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#1 of 26 Old 01-31-2009, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice from someone on the outside of my situation. I'll try to make it brief.

My dh is a carpenter. He has been laid off since September. We live in the Detroit area and the economy is here is TERRIBLE. Even when he gets back to work, we don't know how long it will last.

I am in school taking prerequisites for nursing school/cnm school. I plan on doing an accelarated 1yr nursing program and straight onto my masters degree to be a nurse midwife. So our plan for the long term is for me to finish school and have a career where I can make us a decent living. We plan on moving to Ontario when I'm done with school.

My family all lives here and between my mom and my sister, I have free reliable child care. So this is a huge help while I'm in school and we're broke.

So our dilema is this: Do we stay here in Michigan and struggle for the next five years so that I can finish school here? Or do we move somewhere else where my dh can hopefully find work and I can go to school? But then we'd be stuck having to find reliable affordable childcare. We're unsure of what to do next.

We've considered moving to my dh's hometown in Ontario where his mom lives. I may be able to go to nursing school there but I'd have to come back here for my masters. But we could live with mil for free while we get on our feet.

Last year we almost moved out west when DH was laid off. But then I decided to enroll in University instead. And now I feel like we're back in that same place. I'm just scared of being in this stressful situation where my dh is unemployed and we're tryign to figure out how to put food on the table for the next five years. If we move, it'll probably take me longer to complete school, putting off our long term goals but maybe we'll be better in the short run, you know?

So wwyd?
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#2 of 26 Old 01-31-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#3 of 26 Old 01-31-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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I'd stay in school. Moving around might be better, might be worse, but the time is going to pass either way. In five years you'll be employable and can go anywhere! And your dh may be able to find work, or get additional training, in that timespan. IME the free childcare during your schooling is invaluable (ME being - I didn't have any family nearby and it was a struggle.)

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#4 of 26 Old 01-31-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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no suggestions but wanted to wish you luck. sounds like a tough spot to be in & tough decisions to make.

i do agree w/ a pp'er though, reliable, trustworthy, childcare is priceless.

Sus

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#5 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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I'd stay put. You'll be employable in 5 years- who knows how long it will be until you complete your degree if you keep moving around? You've got affordable, trustworthy childcare.

Look into what social services you qualify for. If your DH is unemployed and you're a student, apply for Food Stamps, Medicaid, WIC, and maybe even TANF if things get really bad. Your eligability for some programs may stop and start depending on your DH's employment status, but it's worth the paperwork and the hassle to get you through these hard times.

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#6 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 12:28 AM
 
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I'd stay put. Becoming a midwife is not easy in Canada, you will likely have a much easier time of it if you arrive already done school.

kind of OT, but has your dh looked into doing restoration work? my carpenter dh started in that line of work in the fall and we are so thankful because it is not the type of work that runs out. people will always (unfortunately) have fires and floods etc to deal with.

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#7 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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have no good advice, just wanted to give hugs

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#8 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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If you are in school in Canada you may qualify for child care subsidy and then you could get licenced child care for free.

Vanessa belly.gif, wife to Kev , mama to Byron (5) wild.gif and Billie (2) and  due in June
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#9 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the input everyone. Dh and I sat down yesterday and made a list of the pros and cons of all of our options. We really have no good options. Basically the only way we can stay here is if I work full time. And I really don't want to work full time and go to school while my daughters are so young.

We're pretty sure we're going to move to dh's hometown in Ontario. We can stay with mil for free as long as we need to and I can go to nursing school there. My mil will help with the girls and they will have to be in daycare part time as well. Then we can move back to southern Ontario and I can go to school in Detroit to get my masters. This way dh will be contributing to his pension in Ontario. It will take a little bit longer this way but I think we'll be much better off in the short term. I won't have to work at all, just go to school and take care of my babies.

I'm just ready for a different stress if that makes sense. I think this is going to be better but even if it isn't, at least it'll be different stress. We're at our wits end here.
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#10 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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Yay, glad you got it figured out.
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#11 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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Best of luck!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#12 of 26 Old 02-01-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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I was going to say Ontario sounded like a good option, but I don't know a thing about midwivery in Canada.
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#13 of 26 Old 02-02-2009, 01:46 AM
 
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I'd move. It is easy to transfer credits.
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#14 of 26 Old 02-02-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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Once you're registered, you'll have noooooo problem finding an RN job here in Ontario, if you wanted to put your Master's on hold for a bit.
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#15 of 26 Old 02-02-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Just another thought, if your goal is to become a cnm, why not skip the nursing degree and go straight to get your midwifery license. I'm not sure where in Ontario your MIL lives but I think McMaster (in Hamilton) and Laurentien (in Sudbury) both offer midwifery programs. There may be other schools but I'm not sure. From what I can remember, the programs are four years and I think about half of the program is placement time.

For nursing in Ontario it's a four year program for RN and I think 2 years for RPN but I don't think there's a way to upgrade from RPN to RN. It would just be awful if you spent 4 years on your RN course and then needed another 4 to do midwifery (as opposed to CNM).

The nice thing about Ontario is that not only is midwifery legal, it's also covered by our healthcare. I hope things work out for you. I do think that coming to Ontario is a good choice (but I may be a little biased).

Gillian - Wife to an amazing DH, Mother to 4 wonderful kiddos . . . and now another on the way.
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#16 of 26 Old 02-02-2009, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mil lives in Thunder Bay. There is no midwifery program there. I've thought about doing a midwifery program in Ontario but the placements can be anywhere in the province for a few months at a time. I don't really want to leave my family. I also want the option to work in the USA in the future and I think the CNM path is my best bet for that. I also will always have the RN to fall back on. We plan on staying in Ontrario but I also know that life is funny and plans change. SO I would like to leave my options open for working in the USA. My dh being laid off for so long here and the financial difficulties we've had because of it has changed my outlook on things a bit. I just want to really cover ourselves for the future so that we're never in this predicament again.

The university in Thuder Bay has a 3yr RN program but I'm hoping that it will take me even a little less time since I already have a BA and hopefully some of my gen eds will transfer.
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#17 of 26 Old 02-03-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelleyd View Post
Thanks so much for the input everyone. Dh and I sat down yesterday and made a list of the pros and cons of all of our options. We really have no good options. Basically the only way we can stay here is if I work full time. And I really don't want to work full time and go to school while my daughters are so young.

We're pretty sure we're going to move to dh's hometown in Ontario. We can stay with mil for free as long as we need to and I can go to nursing school there. My mil will help with the girls and they will have to be in daycare part time as well. Then we can move back to southern Ontario and I can go to school in Detroit to get my masters. This way dh will be contributing to his pension in Ontario. It will take a little bit longer this way but I think we'll be much better off in the short term. I won't have to work at all, just go to school and take care of my babies.

I'm just ready for a different stress if that makes sense. I think this is going to be better but even if it isn't, at least it'll be different stress. We're at our wits end here.
it sounds like you got it figured out.

i was going to say "go".

based on my own experience sitting around wasting a savings account in a hopeless place with an unemployed dh is not good. i think in the long run you will be better off where there are more immediate opportunities for work for your dh.
best of luck to you. it's so hard to make these kinds of life choices especially with little ones in tow.
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#18 of 26 Old 02-04-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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sounds like you have a plan already, but I'm going to throw this thought out there just in case...

What about your dh traveling to work? Him staying out of town for the week and coming home on weekends? or every other weekend? I know this is a difficult arrangement for both a marrige and a family but if your in the middle of a semester it may be a way for you to finish up the classes you are taking now, being able to have your family help with the childcare and having your husband 'test the waters' so to speak on what the job opportunities are in Ontario (or someplace else) You didn't say if you lived with family now, but if not and you could move in with family now and he was if he was able to stay with family there you guys may be able to get back to less stress sooner. I guess the big advatage of this would be that you could finish up with the semester your in now.
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#19 of 26 Old 02-04-2009, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lightheart, we'd actually love for dh to work out of town but he's been unable to find any work anywhere in this whole country. He'd have to find a job with good enough pay to make it worth paying for two households. We aren't going to move until I finish the semester. He may go to Ontario before I do though. It complicates taxes though if he's working in Canada and sending his money here.

Thanks everyone for your well wishes. We need it now.
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#20 of 26 Old 02-06-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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Thunder Bay sounds awesome. DH and I have been considering moving there for a few years now. If we do decide to leave here, it will probably be to go there. My BIL grew up there and really enjoyed it. I hope everything works out well for you.

Gillian - Wife to an amazing DH, Mother to 4 wonderful kiddos . . . and now another on the way.
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#21 of 26 Old 02-06-2009, 11:33 AM
 
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If you want to be a midwife in Ontario, you don't have to go to nursing school first. You can just do your Bachelor of Health Sciences in midwifery and become a midwife.

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#22 of 26 Old 02-06-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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Have you calculated the cost difference for your schooling in Ontario vs your current tuition? I know that undergrad tuition for residents is significantly cheaper than in the states, but I don't know whether that's the case for Masters or other programs. I also don't know what the rules are for being considered a resident vs an international student (international student tuition is way higher because the government subsidies don't apply). Of course, even if the schooling does turn out to be cheaper, it would probably be outweighed by the daycare factor.

Also, don't forget to consider waiting times for the immigration paperwork. I'm assuming your husband is a Canadian citizen (?), but is he planning to sponsor you family class, or will you be getting a student visa?

Mommy to  N baby.gif, born 2/20/12.

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#23 of 26 Old 02-06-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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What is your mother in law like? Do you know her well? What is her relationship like with your dh? Would you trust her to be a primary caregiver for your children? Is she married? Does she have a boyfriend? How do you feel about your children being around her significant other(s) frequently? What would her house rules be? Has she taken in any other family members, perhaps someone dysfunctional or with a substance abuse problem? If you needed to get out of her house ASAP, would you be able to do it? Does your husband have a very healthy, clear-boundaries type relationship with her, *even when in the same living arrangements*? How much space is there in the home and ability for you to get your own space/time when needed? Have you discussed or will you discuss details regarding house rules, living arrangements, financial contribution and so on well ahead of time?

It sounds good to have a free or low-cost living situation, but I have so often seen these disintegrate horribly, and cause a lot of marital strife. Have you lived with your in-laws before?

I'm not asking you to answer any of the above questions publicly or for me - just for yourself. Look at that situation critically.

We've thought about what we would do in case of financial disaster, and we probably would move in with my MIL. I would trust her in terms of childcare, and she is always in a precarious financial position so she could use the help. My husband has formed a very adult relationship with her and the balance of power is definitely in his hands. I have a functional and respectful relationship with her. I think it would be difficult but doable. I also think that "doable" is pretty rare!

ETA: I know you plan to live with her only temporarily, but with the economy being bad and so on it might take a lot longer than you all hope to be able to find an acceptable independent living arrangement, so I think it makes sense to really think out this aspect of it beforehand.
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#24 of 26 Old 02-06-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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I honestly don't know mami, but I wish you luck.
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#25 of 26 Old 02-06-2009, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by gillibean View Post
Thunder Bay sounds awesome. DH and I have been considering moving there for a few years now. If we do decide to leave here, it will probably be to go there. My BIL grew up there and really enjoyed it. I hope everything works out well for you.
It is beautiful. Send me a pm if you ever go there. I don't know many people there so I'd love to meet new people.

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If you want to be a midwife in Ontario, you don't have to go to nursing school first. You can just do your Bachelor of Health Sciences in midwifery and become a midwife.
I know that I don't have to be a nurse first to be a midwife in Ontario. But I would like the option to work in the US as well and I think that becoming a CNM is going to be the most flexible.

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Have you calculated the cost difference for your schooling in Ontario vs your current tuition? I know that undergrad tuition for residents is significantly cheaper than in the states, but I don't know whether that's the case for Masters or other programs. I also don't know what the rules are for being considered a resident vs an international student (international student tuition is way higher because the government subsidies don't apply). Of course, even if the schooling does turn out to be cheaper, it would probably be outweighed by the daycare factor.

Also, don't forget to consider waiting times for the immigration paperwork. I'm assuming your husband is a Canadian citizen (?), but is he planning to sponsor you family class, or will you be getting a student visa?
The tuition is a bit cheaper in Ontario for the undergrad. I will do my masters in the US though. We'll move back to souther Ontario for that and I'll just cross the border for school. I will have to wait a year for my immigrant status to come through. My dh is sponsering me family class. I'm okay with waiting a year though. I will be able to help my dd adjust to the move. I think she's going to have a bit of an adjustment period.

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What is your mother in law like? Do you know her well? What is her relationship like with your dh? Would you trust her to be a primary caregiver for your children? Is she married? Does she have a boyfriend? How do you feel about your children being around her significant other(s) frequently? What would her house rules be? Has she taken in any other family members, perhaps someone dysfunctional or with a substance abuse problem? If you needed to get out of her house ASAP, would you be able to do it? Does your husband have a very healthy, clear-boundaries type relationship with her, *even when in the same living arrangements*? How much space is there in the home and ability for you to get your own space/time when needed? Have you discussed or will you discuss details regarding house rules, living arrangements, financial contribution and so on well ahead of time?


ETA: I know you plan to live with her only temporarily, but with the economy being bad and so on it might take a lot longer than you all hope to be able to find an acceptable independent living arrangement, so I think it makes sense to really think out this aspect of it beforehand.

You've brought up a lot of important things to think about. Thank you. Unfortunately our options are pretty limited. We've thought about most of what you said. My mil is amazing and I completely trust her with my kids. It's going to be really really hard for me to leave my family but MIL is the saving grace. I'm close with her and she is just awesome. My dh will likely be working out of town and I'll be home with my MIL. But my FIL is also working out of town and so my MIL is home alone and none of her family lives near her and she gets pretty lonely. So hopefully we'll be helping each other out. It also means she won't be taking in anyone else. Dh is an only child.

Thank you again everyone for helping me to think this through. We've hired an immigration lawyer and started my paperwork so I'm nervous and excited for a new start.
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#26 of 26 Old 02-06-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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If you want to stay in Ontario and work as a midwife, you would need to do an integration program anyway. You could be a nurse and not work as a midwife, or you could complete midwifery school in the U.S. and then do the IMPP program at Ryerson in Toronto. But you can't work as a midwife in Ontario without either graduating from midwifery school there or doing the IMPP. And, as I understand it, the IMPP has placements all over the place too.

A midwife I met at a conference told me about another program in the Western provinces of Canada called the Bridge program where they have you do distance learning classes and then 1 12 week placement, possibly in your own area. It is for foreign-trained midwives too. When you are done you are able to work in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and BC, I think. It is a pilot program this year, but I think it might be repeated.

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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