Pre-med classes vs. baby

Hello to everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a letter, but I’m wondering if there are any Moms or Dads out there who are wrestling with decisions about putting their baby into day care so that they can take the pre-med sciences. I’ve just received a preliminary schedule for january, starting with chemistry, and the classes and labs meet so frequently that I’ll have no choice but to put my 13 month old into day care for mostly every day. I’m surprised that I’m upset about doing this, and I’ve got a lump in my throat just thinking about it, but again, it comes down to my age. I’m 44 years old, and I really don’t have the luxury to wait to do this until the baby is older. How do babies do in day care, and has anyone else faced this dilemna? My pediatrician says that he’ll be okay, he’ll be fine, but when faced with the reality of leaving him there, I’m not sure that I can do it, even for a goal as noble as med school. Any thoughts, any experiences out there? Thanks, Siobhan

I put my little one into daycare and also utlize babysitting services from our neighbor as well as my inlaws. I put together plans A, B and C in terms of making sure that I had back up, back up and more back up.
I felt such incredible guilt and cried for the first few weeks of school…then I realized that my daughter was ok and did really well and cried because I thought that she did not need me! LOL
Put the time and effort into finding the right daycare and the guilt is not nearly as bad. It took me a lot of searching and word of mouth referrals before I found one that I thought “Wow–I would like to be here if I was a kid.” We started out in one over the summer that did not work out–thank God we did–or we would have had a crisis in the middle of Sept. This caretaker told my daughter that she was bad for crying because she missed me. I saw red and yanked her out after confirming this with the lady.
I now know that when I leave my precious daughter that they care for her just as I would. She has days where she cries when we go in (and my heart sinks) but I call while on the road and she has stopped as soon as I have left the building and has never carried on more than 5 minutes. They are good and know what to do.
Find someone good that you feel is the best–it will alleviate a good portion of the worry and perhaps some of the guilt (I do not think that moms ever throw away all of the guilt!)
E Lynne

Hello again, and many thanks to Anita and Anastasia’s mom for writing advice in this forum! I feel terribly conflicted about leaving the baby in day care so that I can take pre-med classes,so I’ve got a lot of soul-searching to do before I register for January classes. I love being a mother of an infant, equally, I guess, as much as I would love to be a physician. I’ve just got to figure out a way to do both, and be comfortable at it. Thanks again for your input! Sincerely, Siobhan

We had to put my daughter into daycare when I started medical school. she was 14 months old at the time. I thought it was going to kill me! I knew that it was all my fault, and felt like she would not have to go to daycare if I wasn’t so “selfish” and going to school. In the end, it was MUCH harder on us than her.
In hindsite, I am extremely glad we enrolled her into daycare. We will have more options with our next child, but I am still going to send him/her to daycare on a part-time basis. I know that the whole daycare vs. stay-at-home apretn is an emmotional issue that I am not going to get into. However, I will tell you that I was strongly daycare before we enrolled my daughter, and now I am a big supporter (on a part time basis).
Trey, MS-III

You know, if you are that worried then do not do it…just wait until your baby is older then tackle pre-med. I know that as non-trads we have this impeding sense of “we must do this now or never” but that is not the case. Medical school will ALWAYS be there for you regardless of when you apply. If you start pre-med and your head is at home it will be really tough to focus just do what your heart is telling you, and kids grow fast before you know it they will be attending school!

"I felt such incredible guilt and cried for the first few weeks of school…then I realized that my daughter was ok and did really well and cried because I thought that she did not need me! LOL"
My goodness…this sounds SO familiar! My oldest daughter was 11 months old when I started premed. I had stayed home with her full time before that. It took two day cares, but I found one that was just wonderful, and I’m glad I did it. I have been home full time off and on, depending on school and status of pregnancy since then…she is five now, and I have added two more! It was really hard, and I thought I was abandoning her. Since then, I have become a more experienced mommy and realize that they are going to grow up regardless, and often I am a better mom when we all have a break from each other.
I took this year off to stay home with my newest baby but will start med school next fall. He would have been four weeks old when I was due to start my MI classes. I am already feeling guilty for knowing that I will leave him at 13 months. However, I also realize that they are all going to grow up and leave home someday, regardless of what I do. I want to make sure that I am happy with my life apart from them, just as I am happy to be their mom. When they are infants, it is so hard to imagine the separation, but they won’t be glued to your hip when they are 18, or 15, or 12 for that matter.
I just want you to know you are not alone. I am terribly worried about how I will balance three very young kids and medical school. I feel like I go and go all day now - how am I going to have time to study, take care of the house, and be there for my kids? I just try to take it one day at a time.
Daycare is not the awful place that many first time moms envision. I used to think it was just awful. Now that I have had personal experience, I realize that is far from the truth. My 5 and 3 year old love to go when I have to leave them for a day, and even the baby does just fine without me for a few hours. Sometimes the older ones ask if they can go, even when I am home with them!
Take care of yourself, and follow your heart. Only you can make this decision. Once you make it, then own it, and be peaceful in it.
Take care!

Whatever your decision, your baby will pick up on your feelings. If you are comfortable with your childcare arrangements and happy with what you are doing, she will adjust fine. I remember how hard it was to leave my babies (the youngest is 7 now) but they thrive in good care, and the socialization is great for them. Best of luck. Being a parent and being in school is tough for sure.

I’m in my second year of medical school, and for the first year, my wife stayed at home with our son. Last fall we decided reluctantly to put him in daycare in order for my wife to find a job - and quite frankly, she was also going a little nuts being at home by herself with me being gone all the time.
So at 15 months, Ethan started daycare at our local Kindercare facility. It was tough the first couple of weeks - he would start to cry and cling as we were leaving. But he got used to it, and more often than not, barely gives us a wave as we head out the door, as his attention is captured by all the other little people.
The advantages that we see with daycare - especially a commercial daycare facility, is that he interacts with toddlers his age. This isn’t the random, relatively uncontrolled and brief encounters with other kids at the playground, but Ethan hopefully establishing relationships with his peer group.
The caregivers at our facility all have some form of early-education training, and the kids are kept occupied with games, activities, etc., which is great.
I do have to say, though, that full-time, 40 hr/wk daycare is expensive. And he comes home with every bug you can imagine … which he promptly passes on to mom and dad.
His personality has emerged quite a bit, and I honestly think he sleeps more soundly now because naptime with 15 other kids must have reduced his sensitivity to noise. I also think all the structured activity wears him out to the point that he will lead me up to his bedroom when he wants to go to sleep.
All that said, I would not have put him daycare as early as we did - though he’s doing fine. We have no family out here, and did not feel comfortable with, nor have the time to find an out-of-the-home daycare situation, and when an opening at a decent daycare place opens, it goes fast. Timing a daycare opening with starting a job can be tricky. So we jumped.
As others have said, if you don’t feel comfortable quite yet to place your child in daycare then don’t. But try to figure out what concerns you have and eliminate them to your satisfaction.
I think in all honesty the thought of daycare was more troubling to us than to Ethan. I still feel a twinge of guilt every time I drop him off. But he seems to enjoy it more often than not. And it allows us to continue being out here. Good luck!
- Tae

I know a man who went through all the pre-med sciences while raising five kids and working full time. guess he didn’t sleep.


I know a man who went through all the pre-med sciences while raising five kids and working full time. guess he didn’t sleep.

Or had a great, supportive wife