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I am starting a PA program in January. I have 2 kids,  who will be 2 yrs old and 6 months old,  at that point. My husband and I are deciding whether he should work or stay at home while I'm in the program.   In his current job (for an organ procurement org) he works evenings.  So that means we will need part time child care, but that he and I will virtually never see each other. The other option is for him to stay at home with the kids, not need childcare, get to actually see him some, but obviously that means living off of loans (i.e. more debt).  Ive googled this topic and i've mostly seen posts about guys in PA school and wife stays home with kids.   I;m worried if he is working we are both going to be burning the candle at both ends between work/school and caring for the children with our opposite schedules.



do most people in the program with kids have a "stay at home" spouse?  Is it realistic to get by living only on loans for the duration of the program?




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I've got a 2 and a 4 yo. My husband works full time, during the day, and has taken on the majority of the parenting. Even working days, I barely see him because of studies. I see the kids a couple hours a day.... Its tough, but we prepared ourselves for it. An evening nanny may be best....I day that because loans are tough to live on and you will need head space to learn. If your relationship is solid....you'll be ok. Keep eye on prize....


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Consider very carefully before living on loans, especially if you have any other debt already.  There are a couple of current threads discussing the consequences.  Run the numbers and understand what you are obligating yourself to with respect to payments and for how long.  Do NOT count on loan forgiveness - if you eventually have some, great! you'll have more money for retirement and/or children's college funds, but don't presume it's the solution to the debt (assume you'll have to pay every penny of it, plus interest).  


Don't get me wrong - your children are a priority you and your spouse have committed to, as is your own relationship.  You, as a family, will have to manage that with your PA schooling responsibilities.  Look for other threads about how people with children and spouses have managed for the 2 (or so) years.  There will be sacrifice, but balance that with the long term goal and benefits.  The general theme I've observed is focusing on quality time (vs quantity - however cliche it might sound) and committed time (schedule certain times that are family time and honor them - date night without kids once or twice a month, e.g.).  


I don't have a spouse, but I have 4 small children (1 is 3, 3 are 1) - I have an au pair and I have family helping out.  Unless I have an early exam, morning is mommy time with my children, and even if I'm headed back out to study in the evening, I try to have dinner with the family or get everyone ready for bed.  I chose to live close to school - some days I come home for lunch for a mental break (you can take that two ways - mental break from medicine, or a break for some 'mental' craziness at home with 4 small fry!); or if we have a break midday, I'll take an hour and take the 3 year old for an impromptu outing to the playground or a trike ride, or just some play time with all of them.  They go on day trips without me when I have group study sessions on weekends, but I help plan and then I spend time for my 3 (almost 4) year old to tell me ALL about it.  FWIW, I have 2 awesome older boys (who "survived" my previous career); my "village" works for us.  I am also fortunate that my children are all in good health and have good dispositions!  :)   


edited for spelling / grammar 

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