Jump to content
majetito

Married w/kids while attending PA school

Recommended Posts

I am curious if there are any students that are in PA school currently who are married with children? Any advice, encouragement, etc? I apologize if there is already a thread on this topic. I could not find one.

Wife has been extremely supportive through this whole journey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak for current students, but about 20% of my class was married with children: some were preschool, some were teens, mine were in the middle when I started PA school.

Advice: Start curtailing your interactions with them before PA school so it's not such a "shock" when it has to happen.  Make dinner time family time, study more after they're in bed.  Don't shoot for being at the top of your class or a class officer: that extra energy is better invested in your loved ones; let the trophies and plaques go to the single people.  Take your family with you on 'away' rotations if you have them and if you can afford it at all.  Make sure to give your spouse time away from the kids.  Don't expect to have as much time to socialize with your classmates.  Some of them, to some extent, sure, but you're going to be in a different spot than the single folks, and that's an OK thing.

  • Upvote 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have five kids ages 9,7,5,2, and 5mths and I am about to start PA school next week.  Obviously, I haven't made it through yet but I spend a lot of time researching and talking to people about doing PA school with kids.  Most people I talked to said the hardest part is just balancing school and family.  Just make sure you carve out family time, and when its family time, its family time. Don't let school creep in. Also as you mentioned having a supportive spouse is imperative! Feel free to message me in a few mths to see how I'm surviving!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm married with a couple of kids, currently halfway through didactic year. It really, really, really does suck and there's no two ways about it. Rev's advice is golden...it'll probably be tough to adjust your expectations, but just plan on making it through rather than being a superstar student. Having your spouse's complete support will help a lot. If you becoming a PA is a family goal rather than an individual goal, it'll be easier all around. 

This is probably going to sound corny, but it's not a bad idea to make sure that you have some personal boundaries with fellow students. You'll all be going through something difficult and will be spending a whole lot of time together. And your marriage will be strained to some extent. Just make sure you don't end up doing something dumb and risking your family in the process.

Finally, do whatever you have to do to keep perspective. There will be parts of school that max out your ability to cope. When you add on the family pressures and it can get overwhelming in a hurry. Just remember that school is a quick sprint and lots of other people with families have been there and survived. Take a deep breath and press on.  

Best of luck!

  • Upvote 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  My daughter was 2 when I started school and I had a second kid halfway through didactic. I wouldn't recommend having any additional children while in pa school as the last half of didactic was kind of a blur. It helped us to set clear expectations before I started. The brunt of the child care kind of fell on her but we were prepared for that and worked through it. Clinical year I was able to stagger my more intense rotations (surgery/ER/IM) between my rotations with a more normal schedule and that gave me a little more time with them. No matter what, though, there just isn't a lot of family time to carve out but if you're all in it together you can double down and push through. There will eventually be an end to it. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was married when I started and had a child a bit into rotations. My wife was very supportive but school still took a really, really heavy toll on our marriage. I recently graduated and we're still working things out but things still don't feel the same as before. YMMV but I'd recommend that you make a sincere effort to maintaining a relationship with your wife. 

  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak of anything yet. About to start my program in 2 weeks. I'm married with 2 year old and a 2 month old. Life is already hard as is. My wife is a stay at home mom so coming home from work it would be nothing but her frustration rubbing off on me and constant complaints about the kids driving her crazy. I'm definitely not going to survive living at home during the week which is why I'm renting a room close to school and away from them. I probably sound like the worst dad/husband ever but this is the only way. Plus, school is about 2 hours away, so that's not the only reason. So that's pretty much my way of surviving. I'm grateful to have a beautiful and extremely supportive wife. PA school was a dream at one point and it's finally becoming a reality.

To answer your question based on what I have heard from a cousin who just finished his MD residency; married students especially those with children succeed in school. Party due to the motivational and emotional support network they have beneath them. So let that be of some positive words for everyone.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was married (still am and yes to the same wife lol) when I was in school. My program was far enough from home but not close enough to be able to stay at home that it was more prudent to stay near campus so I was away from my family 5 days a week and went home on weekends. Only missed one weekend due to studying for didactic finals. I tried to spend as much time with them as possible. Problem was the wife was not on board 100% and actually thought I did not "need" to go to PA school from a financial aspect but understood and kinda supported (again, not 100%) my professional desire to go.

 

It definitely put a strain on our marriage but we were able to get through it.

 

Honestly, I don't think we are in the same place as husband and wife as we were before school but after almost 20 years of marriage, who really is regardless of PA school etc?

 

Having said that, we are in a better place now (almost 7 years later) but like I said it definitely put a strain. My kids were still little (5 and 2) when I started school and it took a little bit for them to accept dad is back after I graduated especially my little one but that too passed.

 

Some advice above was given to keep personal boundaries with classmates. I can concur that some in my class definitely crossed those boundaries. Some divorced after school so that's some real good advice.

 

My advice is PA school is important but Family is more important. Make sure family is all on board and they know or at least understand the expectations of you by the program and that will mean not spending as much time with them. Also that you may not be present for some, if not most, big family events for the next year or two.

 

In the end, I always say this to people who ask like my students and shadows, but I tell them it's like joining the military; I am glad I did it and glad I finished but looking back, I would not do it again. Lol

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was married with 2 kids (ages 2 and 6 months) when I started PA school and had a 3rd finals week the last semester of didactic year (slept and studied for finals on the couch outside of the NICU for the week our 3rd was there). 

I had a group of about 6 of us who studied together, all of us married and 4 had at least 2 kids.  1 guy in our group was brilliant, the rest of us you could call average for PA students.  

My best points of advice are these: 

1. Study time is study time, family time is family time.  M-F usually the best I could do was getting home for dinner for about 2 hours to help with feeding the kids and getting them ready for bed before going back to the school to study.  Sometimes I'd pop in at lunch for a half hour. 

Saturdays i usually studied for half a day unless there was a test coming up, the other half of the day we had family time.  Going to the lake, hiking, going to the park, etc. 

Sundays I didn't study, ever.  For religious reasons and because it was family time as well. 

Study at school whenever possible.  It's hard for kids to understand that mom/dad has to study. 

When you are studying give it 100% of your focus, when you are with your family give them 100% of your focus. 

2. Live as close to the school as you can as long as you can afford it and it is a safe area to live in.  This will save a lot of time in commuting which cuts into study and family time.  

3. During the rare time you have off between semesters capitalize on this to disconnect from school and be with your family. 

4.  Make sure your wife and kids have a strong support system.  While I was studying for long hours with the group of guys I referenced above, our wives spent their time together hanging out at each others houses, going to the park together, supporting each other.  Some of our best friends are still these families from school even though we live in different states.

5. Remember that while PA school is intense and very demanding it is only a brief amount of time in the grand scheme of things.  Be at home for the important stuff during school but don't beat yourself up for spending time you need to away from your family because you're doing it to support them. 

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a PA or PA student, though maybe if my wife gets her wish when I retire from the military. I can speak on how hard it is. My wife attended school in Anchorage Alaska, and I stayed in North Pole, Alaska with 2 kids, 9 and 5 at the time. It will be EXTREMLY hard. I was fine since I've been deployed, TDY, etc, my kids had a hard time with mom being gone but I kept them busy. My wife had it the hardest. She just focused on studying and missed birthday's, first day of school etc. It's important to have a good support system. Set your expectations with your family, it was easier for us IMO because we were not near Mom so my kids didn't get sad when mom would spend hours and hours studying. I suggest breaking down an hour a day for family time, you will study so much you can't even imagine. I've seen my wife's notes, countless books we've purchased etc. 

Find that balance, from my deployment experience I felt it better for my wife so she could focus on studying, not feeling guilty about studying vs family time etc. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently on my break after finishing 1st semester of PA school. I am a mom of 2-year old twins and a 4 year old. The semester was hard, the worst was feeling guilty about not having enough time for kids and then not having time for studying as much as others. My advice would be to try not to compare yourself to others. You will not have as much time as them, you will most likely be an average student in your class. It is okay, it took me the whole semester to accept these two facts. I do have lots of support from my mom and my husband. I wouldn't be able to do it without them, especially in the finals week. Prepare your spouse for it, it will be even harder for them. I was worried about kids, but they handle it better than me. I don't spend my free time on house chores, but I try to make it count. I do think it is harder if you're a mom, but I may be wrong. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a fairly new grad, and I had a 4 year old and 3 year old through didactic, and had my 3rd 3 days before graduation. If you have a solid relationship with your spouse before starting school, that is crucial to your success (along with communication). I agree with Rev about managing your expectations. I actually found that I was less stressed than classmates, however, because I had more perspective on life and what was important. Learn what you need to know to be a great clinician, but don't burn yourself out... your family is first priority.

I do agree with MomofEAF that it's tougher being a mom in school when the kids are little. I give major kudos to all the dads who have done it, though!

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am about a month into PA school now and have two kiddos 7 and 3. It is tough, but its doable. You just need to make sure you have a SOLID plan and make sure that you are your spouse agree on such plan. As long as both of you agree and your plan is realistic to include enough time for school and family, you will be fine. 

Good luck

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2017 at 7:30 AM, Joelseff said:

 

 

Quote

it's like joining the military; I am glad I did it and glad I finished but looking back, I would not do it again. Lol

AMEN. You can do anything for a little while ;) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JHarp said:

 

I had an interview and school/family balance came up.

It is a sacrifice, but it is also an investment.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, majetito said:

I had an interview and school/family balance came up.

It is a sacrifice, but it is also an investment.

Agreed, I wrote about this in personal statement. Its important to me to be able to fufill my own goals and I think its important for children to see their parents work hard and reach their goals. You are never too old to learn! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s definitely possible with a plan and support system. I’m a single mom of a 6yr old currently in my 3rd semester of PA school. It’s exhausting but possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is great to hear--I supported my husband through getting his PhD, so he's onboard w/ supporting me through PA school. 

We have four girls, ages 3-12, and I'm prepping them *now* for the time when I'm not able to be there. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in my 1st semester. I've got 2 kids, 9 and almost 5, and no family here. It's rough to have time to study, make dinner, etc. Plus, my husband is working nights so I have to get home so he can go get some sleep. But, it makes you really buckle down and do what you have to. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2018 at 10:53 PM, TrekkieByDay said:

This is great to hear--I supported my husband through getting his PhD, so he's onboard w/ supporting me through PA school. 

We have four girls, ages 3-12, and I'm prepping them *now* for the time when I'm not able to be there. 

Ugh. I have started as well and my 5yo (6 next month) doesn't handle it well when we talk about it. She's an anxious kid so I forsee some therapy to get her through it. It doesn't help that I'm a stay-at-home mom now and have been since she was born (as well as a student since she was 3.5). 

So, I worry about transitioning her more than anything right now. Still waiting for interview invites, but I am banking on a January 2019 start just so we can be prepared.

Of course there's also the fact that she's my snuggle bug and it's going to tear me up inside, but I try to push that thought out of my head. LOL 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/28/2017 at 1:52 PM, cnaber007 said:

I have five kids ages 9,7,5,2, and 5mths and I am about to start PA school next week.  Obviously, I haven't made it through yet but I spend a lot of time researching and talking to people about doing PA school with kids.  Most people I talked to said the hardest part is just balancing school and family.  Just make sure you carve out family time, and when its family time, its family time. Don't let school creep in. Also as you mentioned having a supportive spouse is imperative! Feel free to message me in a few mths to see how I'm surviving!

Hi 

just wanted to get an update on how you were doing in PA School specially with family of small kids. im a mom too and wont be applying until next year so interested in finding out about your experience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry just saw this. Feel free to email me as I rarely check this site, carrie@rhuebner.com. I just finished didatic and have started rotations.  It's really gone very well and I haven't had to miss too many kid's events. This does mean though that pretty much every other second of my life not spent doing family time was spent studying. Ifg there was an hour between baseball and soccer games,  I was studying. Also, my husband and I managed to have regular dates nights several times a month. This was very helpful.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the throws of didactic currently. I could write a long post but I think the single most important decision in regards to balancing family and school has been to be very intentional about having a weekly date night to unplug from school and have quality time with my wife. Typically Fridays. Also, Saturday mornings I try to do something with the kids too.

There are many other things, but that for sure I think has been crucial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PA school is doable with kids. Very doable. It’s rough at the beginning but everything becomes routine

I married and have a 2 boys, 4yo and 1yo. My wife doesn’t work. So I work as an RT on the weekends and I’ve managed to survive more of PA school, 7 months left to go. It gets easier as time goes by, but the hardest part is obviously the lack of time spent with family, work and PA school is easy compared to that. So If I can do it, anyone can.

Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By DD2PA
      Starting this for new applicants. Just FYI the program DID gain accreditation,  I've emailed one of the admins to place this topic under the accredited programs but no reply yet. Anyways goodluck! 
    • By anazia
      I have a Bachelors and MPhil in Environmental Sciences. I got married young and have two kids at 27. I am planning to get back to my studies, as both of them are off to school.  I want to apply for Physician assistant program, but I would like to know my chances.
      I have been working as a freelance research assistant for four years. I have worked on medical and scientific papers. I am a good student and have always done well in studies. 
      I am planning to start with Prereqs because even though my degree covers some subjects, I don't want to risk my chances by using an old degree. Also, I am not good at math and have started working on my GRE.
      The only drawback of my situation is that we only have two universities nearby, offering this program. I know I have very slim chances and have been told repeatedly that I might not get in, but I still want to try.
       
      I'll really appreciate your suggestions.
    • By PAPath19
      Hello everyone,
      I will be applying to schools this cycle and I am beyond excited and nervous.
      I just wanted to create this group to share our progress so far and where we're at in terms of application timeline.
      Feel free to share your experiences, thoughts and any questions.
      Let's help eachother out! Goodluck everyone 🙂
    • By ltarke
      Please see attached PDF.  We are a new program in NJ.  We received a $5M gift from an alum and we now have state of the art facilities, over 70 clinical partnerships, and we are accepting 50 students in our first class.  Attend virtually to find out why the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown NJ is the right choice for you!  
      CSE PA Virtual OH postcard, 1-24-19.pdf
    • By Jean16
      Hello,
       
       I am seeking advice for a friend who unfortunately has waited until her last elligible year (year 6) and month (Dec) it seems to take her 1st PANRE. She seems to be under the impression that if she does not pass on this one attempt, she will have to return to PA school...therefore losing current position in an ICU since shell no longer have the -C. ( I don't believe  our state of residence allows PAs to work without it).  When researching the NCCPA and even this board I don't see any information about what would happen in a situation like this. I don't doubt that shell pass as she  was towards the top of the class and typically does well on exams...but I also find it interesting that theres no info on this anywhere. Does anyone know?
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More