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kaybye7878

Any working PA moms out there?

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I was just accepted into PA school. I am seeking the advice of PA moms. 

I’m about to turn 31 and I want to have children soon. However, I am concerned about how PA school will affect this. Two years of PA school and year of working puts me at about 34 before I can have kids. I have a family history of infertility so I am not willing to put kids off too late. Having children is more important to me than being a PA. My husband makes enough money for us to live comfortably without me working. I am considering not going to PA school all together because I am scared that it will be too overwhelming. I do not have a lot of family support, so I would have to hire outside help when I work. 

How hard is it to have kids and be a new grad? The main reason I was attracted to the PA profession is because I heard it was flexible and had good work/life balance. I am beginning to feel that this profession is not nearly flexible enough for a new-mom/new-grad. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. 
 

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I'm not sure how helpful I can be but I can share my experiences. I'm not a mom yet but just graduated, starting my first job next month and hope to start a family in 1-2 years. 

My sister is 11 years older than me and I have watched her in her PA career. She started her family within the first year of practice and she has sought jobs that are not Mon-Fri since her husband already works Mon-Fri. This considerably cuts down on the need for someone to baby sit and the cost associated with it. She does shift work and this really helps her spend quality time with her kids instead of a few hours before their bedtime every night. She works 12 days a month. They are long days (14 hrs usually), but that means she has 18 full days with her kids every month! 

The catch is that not every job as a PA allows this, in fact most don't. It will take time to find a job that allows for a schedule like this. In my job search, it is mostly inpatient positions and EM that will give you shift work. Obviously there are plenty of working PA moms out there working Mon-Fri who seem to figure it out too. 

I think it is reasonable to think about starting a family 6mo-1yr into your first job as a PA. 

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If you were to look back at the end of life, which would you regret more: not being a mom, or not being a PA?

Unlike motherhood, PA has no particular upper limit on age.  35 is not a magic cliff where fertility goes form 100% to 0% or anything remotely similar, but if your family history is at all concerning, are you going to end up kicking yourself for not having kids now?

There IS work-life balance in a PA career... but mostly after you've "paid your dues" and have 10,000 hours of practice, for the Gladwell fans.  I love my flexibility and diversity, but at the same time, I get no benefits.  If you want benefits, it means putting yourself under one employer's thumb... which means they can squeeze you to produce more revenue.

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I’m a male, with kids, and an NP. There is nobody I’ve ever met through work that is more interesting than any of my kids. Consequently, I work to live rather than live to work, and whatever job gives me the correct work/life balance is the right one for me. It didn’t have to be the NP field. 

Also, I’m a quantity over quality type person when it comes to parenting, and I don’t feel I can model correct principles to my kids if I’m rarely around. I get more enjoyment out of many simple moments vs fewer big events. I’m greedy that way. My kids are not a mystery to me. I know them well, and that comes from being around them a lot.

I think Mr. Ronin has a good point (among many great points) about how finishing PA school marks the beginning of many additional time commitments you may face. You might have more flexibility than others do based on your financials. That’s encouraging. 

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Just have the kids now and go to school later.  You're still young.  I have a one year old and I'm a NP.  That little boy is more important than anything.  If you are financially secure and are in a position to delay graduate school to have children, I say go for it.  

Alternatively, have you considered other careers in health care?  Do you already possess a bachelors degree?  If so, why not pursue a one year accelerated BSN program.  This will allow you to have children quite soon, will give you a useful degree with job security, shift work likely working 3x12s so you'll have lots of time off with the kids, accumulate pertinent health care experience, plus, you'll have the option of pursuing PA, NP, CRNA, etc at a later date.  

Edited by Kaepora

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