Best Time to Take Physics/ When to return to College

Hello, I am new to this forum and excited to make connections here for ALL of our futures! In my previous life as a college student, I took most of the Biology and Chemistry needed, even being a paid Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for our pre-med advisor’s Anatomy and Physiology courses for three years, while raising a son and two little girls. However, after a major death in the family, my husband needed me to take a break from pursuing my dream of being a physician and focus on raising our little family. He was still studying to become a Professional Environmental Enginner and wouldn’t graduate with his Masters until 2013. So in 2008, unsure if I would ever return to school again, I graduated with a heavy heart and a 3.0 GPA.
Ten years later our little family has increased to a total of six and with almost everyone in school and one about to graduate from highschool, I am back on my path to becoming a physician! I am 38 and previously served in the US Air Force Reserves. Due to my previous medical experience, I was able to land an awesome job one year ago as a Phlebotomist/Clinical Lab Assistant/Courier in a local hospital. Working graveyards has been tough, but with a 7 on/7 off schedule it has allowed me time to continue being a Mom and pursing my goals, as well as earning enough money to pay off extensive medical bills. I am now beginning my volunteer experience as a patient tech at a local free clinic, serving people 150% below the poverty line. This clinic is amazing and will give me more opportunites to serve and understand the real crisis we face with offering healthcare for EVERYONE.
I am planning on accomplishing a DIY Post-Bac at my local community college and am trying to decide when the best time to take Physics would be. I have never taken Physics, but my husband, who is much more mechanically inclined than me, still has his textbook and remembers being totally overwhelmed when taking the course. I know it will be the more rigorous part of the MCAT for me, since listening to the MCAT podcast and working through the recent Physics questions posed by Ryan and Brian from Next Step Test Prep (thanks for those BTW).
Should I take it first to get it over with (my husbands thinking) and prove that I really belong on this path or should I save it for the year before taking the MCAT so it will be fresh in my mind? I think that since I haven’t been a student in a classroom for ten years, I should start by taking the classes I am most familiar with, such as Biology 1610 and Chemistry 1610.
Also, I am trying to wrestle with whether I should start this Fall, or wait till my youngest son is in full-time school in 2019. I am getting great clinical experience at my current job, however, if I wait till I no longer have to pay for daycare or part of full day Kindergarten, I can switch to one of our sister hospitals, and just do morning blood draws from 4-9 M-F and full time weekends every other weekend, allowing me to focus on school full time. One of my community colleges’s campuses is right across the street from this hospital, allowing me to attend class during the day when my kids are in school as well and then be available at night to tuck them in.
Feedback and support would be awesome here! I am just getting off my 7 week stretch at work and headed home in a minute, looking forward to reading your comments when I wake up later today! Cheers!

I like your idea of starting with classes that are easier since you haven’t been in the classroom for a while. This was my plan, and it has worked great for me (3 kids, no science since 2004, retaking freshman bio). Acing this course has been a huge confidence booster, and I’m actually looking forward to taking chemistry–my worst every subject–this fall.

Also another thing I did was take a Coursera course in chemistry last fall to see if I felt that I was capable of learning it. I didn’t finish it but felt comfortable enough that I would be able to handle the classes. You might want to try diving into a free online course to get a feel for the material and reassure yourself that you can learn it. Finally, keep in mind that a lot of schools offer calculus-based physics and non-calculus-based physics. The non-calculus-based physics should be easier. No need to tank your GPA with a hard class you that you don’t need. Good luck!

Practically speaking, physics now plays a minimal role in the MCAT, and I’ve found that the free Khan Academy videos were more helpful than the teaching quality of the university I attended for my two semesters of physics (did both of them in the summer). That said, if math is a weak suit, then take these classes when you can have a lighter load. Good luck! Don’t rush the process. I know the big 40 can make you feel like you need to move fast, but do what’s right for you and your family. You’ll get there, and what a great lesson you’ll be giving your kids along the way: 1) they can always live their dreams and 2) sometimes we have to work really hard to get what we want.