am so glad that i found this thread. I am a 29 yo mom of 1 who is post-bacc for pharmacy. Most of the pharmacy threads are written by people in their early 20s who don't have any insight into the life of a spouse/parent. I've even posted a few questions regarding the subject and most responses are pretty discouraging.

    I am taking my prereqs very slowly. One the first semester, two last semester, etc... It has gone well so far. The hardest part is keeping a very long term goal and trying to predict what effect school will have on my family.

    Good luck to all!
     
  28. chalklette

    chalklette a child of god
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    It is a challenge. I started MSI with a 1yr old and 3yr old. I was basically a single parent having to drop them off at daycare, attend classes all day, pick them up, cook, clean, and start studying at about 8 each night until about 3 or 4. Let's say more often than not I stayed up all night. It was rough but I passed. This year i just stay home. The work load is too much. I see my family alot more than last year and I seem to get more done. I basically listen to audio, read books and teach myself. You can do it. It will be a hard road but you will make it through. So far so good in my case. God help me.
     
  29. crrchngr

    crrchngr Junior Member
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    I spoke with a few women this weekend when I was in NYC for my brother in law's graduation from NYU Law. One was a colorectal surgeon that said after meeting me and hearing my stiry that I should go for it...so, I am going to finish up my master's and go for it! I have to get all that pre req science done first and foremost...but no more procrastination on the decision to JUST DO IT!!!

    I just wanted to share!

    Thanks!
    Jessica :D
     
  30. PAStoMD

    PAStoMD New Member

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum, but have been reading everyones comments about going back to medical school. It's really helpful, and I'm always interested in how everyone does it. I'm currently a PA student who is married and graduating next year. I'm hoping to go back to medical school, but waiting to get in state residency in colorado. Wondering if anyone knows anything about the medical school there? I also keep hearing people talk about just listening to lectures and not really having to go to class in the MSII year, wondering if someone could tell me more about that.
    I really appreciate everyones comments on this forum. They have been really helpful!
     

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