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Old 12-04-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
SaraJayne
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Question If you've had a spouse in Grad School...

What was your experience like? Did you have children?

Positives and negatives to your experience?

Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
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My husband was not in grad school but he was in his last year of college when we married. He also worked a full time job so between the two we didn't have a whole lot of time together since he was either studying, working or in class. Being newly married I found it hard, but somehow we made it. That was 23 years ago.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwmom0f3 View Post
My husband was not in grad school but he was in his last year of college when we married. He also worked a full time job so between the two we didn't have a whole lot of time together since he was either studying, working or in class. Being newly married I found it hard, but somehow we made it. That was 23 years ago.
DH and I were married for his last year of college and had an infant for his last semester, but I expect this experience to be much different (for many reasons).

I finished up my undergrad when my DS was four and while expecting our second. I imagine grad school for DH (and me!) will be much different.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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DH took a single class in 2002. I was pg w/our 3rd, worked PT, and DH worked FT overnight shifts. We also had DD8 & DD2 - and DD2 was a complete terror at that age. It was not fun at all but I'm glad he finished the class as it was the ONLY thing holding him up from getting his degree.

I returned to school FT 3 years ago so DH had to take on a lot more household/kid duties. Our kids are more independent now and could stay home alone when needed. It was stressful at times but I think it made us better partners and brought him even closer with the kids.

Who is thinking of going back - you or DH? Do you have concerns?
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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I am in school currently. I am not working due to being in class full time. For now things are working nicely (no children....yet...) but when the baby arrives in May, I'll get back with you.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephMK View Post
DH took a single class in 2002. I was pg w/our 3rd, worked PT, and DH worked FT overnight shifts. We also had DD8 & DD2 - and DD2 was a complete terror at that age. It was not fun at all but I'm glad he finished the class as it was the ONLY thing holding him up from getting his degree.

I returned to school FT 3 years ago so DH had to take on a lot more household/kid duties. Our kids are more independent now and could stay home alone when needed. It was stressful at times but I think it made us better partners and brought him even closer with the kids.

Who is thinking of going back - you or DH? Do you have concerns?
DH will be getting his MS, starting either Spring Semester or next Fall. It is a 2 year program, one day a week (four hour class) and probably 15 hours of work outside of class. He'll be working full time in the mean time. His company offers 100% tuition reimbursement, so I'm not worried about the financial aspect of him going back.

More of what it will do to our home life.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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I went back to school 18 years ago as a single parent. I'm still paying the student loans to prove it lol. I also worked full time. It got really crazy at times, trying to fit grad classes around a job and kids, but it was the only way I was going to get a decent job. The really tough part was when I had to student teach and couldn't work at all. I married my husband about 8 months after I graduated, worked a full year, then went back to summer school. That was much easier since I still got paid over the summer, my husband was working full time, and we could a sitter for the hours I was in class. It was still crazy, we were packing to move out of state, the boys were 4 & 5 and unpacking all my packing, plus I was pregnant. I'll never forget sitting in class wearing extra long t-shirts to cover the only pair of shorts I could fit into. I had to leave them unbuttoned because I was to small for maternity, but to big for regular clothes, and could not find another pair any where. Thank God it was an all-female class lol.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Who's going?

Hubs and I are both students, same school. We graduate in May. Right now we're in finals week (I am going to finish editing a paper I turn in tomorrow after making dinner!).

Our experience has been good - we met here and got married last summer, so we have gone through it together. Even though we are in some of the same classes, having time together can be hard. The biggest "weird" thing has been the number of moving parts - although the time/hours add up the same as if one of us worked full time and one stayed at home, they are in a lot more chunks. Work, school, social/church commitments, house-keeping, social life (yes, we try to have one... we try...)

If one part of the schedule gets changed, things get crazy!!! and it's easy to let time together be the last priority. My advice would be to get ready to roll with the punches, and be willing to be extra diligent. FLEXIBILITY is key!!! We were waking up at 5am to do homework before breakfast for a while, because there were far fewer distractions and that left the evenings free for us to hang out.

Creating a few "scheduled" items can help you keep your sanity; i.e. we sleep in and have waffles every Saturday, without fail. So even if everything else in the week is crazy, we look forward to that and savor that time together.

you can do it!
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:58 PM   #9
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I was the spouse in grad school. I graduated last summer. I took two courses in the Spring and Fall, and three in the summer. There were many nights where I would come home immediately after work (I was a teacher and would get out at 4:30) get started, eat dinner with one hand and work with the other, go to bed about 2 AM and head back to work with about 3 1/2 or 4 hours of sleep.

I was busy every weekend. Many Saturdays and Sundays I worked all day and into the evening.

But I made it.

My kids at the time I started were 15 and 8. I missed a lot of outings, family movie nights, etc. I couldn't have done it without the support of DH.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:07 PM   #10
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My husband was in grad school when our older son was 14 and our younger son was 8. I won't lie, it was tough. For 2 years I was essentially a single parent. He had class, study group, paper writing. In the end, his MBA was worth it for the education but he never used it to get a job. He went into a family business.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:21 PM   #11
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I was the one who went back to get a Masters. I worked a full time job. My DH worked the overnight shift. My kids were young. (4&6) It was a 20 month program and I did very well. I am very proud to say that I got straight A's. BUT, my marriage almost didn't make it!! I don't think it was due to me going back to school, but more of that it called attention to some issues that were already there. It forced us to finally deal with them.

We are great now, but like grad school, it took a lot of hard work.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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We got married the summer before I started law school. DH went back to college after my first semester of law school. I think I would have spent more time studying at school if I hadn't been married. I was pregnant with our first during the last semester if law school and our ds arrived 4 weeks early, right before the bar exam instead of after! DS was 2 by the time dh finished school. Now we have three kids, including two under two. DH would love to go to grad school, but its just not possible right now.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #13
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When we were first married, DH and I were both pursuing master's degrees while working full time. No kids meant it didn't really matter when we got home, how late we stayed up, when we left in the AM, etc. We just each sort of did what was necessary.

For my doctorate (before we had kids), it was much of the same--DH was putting in long hours to build his career, I was working full time and going to classes 1/2 time, TA'ing, research assistant--the whole shebang. It wasn't until I was ABD and by that time we had kids that it really got stressful.

By then we had relocated for me to take a teaching position, DH was telecommuting and we had kids. We relied a lot of babysitters and grandparents during the dissertation writing years. In fact, I finished the first complete draft at 9am and gave birth to my 2nd dd that afternoon--you just find a way to make it all work. My DH accompanied me when I went back for my defense (not to the actual defense)...but he traveled to the city with me for moral support and last minute copying! The grandparents kept them during that trip and the "practice" oral sessions leading up to it.

At my graduation ceremony, the president of the university asked all of the parents, spouses, and children to stand up and be recognized for the fact that earning that degree was really a joint effort! They got a standing ovation and most of the graduates were in tears.

It was sometimes a hard won battle of time, effort, and expense---but the end result was worth it. It secured my position that will assure my children have a college education paid for---but it also served a great model for what they can do if they see fit. I pictures of my dd's standing next to me "newly hooded" and there's pride all around. In fact, there were many children standing on the steps as each graduate was hooded---watching their parents meet that hard-won goal....it was a wonderful day!
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:43 PM   #14
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My DH is currently in grad school. Our kids are 23 & 14, DH is a stay at home Dad while finishing his program. Due to the lack of job pressure he can spend all day while I am at work and DD is in school getting his work done. Because of this there is not a huge amount of discord or chaos in our lives. The one pressure is on me as the sole support, provider of benefits etc. That sometimes overwhelms me but we are making it work.

DH finished his bachelors & worked full time when our kids were younger. DD was a toddler. That was much harder since all of our "family" time when we were not at work or kids not in school was taken over by his school schedule. There were lots of activities he missed etc but it was worth it.

The thing that saved our lives, marriage and my sanity was we made a bi-weekly housekeeper a priority. We skipped a lot of extras to pay the housekeeper but it kept me sane.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #15
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My DH finished his bachelor's AND went to grad school while we were married.

He returned to finish his bachelor's degree when our first born was four weeks old. He went to school every semester, including summers, and worked 50-60 hour weeks. He would sometimes have to return to the office after class to finish up.

We were two ships that passed in the night. We still marvel that I got pregnant with our second while he was in school...our son was born as my husband was finishing up his master's.

I wouldn't change a thing about what he did...his company paid for all the schooling; we never would have been able to afford it otherwise. In addition, I pushed him to finish up while the kids were so young, BEFORE they got busy with sports and activites he would miss. Yes, it was very hard...but I was lucky to be a stay-at-home Mom and handle everything.
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