My Vote is Split
posted April 10, 2015 3:33 PM
I am a student at SLIS. I have two young children. They take a lot of time and attention. I am their primary caregiver.
My first two semesters at SLIS, I intentionally scheduled classes and schoolwork in such a way that it barely impacted my kids. Everything was done while they were at (their) school. Even my library shifts are primarily during their school hours, and a grandparent typically picks them up when I work later. Things are much easier for me when the girls' schedule isn't disrupted.
Not so much from now on. I'm pretty much done with required courses, which are offered at a variety of days and times each semester. From now on, I'll be taking classes that are only offered once a semester, or even once every other semester (or even once every two years, but I don't even want to think about that). This means that I have very little choice as to when I go to school, and my kids' schedule will now depend on my schedule, instead of the other way around.
So when the Fall 2015 schedule came out, I had some choices to make.
Option #1: take back to back classes Monday afternoon and evening, and find someone to pick the girls up from school, bring one to and from gymnastics, feed them dinner, and put them to bed (Andrew often works Monday nights).
Option #2: take back to back classes on Thursday afternoon and evening, and find someone to pick the girls up from school and hang out with them/feed them dinner until Andrew gets home from work (around 7pm).
Option #3: take a Thursday afternoon class and one online class, which means I only have to find someone to pick them up and watch them until 4:30 (many more options when the time is only an hour and half -- a friend, a babysitter, a grandmother, aftercare at school).
Andrew voted for Option #3 (while saying he would support whatever I wanted to do -- but acknowledging that Option #3 would be better for the family), and the girls would certainly vote for #3 if they had a vote. I am torn. Option #1 is pretty much out, because there's just too much to do around here on Mondays to leave it to a babysitter. Option #2 sounds good, and #3 is good too, but I'd really rather take an in-person class than an online class. So my vote is split between #2 and #3.
But whose vote is most important? Shouldn't it be my choice to take the classes I want to take, the way I want to take them? Actually, no. Part of going back to school in my 40s, starting a second career, is knowing that my family actually does come first for me. It's OK to have their concerns in mind when I'm figuring out my class schedule. And I really, really wish that the classes I wanted to take were offered at 9am -- but they're not. So we'll all deal with it.
Are there other parent/students out there struggling with scheduling and family? I'd love to hear from you!