Finish Master's program or stay home with baby? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-25-2003, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all.
I am new to this board, but I have a question for anyone who has the time or desire to respond-please! I am trying to figure out what decision is best for my baby, my family and myself! I am currently in a three year, "accelerated" RN-Masters in Nursing program and am pregnant with a baby due early March '04.
*option 1- If I end my program this December, I leave with just an RN (I already have a bachelor's in something else) and I get to be completely free to spend the next year or so home with our baby before working part-time as a nurse.
*option 2- If I stay in the program, I have my baby in the middle of a semester, take my baby to classes and make up clinical hours (to which I can not take my baby) this summer while my husband ( a teacher) stays with the baby. In the fall, I am back at school full-time and will need to put the baby in daycare part-time. I would finish about a year and a half from now with my Masters.
I have always thought that I should challenge myself academically and have a professional career, but I have also always wanted to be able to stay home with my babies when they are young and breastfeed on demand for 1 year plus, etc... Now I am caught in a dilema! People are telling me that if I don't finish my Master's now, I will regret it and resent my baby, because time will just make it harder to go back to school. What should I do? Stay in school and suck up the day care thing and less time with my baby or leave school? I know only my husband and I can make such a personal decision, but I thought a board full of "working" ( in EVERY way)mamas might have some advice on this! Thanks for any of your comments!
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Old 10-25-2003, 08:57 PM
 
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here's my thoughts...

your baby is only a baby for a very short period of time. stay home, enjoy it while it lasts, breastfeed, cuddle and hug! you will only ever have one chance to do this with your baby

you could go back to school at any point later on, but you can never go back to your child's babyhood!

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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Old 10-26-2003, 12:22 AM
 
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I would definitely go for option 1.

You just cannot imagine how much you are going to want to be with your baby until they get here. Option 1 leaves you the most freedom. Any other option, and you'll be stuck in a situation, and THAT is not something any new mom wants to be in. Missing a year and a half of school is NOTHING.

I was working in a great career when I had DD. I took time off and I'm SO glad I did. And you know what? I'm going back to work in a couple of months at MY CHOOSING. I'm not as far ahead as I would be had I not left, but I can't imagine missing this time of my DD's life. NOTHING IN THE WORLD is worth that.

People who say things like "it's hard to go back" etc must honestly have no clue what it's like to actually WANT to be with your baby. You'll go back when the time comes, if that's what you want. You're not in grade school anymore. And you don't sound like the type to resent their baby (as if it's the baby's fault that someone wouldn't have the "willpower" to go back to school later).

Sorry, I'm babbling. You should totally go for option 1.

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Old 10-26-2003, 12:29 AM
 
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An RN is nothing to laugh at. Please don't sell yourself short. It's a real degree giving yourself real qualifications.

In making the decision, I'd ask myself:

Would I like the part-time work as a nurse with "just" an RN?

What does the Master's qualify me to do that the RN doesn't?

What would the consequences to overall time spent in school to finish the Master's in a few years?

Can I put the decision off until the baby comes?

What do my gut instincts tell me?

Good luck with your decision. Working and parenting is a tough combination, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I realize everyone is different, though, so there is a lot to be gained from your gut instincts.
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:25 AM
 
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I am in a somewhat simliar situation in that i was scheduled to start an accelerated program -- 2.5 years through nursing school and nurse-midwifery school -- in May 04 and I have a baby due in May 04. I decided to defer enrollment for at least a year and stay home with my baby. You are in an even better situation than I was in that you are able to stop and have a working nursing degree. Most nursing graduate programs are designed for working nurses -- they have very extended part-time options and it isn't uncommon for nurses to take one class at a time and have their employers pay for it. THe CNM program that I am taking is flexible; they have different tracks that run from 1.5 years to 6 years long.
Another hidden benefit is that if you get a part-time job as a nurse you can get and even better sense of what you want your specialty to be.

Good luck.

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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Old 10-26-2003, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to send HUGE thanks to everyone who has responded to my (long!) question so far!! It is so nice of you all, with really busy lives of your own, to take the time to offer your thoughts about this. Everything you said is really helpful and is stimulating some great reflections and discussions. THANK YOU.
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Old 10-28-2003, 10:22 AM
 
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It might also be worthwhile to check and see if your program has a maternity leave option--I'm also taking a master's part time right now (though not in nursing) and I'm taking maternity leave for at least one semester, and possibly two. That will extend the amount of time I have to finish my degree so I don't have to worry about making that choice.

Good luck!
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