Mothering Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,143 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have to move to go to graduate school. I'm in Ohio now. The nearest school with my program is an hour from where I am now, but these programs are so insanely competitive (1/3 of the applicants accepted per year) that there's no guarantee I'll get in. The other schools are in CT, WI, IL, and CA. It is not possible to work for the first 12-18 months of the 3 years, depending on the program. For the rest, it's only possible to work part-time<br><br>
My ex says he'll move to wherever we go (he adores his son) unless he finds a really great job here because he'd be able to give us more child support. If he moves, DS can live with him during the week and I can put some of my stuff in storage and get a studio apartment. That way, I don't end up with overwhelming amounts of debt when it's all said and done.<br><br>
If my ex won't move, I just don't know what I'm going to do. I'm probably going to be on welfare or unemployment as it is (can a single person get welfare?). I just don't know how I'd deal with just me and DS. He'd be in daycare all day long and I wouldn't be able to study in the evenings, I'd have to get a bigger apartment, and I wouldn't be able to homeschool him (which I REALLY want to do).<br><br>
Guess this is just a vent, but if anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
No advice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
What school are you looking at in IL? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bouncy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bouncy">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
That's a really tough situation. But there are A LOT of ifs. So maybe instead of worry about all of them at once, you could just take it one step and a time and be cautiously optimistic that maybe it could all fall into place...<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts
Mandy, that's been my situation too. What you have to realize though is that there's absolutely no guarantee that the situation with your ex will be stable. Not even through a semester. If you're going to commit to grad school, you have to have a plan for going it alone, or you may well find the rug pulled out in a way that damages your career.<br><br>
If you feel you must do a grad program now, I would consider taking out extra loans to pay for in-home evening care (even though usually I try to warn people away from loans), and checking carefully for family-friendliness of the dept before you go. What are the real-life evening commitments, for instance? Do people suggest you keep quiet about your son? Are there other parents in the program? Single parents? What kind of representation do you have in HR or from a GS union? (My school is has some pretty wonderful pro-parent admins, but until recently they were under the impression that grad students were savvy enough to work things out on their own and didn't need administrative help. The GS union, as is true of most unions, is mostly uninterested in mothers and children.) Check the fora at the Chronicle of Higher Ed, too, since lots of people talk about this subject there.<br><br>
From everything I'm hearing, you should expect to be largely invisible and isolated if you're away from family in grad school and a single parent. Academia still barely recognizes student parents, let alone single student parents (exception: social work and similar fields). Are you talking a master's or a PhD? If PhD, and your child's young, I'd seriously consider waiting or finding a way to make it happen locally unless you can find a program that's serious about part-time status. Can you do grad school near parents?<br><br>
1/3 is pretty good odds for a program, btw. Lots of grad programs have acceptance rates of 2-10%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,143 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MissSavannahsMommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7892213"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What school are you looking at in IL? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bouncy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bouncy"></div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
University of Illinois, but this is NOT one of my favorites - I don't want to live in Chicago alone.<br><br>
The thing that freaks me out most of all is the not being able to work thing. I hate the thought of having SO much debt afterwards. I don't want to have to wait 10 years to buy a house, then another 10 before opening my birth center just to get my debt managable. I try to keep focusing on the fact that my ex adores our son and as a single mom, I should be able to get lots of financial aid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
677 Posts
have you considered a fellowship to help pay for school? i know the loans can be a pain. (we'll soon be living off student loans)<br><br>
kudos to you though, on pursuing grad school!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,962 Posts
Sometimes we spend a lot of time and energy worrying about something that never happens.<br><br>
Your time and energy would be far better spent with your son and on your studies and applications.<br><br>
As a single parent...there are a few things that I've learned.<br><br>
- I can handle a whole lot more than I ever imagined.<br>
- The fewer expectations you have of others (especially your ex) the easier life becomes.<br>
- You can only impact YOUR relationship with your child, what happens with your ex and his relationship, is HIS business.<br><br>
But, right now, you are wasting a lot of time and energy on something that you cannot control. When you get accepted to whichever schools, decisions will be made by both you and your ex. It will work out the best it can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts

University of Illinois, but this is NOT one of my favorites - I don't want to live in Chicago alone.
<br><br>
Mandy, then don't. Honestly, you're going to have plenty of stress just taking care of schoolwork and your son. There's no reason to add to it. I decided against even looking at grad school around SF and Boston for similar reasons. Unless I'm going to be an awful lot richer, it's just more work, expense, aggravation, misery, and fear than is really necessary to take on while dd is young. The idea is to improve our standard of living, not make us stressed-out, poor and miserable. These schools will all still be around in ten years, and so, I expect, will I.<br><br>
It really sounds to me like you're doing your grad-school planning with a tight grip on the idea that your ex will be there to support you, basically. I think you'll have a much calmer time of the whole affair -- and feel you're being a better mother -- if you back off, really have a look at these schools as if you're going to be doing this solo, and reevaluate. It may be that some of these schools are not good choices for your situation. And, depending on the importance of references down the line, the last thing you want to do is get to grad school and implode because you haven't got the supports you need to pay attention to your work.<br><br>
You may also want to reevaluate in terms of money and career. If your time horizon for break-even is 20 years, you really may want to reevaluate, again, given your circumstances. Maybe there's another way to do what you want. Maybe there's a cheaper way, too. I'd also be concerned about the prospects of pinning all that debt to a birth center you're not even planning on opening for 15 years or so -- who knows what the market will be for those sorts of services then? 15 years ago, nobody here or in most places I've lived had ever heard of a birth center. You just went to the hospital and had a baby. In another 15 years, the fashion in birth may be something else.<br><br>
Just a thought, here, but maybe there is a way to do the work in existing structures, without so much debt and without abrupt life changes.<br><br>
Good luck --
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,143 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If I want to be a CNM, I have two choices. I go to four years of nursing school, work as a nurse in L&D for three years, THEN go to three years of grad school. Or I do a grad-entry program where I can't work for 12-18 months and finish in three years. I chose the latter, as it seemed to make the most sense for my situation. For most of the programs, I will be able to do the school part-time after the initial 12-18 months, so it'll take longer to finish but I'll be able to work more and I won't be relying on loans to survive. These are my ONLY choices for this career. If I want to go to grad school, there will be a major life change, period. That's not something I can change, it's the nature of the beast for graduate-entry nursing.<br><br>
Mama40, I don't know what you mean by pinning all that debt on a birth center. The reason I'll have to wait a while is so that I can pay off the debt BEFORE opening the birth center. The possibility of changing birth environments is why I chose the CNM route instead of CPM - I can always work in a hospital if need be, even as an RN if I have to. I don't feel like I'm basing my grad-school planning entirely on my ex being there, I'm doing it whether he's there or not and I'm making plans both ways, but it would make a world of difference if he were there, both in terms of financial issues and the quality of my studies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts
Hi, Minka. The details make it easier to understand. It sounds as if prestige is not really a factor for your program, like it is in academic careers, so you have a lot more flexibility, which is great. It sounds like you're really only looking at tuition plus 1.5 yrs' living expenses, which isn't great but also isn't terrible loanwise if you can make good money coming out. What that means is that you really may not need to let the program location make your decisions for you -- you don't have to go to, say, a top-20 school in order to get work afterwards.<br><br>
Yes, if you go to grad school it will be a major life change. But there's sane major life changes and the kind of major life change that's like crawling under barbed wire with people shooting at you for two years. What I'm saying is that you may have more latitude than you're letting yourself express here. In program location and career trajectory. It sounds to me like if you have decent prep and grades, you'll have options in much saner single-family-life places than major cities.<br><br>
I'm curious about the CNM career path, though. My CNMs looked very strung out and overworked, and of course they were in and out of the hospital at all hours. How do you do that as a single mother of a young child?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>minkajane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7898493"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
Mama40, I don't know what you mean by pinning all that debt on a birth center. The reason I'll have to wait a while is so that I can pay off the debt BEFORE opening the birth center. The possibility of changing birth environments is why I chose the CNM route instead of CPM - I can always work in a hospital if need be, even as an RN if I have to. I don't feel like I'm basing my grad-school planning entirely on my ex being there, I'm doing it whether he's there or not and I'm making plans both ways, but it would make a world of difference if he were there, both in terms of financial issues and the quality of my studies.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought the point of the degree was to open a birth center, and that's what the expense of school was for. I got it now.<br><br>
Minka, I appreciate what you're saying about the fin issues and study time, but you might be happiest if you jettisoned the idea of his helping altogether. It'll be a great bonus if he does, but it's not even something you'll be able to count on week-to-week, and you really don't want to be in midsemester suddenly scrambling for lots of childcare. Even if he does come along, he might meet someone and suddenly get flaky, he might hate the new place and feel resentful, he might get a great job offer far away....you just don't know. If he does come along and then drop you, I really doubt he'll be there looking out for your grad-school interests and trying to arrange childcare for you so you can keep on truckin' in class.<br><br>
I thought about all this stuff too, and concluded that if stbx came along and was able to handle the move (severe mental illnesses), the only benefit would be that dd could easily maintain a relationship with her daddy. It wouldn't really help me out, since there'd be no way to rely on the care or the commitment. That's part of what made me decide to look only at grad programs in places where I thought I could manage on my own relatively easily. The stresses of school, new place, and uprooting us would be more than enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,143 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I spoke with my ex last night about my concerns. He told me that he will definitely move wherever we go. He's not a good liar, so I know he was telling the truth. He's been great since we split up about watching DS in the evenings while I go to school and working his schedule around my classes. He's very laid-back and can be comfortable anywhere, so I'm not worried that he'll resent me for making him move. He doesn't care where he lives as long as he has cable TV and internet access. I'm currently in the military, so he's moved several times with me and he's always enjoyed the chance to meet new people and be in a new place. We've decided it would be best if DS lived with him during that time so that I can get a studio apartment. That way I'll have lower living expenses and less debt down the line.<br><br>
Mama40, it seems like you and I have very different relationships with our exes. R may not be the most reliable guy, but if I tell him I have class and he has to watch DS, he'll make sure his schedule is worked out. When it comes to DS, he's willing to do just about anything. It IS something I'll be able to rely on. He's not the type to just randomly flake on his son, any more than I would.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top