What is your role in the support system? / How do you help?
I am here to be there for my daughter 100% and help as much as I can until she finishes her education. I fill in the gaps in what my daughter cannot do because she is busy with school. Sometimes I do a lot, like cooking, cleaning, laundry, and therapist when she is especially busy with school and tests. Other times she does it and I fill in where she can’t.
Were you always on board with the decision? Why or why not?
Of course I was. Whatever career my daughter wants to do, she can always count on my unconditional support. It is my dream to see my daughter have that title where she can be able to have doors open for her and be happy. Having a career is very important for her to grow as a person. To be independent and someone my granddaughter can look up to. I want my granddaughter to see all the effort her mother puts into school so she can also one day do the same.
How has PA School changed your life?
I don’t have a life! It changed dramatically because now I can’t do what I want to do like travel, go out with friends, or sleep in on the weekends. I am at a point in my life where I want to retire but not yet until my daughter is on her own path and doesn’t need me. I don’t mind to stop what I want to do because I want to see my daughter succeed. It is my choice to help her and sacrifice what I want as we are on this journey together. Her success is my success. My name will also be on that diploma too!
What adjustments have you had to make?
A lot! I had to change work hours, wake up earlier to take my granddaughter to school, spend the weekends keeping my granddaughter busy so her mother can study which means I don’t sleep in anymore and I don’t have much alone time to do the things that make me happy. I changed my schedule a lot so I can be there for my daughter.
Why did you decide to go on this journey too?
Any journey that my daughter chooses I will be there to support her. It’s what a parent will do so their kids can reach their dreams. I am the type of person who likes to help, it’s the way that I am. It feels good to help other people so they can reach their dreams.
Did you feel that you were adequately prepared? / Did you know what you were getting into?
Yes I was prepared because I know how my daughter is. She is someone who gives 100%+ in everything she does and her commitment can be so strong that she sacrifices herself so to be successful and the best she can be. So, I knew her level of dedication would require me to sacrifice as well. I also had clients who went through similar medical programs and they told me how stressful and demanding it would be. So, I was not surprised how difficult it would be to be a PA. My daughter wants to give the best to her daughter so I knew she would push herself to the edge so she would succeed. Because I know this about her, I knew what to expect.
What is the most challenging part about PA school?
Seeing my daughter get so sick from the stress and it’s not easy to see your child suffering and there is nothing I can do about it. But always at the end of the road, there will be a lot of happiness so it’s worth it.
What have you found to be the most enjoyable aspect of this journey?
To see my daughter reaching her dreams and that it is possible for a single mom to succeed despite the odds being against her.
What is your advice to other families getting ready to enter PA school or any other intense healthcare program?
To give their full support and help them in any way that they can. There will be difficult days, ups and downs, and lots of emotions but to be there for their kids. If they are a single parent, or whatever their situation may be, their loved one needs to feel like they can count on someone for help. Also to not be afraid to speak your mind. The kids will ask for advice and they need guidance because sometimes their desire to succeed will be so strong that they are not thinking clearly. So, I have had to give advice to my daughter about what she is doing is not always the best decision. For example, the school was offering a trip to another country so to experience a medical mission. Even though my daughter wanted to go, because she is a single mom, she would be putting herself and her daughter in a bad place if anything were to happen. I had to step in and say no, that she could not go. I gave her the right reasons and she understood why it was not a good idea to go and she agreed with me. Regardless of her age, I am still her mom and know more about life and what can happen. So, be there for your loved one but also don’t be afraid to jump in with advice about their education and career path.