Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tales of Nursing School Drop-out

After spending last semester on an unintended sabbatical, I spent the summer registering for spring classes, and then subsequently orchestrating, planning and rearranging my family's schedule so I could make the class schedule work for us.  I thought I had it down.  Which I did.  And I thought I was comfortable with it.  Which I wasn't.  But I pushed the creeping thoughts of discontentment to the very back of my head, comforting myself with the knowledge that with big goals comes hard work.  So I set about getting ready for the semester.  Books were purchased, sitter was confirmed, game face was on.

And then, I yanked the rug out from underneath myself.  As much as I love being a student, as much as I crave being a nurse, something was holding me back.  I spent a sleepless night imagining scenarios of how the fall could play out and then rearranging those scenarios so I could get comfortable with them. But the comfort wasn't coming.  It's not the hard work, the long hours, the lack of sleep, the difficult exams.  I can manage all that.  That's the easy part, believe it or not.  But, I hate quitting.  I'm not a quitter.  I made a commitment to myself to get a nursing degree and I didn't want to lose my focus, no matter what might be getting in my way.  Except that what was clouding my focus was the idea that two, possibly three, nights a week my boys wouldn't have dinner with me.  Or with Adam.  As much as my kids and I adore my sitter, she's not me.  Clouding my focus was also the idea that I wouldn't be the one driving Ethan back and forth to soccer practice every Monday (and that I wouldn't even be the one to see him off or to meet him back at home).  And then forget the time just spent in class...there's the exams, the hours and hours of studying, spending Sundays studying while Adam spends time with the boys instead of actually being with Adam and the boys.

I finally had to face reality: though I desperately wanted it to, my school schedule just wasn't fitting into the framework that I want for my family right now.  It's the right decision.  For the right reasons.  I'm sad.  It's difficult to put myself on the back burner, but I have every confidence in my sensibilities and I know I'll never regret this.  Nursing school isn't going anywhere, but man, are my kids growing fast.

So I'm not quitting.  I'm not letting go of my dream.  I'm just asking it to sit tight for a while because I still have a little more work to do here at home.


stephens3181 said...

Jen, I so respect your decision and know it was a hard one for you. I will admit that your reasoning makes me feel so HORRIBLY guilty about my own life and children and the decisions I make every day as a "stay at work" mom. Am I doing a terrible injustice to my kids and family by being away from them much of the week? Yikes...I sure hope not. Time will tell but you're right, they are only young once and I'm so glad that you're not having an internal battle about it anymore. Good for you that you had the courage to make the right decision for you and your family. Enjoy your time "off"! :-) I still think you will be one of the best nurses ever, whenever that time is right. xoxo

vanessa said...

I know that must have been such a tough decision for you, Jen. But being a mom of young kids is just a season, right? I bet we'll just blink our eyes, and it will be over. Sniff, sniff.