- "How do you do it?!" Really, I feel like I didn't have a choice. Of course I wanted to finish my degree one day, but when Tyler almost lost his job and I was pouring my heart and soul into finding one and no one would hire me, I felt like I had no other option but to go back and finish. Specifically how I did it was to sneak off and do homework every spare minute I had; I did homework pretty much every night after my kids went to bed from 8 'till 10; and every Wednesday, I did homework for 5 hours while my neighbor had my kids, then I took his kids for the next 5 hours. Also, and this one took a while to get used to, I said no a lot. I'm sorry, I can't go up to DI to volunteer, I've got a paper due. I'd love to be able to come to the service project, but I've got homework. Going to the zoo/pool/children's museum/your house/movies/etc sounds like so much fun, but I've got to do research.
- "My husband would never let me do something like that, how did you talk Tyler into it?" I'm sorry, what? The first time a woman said this to me, my jaw about hit the floor. Then another woman asked, and then a third. This is very bizarre to me. How did I "talk" Tyler into it? I said, "I applied and got accepted, and I start in July." Maybe they don't really mean it like it sounds. Here's an example of how things work at my house: Tyler plays on various city-league sports teams (without my "permission"). Last Spring, he played soccer on Wednesday nights... after he had Scouts. So he would work all day, come home to eat really fast, go to Scouts, then go play soccer. On one of those long days, I called a friend to save my sanity. She asked why I allowed Tyler to do this if it was so hard for me. Uhhh, because he loves it? Because he's happier in the long run when he exercises? Because then when I tell him that I'm going back to school full time, he has no problem with it?
- "You look like you do it all, I'm jealous." I had a lot of help. First, I have really great kids. I was on the fence about Ethan for a while, what with the lack of sleeping and the general colickyness that hung around him for like 9 months, but he's turning out OK. Lillian and Nora are really good helpers, not terribly destructive, good at entertaining themselves, and very forgiving when I let them loose in the backyard while I write papers. Second, Tyler never complained. When we had grilled cheese sandwiches multiple times in one week, he didn't say anything. When the floors got sticky or the laundry piled up, he would quietly get out the mop. Sometimes, he would get a little mopey when I worked night after night on the computer instead of spending time with him, and when he found out how much this whole affair actually cost (as opposed to my beginning estimates), he got a little miffed. But that was it. I also had many friends who invited my kids over for playdates, like the afore mentioned John, the kid swapper. I probably couldn't have done it without him.
- "It sounds like a lot of work, was it worth it?" I now have a full-time job at a magnet hospital, something I've wanted for 7 years. I agonize about leaving my kids to go to work and it breaks my heart when I have to peel a crying Nora off my leg as she is screaming, "MOM DON'T GO!" But now the time we do spend together is so much sweeter. I now know I'm made of much stronger stuff than I previously thought, I'm more organized, I love my kids and husband more, we're more financially stable, and better prepared for the future. Yes, it was harder than anything I've ever done, but it was very worth it.
- "Woo Hoo! Now you're done forever!" Um... I may have decided to become a family nurse practitioner. Check back in 3 years to see if I actually do it.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Yesterday, I turned in my last undergraduate assignment, and you can bet I'm going to be putting BSN after my signature. After I hit the "Done" button for the last time, I started mentally reviewing the year. Here are some things people have said to me over the past year: