Leaving my 2 year old for nursing school

Guys I'm stuck in a huge dilemma. I live in Dallas texas with my husband and my parent live literally down the street from me. I just got accepted to Nursing school which was always my dream. Problem is, the school is in Houston Texas which is 4 hours away. It's a 2 year program. And I have to leave m 2.5 year old and husband because of his job here to go to Houston. She will spend the day with her grandmother and grandfather and then daddy will pick her up after work. Am I being a bad mom abandoning my child? Becoming a nurse was always my dream since I was a kid. I was never able to complete it and it became a mom. I love my child but I want to have a career too! Why do I feel like I am a bad mom????

  • anonymous mom
    Apr 11

    I honestly think you should find a local nursing program...but having said that, this isn’t the end of the world. You just have to decide if you’ll be okay with missing out on so much of these earlier years. You’re not a bad mom!!

  • Anonymous
    Apr 11

    Wait to be accepted somewhere closer! You deserve a career but your toddler deserves a mama too!

  • Sam512
    Apr 11

    Can you compromise and find a nursing school in Dallas? I’m all about supporting women and their academic endeavors but I think it’ll also be hard on you to miss these years. I would worry you might get there thinking you did the best thing, then find out you’re missing milestones and feel full of more guilt. It happens, it’s very natural. I think finding a school closer to home where you can lean on grandparents and hubby for support and still pursue your dream might solve all of the issues. I say this because I found myself in your shoes. After trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully, I got into my dream MBA program. I started and then got pregnant. I put it on hold until my girl got a bit older. I restarted and with the same enthusiasm you have. It was my dream. Slowly I felt torn. I could get a local degree, I could get back those missed years. I’ve always leaned on the more independent side so I was really torn. In the end, I came home, and am happier than ever. In fall I start at a local university with a great program and I get to see my family. Like you, my parents live close and take care of my daughter while I’m in school and hubby works. Please think about it. Best of luck to you! You’ll do the right thing- you know what’s best for YOUR family, I was just offering what worked well for me.

  • anonymous mom
    Apr 11

    She’s asking for opinions, no one is being ridiculous, there’s nothing wrong with what anyone is saying here as there’s no right or wrong answer to the question. Given that most programs and universities start on set schedules of fall and winter, there’s nothing wrong with suggesting she wait to see if she’s accepted to a local program since she’s presumably not in the position to have to decide and move right away. Is she a bad mom? Absolutely not. Once she has her nursing degree it will open doors for her and her family. The reality is people have to spend significant amounts of time away from their kids often (in thinking of military assignments here). Obviously this is doable and clearly if she has to go the route of entering a two year nursing program 4 hours away it’ll be okay and she’s NOT a terrible mom at all. But if it’s possible to do it closer in an equivalent or better program, then of course that would be the better option. That way she can still be a part of her daughters physical daily life. In the end it is what it is and there’s no right or wrong answer and no one is being ridiculous.

  • Eva
    Apr 11

    Go to Houston. You don't need to literally be with your child 24/7 to be a good mom. You won't miss out if you visit her on weekends and schedule daily video calls. A career is extremely important as it gives you the ability to provide for your child. A career you love is good for your self esteem, which helps you be a stronger mom. You'll get to set a good example for your kid. You are great mom! Go become a nurse and make your family proud!

  • Anonymous
    Apr 11

    Let me start by saying I am not passing any judgement at all here - I just want to share my own experiences with a similar situation. My husband and I relocated to another state last year for his job - my work was AMAZING and let me keep my job and travel out to the office every couple of weeks to meet with my staff. How could I give that up, right? It was the PERFECT situation for me and I LOVE working and my job. Except.....my 2 1/2 daughter started really understanding when I was leaving that I would be gone for days. She developed severe anxiety no matter what we tried. We talked about it with her, read books about traveling, FaceTimed literally 3+ times a day when I was gone - nothing helped. Her anxiety around my leaving kept escalating. She would cling to me before bed every night I was home and say things that broke my heart like, “please don’t ever leave me Momma, it makes me so sad”. She started becoming withdrawn and talked about my trips and leaving all the time. We experienced shifts in her moods and even brought in a therapist because she was struggling so much with my absences. Mind you, I was only gone every few weeks...but as we learned through therapy, children, especially young children forming an understanding of the world, do not and cannot process absence like that. Biologically, they are programmed to feel abandoned, which causes extreme distress. My work was my happy place, I built my department from scratch, it was more than just a job for me. But seeing her suffer because of MY wants and desires was unfair and selfish for ME. I quit my job a month ago and it was the best decision I ever made - and it took me too long to make it. The damage of my leaving has already hurt my daughter and I hope I can spend as much time as possible trying to help her understand, cope, and grow through it. If this is the ONLY school for you, move your family with you. It’s not months, it’s years, when your beautiful smart child is still young and vulnerable. Side note - my SIL is a nurse and applying for a specialty program for an advanced certification in another state. If she gets accepted, my brother and their family will move out there. It is common to move for nursing school, but leaving your family behind seems like the strange part. Have you been a stay at home mom? Do you need more time for yourself in your schedule as it is? Is there something underlying here which drove you to seek opportunities so far from your husband and child and to thinking leaving instead of taking them with you was the answer? There are a million other solutions that wouldn’t involve leaving your child but would still allow you to pursue your dream. I hope your husband is supportive of you- it sounds like he is if he’s cool with you moving away for years. I’m all on board with the you do you mentally posted above, but if that could hurt your child, as it did in my situation, I think it’s fair to consider if it’s worth it.

  • Liz
    Apr 11

    Go to get your dream girl, while she is with Grammy or any adult who pays attention to her needs she is gonna be just fine! Also trust in God !

  • Anonymous
    Apr 11

    Is there more to the story? Is the program in Houston different than nursing programs in Dallas? How many days a week would you be gone? I can’t help but think there is something else going on... whether with the program, your family, you, etc. You have to do what’s right for you and your family, but without more information seems like a nursing program local to you would make more sense. Kids are resilient, I suppose, but based on the facts presented seems like there is another solution that would avoid a real loss for your daughter.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 12

    Might be good timing. By the time you’re done your child will be ready for school and you’ll be able to work and feel less guilty about it since she’ll be at school anyways

  • Tiffany
    Apr 12

    Yes, I think you should look for a nursing program closer to home. Don’t give up that dream. Two years is too long to be away from your child. You won’t ever get that time back and it could permanently change your relationship with her.

  • Jen
    Apr 16

    Annie, following your dreams and setting big goals is an amazing example to set for your daughter. No matter what you choose to do, I pray it works out. Last year I got an amazing job offer which took me out of state for almost 3 months before my family moved. We FaceTimed daily and we had a handful of visits. My 4 year old took it pretty well as it was summer and her days were filled with pool days with her grandmother. My 9 year old did not, his anxiety got so sever that we sought the help of his pediatrician and a therapist. A last minute delay in the moving day almost spun him into a panic attack. Months after being back together I still see echos of those months in my children. My youngest seems uneasy when her dad is not in the same room and my oldest hates when we leave them home with a sitter. The thought of abandonment is still present and it’s something we as a couple work hard to combat. They cling a little closer than before and even a late pick up from school affects them. And if I was being honest, this did not only impact them. My husband and I had to work hard on reconnecting after they moved. I definitely had mom guilt and found it hard moving from learning to live alone and work crazy hours back to wife and mom mode, I am still working on this. I know we made the right move, I just wish I would have moved my family with me instead of waiting. That was 3 months, I cannot imagine 2 years. I am in no way calling you a bad mom for pursuing your dream, I think it’s quite the opposite of that. I am just a mama on the other side asking you to consider how the next 2 years will impact your little one. Praying for you lady!

  • Erica Rapport Gringle
    Apr 18

    I'd suggest waiting to start this for a year. Kids from 18 months to 3 are working on separation/individuation issues and if a child feels abandoned during this time, there could be longstanding vulnerabilities. By 3+, a child feels more autonomous and I think your move away to do school (with as many ways to connect as oossible) would be better tolerated. Good luck!

  • Kris
    Apr 18

    Go for it Annie! This is your dream and don’t give up. This will be better for you and your family as well in the future . You can manage the all details and don’t feel that you are bad mom. You are great ! Get this done girl!

  • Jing
    Apr 19

    One of my husband’s friends gave birth during her residency program while her husband was working in another city four hours away. She hired a nanny and was a single mom during the week for about two years. It was extremely hard at times but they made through it. Since then she graduated from the program, reunited with her husband and had another child. I think a lot of it depends on the unique situation you are in, the personality of each person, the relationships, the family dynamics, the age of the child, the financial situation, long term goals as a family etc. I honestly had a hard time understanding why the husband could not take a leave of absence for a while to be with his family ( technically he was able to) and it would not have been our choice for me and my husband but they did what was best for their family. You are trying your best and your child will be very proud having a mother who pursues her dreams.

  • Anonymous
    May 02

    What did you decide?