Brace yourselves cause this post right here …. 🙃
Can parents survive pa school without a support system? In short, sure. Anything is possible. But boy, oh boy, is that a VERY STEEP mountain to climb alone. But before you go all lone soldier towards your PA-C goal, I want to challenge you by suggesting that maybe the reason you don’t have a support system is because you haven’t built one 😑
Every once in a while, I’ll come across parents who will ask for advice/pointers on surviving pa school as a parent, only to pick apart everything about the person or advice presented.
Never mind the various interviews and schedules of moms (and a dad) in pa school & practice (click here ) from all walks of life & circumstances: married, divorced, military spouses, single moms, moms away from families who commute home on weekends & holidays, pregnant, raising a child fighting cancer, etc. Nope, that’s not enough. Instead, some choose to play the struggle Olympics 😤.
Listen, if you want all of the things you say you want, you’re going to have to put in work to make ’em happen. And that includes building a support system.
It doesn’t involve whining and complaining about all the things you don’t have! 😑 Or being focused on what others have
As if G-d hasn’t done anything for you 🙄
You may not find someone who has the same background as you, but that doesn’t disqualify or discredit their experience, advice & what you can learn from it.
Now granted, single vs. married parents may have different struggles but share more in common than one may think. Everyone’s marriage/family has its challenges, and all single parents aren't statistics.
Comparing every aspect of your story won’t get you anywhere—just false perceptions and assumptions. When people do that, they are taking what was heard and twisting it into some made-up fairy-tale their brain concocted about what they THINK is going on in the other person’s life.
In reality, they don’t know how hard that person works or has to put up with to maintain that support system.
If you are guilty of the above, stop whining about the resources, things, and people you don’t have. Below are steps to begin shifting that perspective to move towards the vision/goal planted in you.
What do you have?
- Co-parent is absent? That’s unfortunate, but who is around? – Parents? Family? Friend(s)? You need one or two solid people you can rely on (read what is a support system). It doesn’t require an entire army.
- None of the above? Sucks! Who can you pay and what is it going to cost?
- Can’t afford childcare, school, living expenses, etc? Hmm, that’s tough. When will you be able to afford it? This requires a target number, a plan on how to obtain the funds, and REALISITIC time frame to do so. All of which will involve creating a detailed budget (and sticking to it 😒) to closely examine finances and spending habits.
- Every other issue in between– Hopefully, you have caught my drift by now. You’ve listed all of the barriers; now how do you plan to overcome them?
Work with what is available
Maybe the only person you have is a parent – who are oftentimes more reliable than a co-parent. Be clear on what you will need and coordinate with them in ways that they can support you. Maybe they’re great caretakers of children but are insensitive to adult feelings. When times get tough, they don’t have a shoulder for you to cry on, but your kids are safe. To help process your feelings, most programs will offer a limited number of counseling sessions at no additional cost (already incorporated into tuition); take advantage of this if you don’t already have a therapist of your own. Invest in a journal or use a voice memo app to verbally vent your frustrations. Read or play it back to yourself once it’s all out of your system. Seeing/hearing your frustrations from an objective POV can help to decrease the anxiety. Check out the book Redefining Anxiety.
* Make it happen– This vision won’t happen on its own magically. You have to put in the work. You know the whole faith without works thing. It’s not enough to dream and talk about it.
Take some time to map out your plan . Write it all down. How many classes do you need, how much money will it require, what prerequisites are you missing, how long will it take to complete them, etc., etc., etc. Once you have a written & detailed plan laid out, execute it.
If you’re doing everything and it’s not working, be patient. That could be a message of not yet, or maybe this isn’t the right career for you/G-d has other plans for you.
We all have stuff going on. No matter how badass or put together someone seems to be; EVERYONE is struggling with an area or two of their lives. You’re not special, and you’re no victim. The world doesn’t owe anyone anything and vice versa. So what do you have to offer, and how will you provide it?
You’ve made it this far in life, so surely you know how to make lemonade, if not, guess it’s time to learn.
The more intentional you become and the fewer expectations you have of people, the more doors and opportunities start to open. As things progress, be clear (AND HONEST) about your why because it’s not uncommon for some to arrive at their destination only to realize it’s not at all what they want or expected.