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Author Topic: Are you a single parent?  (Read 4597 times)

Tymeless

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Are you a single parent?
« on: April 18, 2005, 10:29:51 AM »
I am a 25 year old mother of a 4 year old little girl, who has embarked on her law school journey. 

Any other single parents out there as scared as me about your life with your child once school begins?  I mean I know that the end result will allow me to provide us a better life but I am still shaking in my boots.  Any advise, words of wisdom will be appreciated.
"You miss 100% of the shots you never take"
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COmom

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2005, 11:22:02 PM »
I am.  I will be 30 this year and my daughter is turning 7, going into 2nd grade.  My bills are caught up (old debt is paid off) and for some dumb reason I am walking away from a great paying job to increase my debt. 

I don't know what to tell you.  I think I will be ok since my daughter will be going to school at the same time I will (at the same time I am completely freaked out that she will hate me forever because I am going back to school).  I definately can't do the work and school thing (though my employer still wants me in a contract position).  My only $.02 - try to build up a good support system early on.  Folks that could watch your child if s/he is sick and can't go to school/daycare, or that could babysit (for free or a reduced rate) if you need to study a bit extra (or catch-up).  My best friend @ work has offered to watch my daughter if needed, and my daughter's friend's mother has also offered to look after her.  I think this support group (where ever you can find it) will be most beneficial.

Talk to co-workers if you have them, talk to neighbors, talk to friends and family in the area.  Tell them about going back to school and the hard work that will go into it.  Hopefully they can help (I bet you will be pleasantly surprised).  If you can't find anyone, call the school you plan on going to and ask if they have single parent (or really any family) resources for you.  Join a group - if nothing else you will have people to vent to that are going through the same thing you are going through.

Most of all good luck and congrats on making your dream come true!

dbgirl

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2005, 02:00:17 AM »
I went through my undergrad years as a single mom (I'm still technically single, though now I have a long-term bf who helps me.)

This is going to be hard work but will ultimately improve your life. Does your law school have on-campus child care?
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

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gusrip98

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2005, 08:23:26 AM »
I am a single dad and this is also a big concern, but I think it will be not too bad.  I know Stetson has a single parent club.  If your school doesn't have one, maybe you could start one.  That way there is a list of resources available in case you need it.  I also have some family near Stetson and that weighed heavily in my choice of schools. 

My daughter is 9, but when I started undergrad 3 years ago, I began giving her more and more responsibility.  She is almost fully self-sufficient now.  This is probably the biggest life saver when I am in time crunches.  She can cook, do laundry, and get herself ready for school.  I like to be there when she does all of this, but it is a millions times easier when I can just supervise while I am getting myself ready.  It is hard enough to make sure I have everything in the morning, much less for 2 people (well, 1 1/2....she is still little enough).
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Tymeless

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2005, 10:06:21 AM »
Well to date, I have only been offered one admission and NYLS does not have child care facilities that I know of.  As for a club, I dont believe that they have that either.  I actually helped found a club during undergrad and I remember how hard it was, but now that it is up and running it is a great resource for others.  I have thought of starting a parents club if there in not one or something similar to it, but I have yet to find one.  I am still pending at Hofstra and they have a child care program and clubs.  My support system is there which is great.  Grandparents, her god parents, aunts, and some friends.  She is still 4 so she cant cook yet, although I can't wait until she can :).  I guess my overall fear and in some ways guilt is that we will not be able to spend any sufficient amount of mommy and me time.  I mean I understand that it is for a good cause and it is only 4 years (part-time) 3 1/2 if I go throughout the year.

I have paid off most of my credit card debt, but I still have a good amount of student loans, I never really considered full time school, but now that I am realizing more and more that I will not be home from 7am to 10pm everyday, I hate the idea.  I meam I know that many do it, and at this point if I want to go I have to do it for the 1st year, so I guess I will see how that goes before I make any drastic decisions.

Thanks for your advice and sharing your stories.

"You miss 100% of the shots you never take"
I am taking all the shots I can.
In:NYLS, Touro
Out: St. Johns, Brooklyn, Hofstra (Damn, Damn, Damn!!!)

jacy85

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2005, 10:47:51 AM »
I really don't want to be a nay sayer, but going part time with a 4 year old is going to be ridiculously hellish on her.

Being away from 7am - 10 pm means that for a year, you won't see her when she wakes up, you won't see her when she goes to bed.  I was shuttled around like that when I was a kid, and I was not my mother's first priority.  I survived, but let's just say our relationship is less than great.  Your daughter will quickly resent the fact that she's being passed off on grandparents, on god parents, on friends.  When she's 4, you can tell her till you're blue in the face that its just for a few years, and you have school.  But what's sinking in is that she's never at home and doesn't see mom.

You'd be much better off going full-time, and at least being home, despite doing work, and seeing her and having dinner with her at night and putting her to bed.

I'm not a parent, but this is coming from someone who was at the other side of the discussion, the child.  I thank god everyday that my father took custody of me and raised me, as he was the sable and loving force in my life that made me who I was.

djladyjo

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2005, 12:13:09 PM »
whoa.. everyone has different experiences and mine was the opposite of the poster above.. my mom worked super hard and i barely saw her for a lot of my younger years and i was shuffled around.. but I did not mind and do not hold it against her.. nor has our relationship suffered..

I think the difference was that when I did see my mom, she made sure to let me know that the situation wasn't great, that she didnt like it either.. but that she was doing it all for me.. and that I was the most important thing to her.. that was always made very clear.. and yeah it was rought at times when other kid's parents were able to take them to school and pick them up and chaperone field trips while my mom was unavailable.. but we made it through.. it was temporary and now that I'm older I can only admire the fact that she busted her ass so much to get to the point we are in life today..

You'll make it if you make your daughter a priority and really make her feel that thats the truth.. although part-time school and full-time work may be rough.. i dunno about that.. but you are the only one that knows the circumstances your in.. i wouldnt get discouraged.. :)

Good luck!


Cyndra

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2005, 02:08:46 PM »
bump

dbgirl

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2005, 02:54:24 PM »
I have to agree that being busy does not necessarily damage a child, nor does having lots of time necessarily benefit a child, I think it really depends on what kind of parent you are.

I had a "stay at home" mom who did nothing all day, barely spoke to me because all she did was stay in bed most of the time. Even though she was a stay at home mom, children were obviously not her priority.

I on the other hand have been busy working and going to school for years, but I spend as much time as I can with my daughters and they are happy with me. I'm not just saying that, they tell me so.

That said, I think Jacy has a good point. I think full-time law school would be easier to handle than full-time work + part time law school.


When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

-TMcGraw

http://www.wm3.org/splash.php

jacy85

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Re: Are you a single parent?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2005, 02:59:55 PM »
Yeah, just to restate, I'm not saying don't go to law school if you're a single parent.  My main point was what dbgirl said:  the part time/gone ALL day is going to really, really hard on both of you.  Full time, while not easy by any stretch of the word, would at least ensure you could have dinner with your daughter every night, and take 20 minutes to tuck her in and read to her or something.