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Dear Claire, In order to realise my dream of finishing my masters in mental health counseling and also still help support my family, I will have to work 40hrs full time at my job and 25 more evenings and Saturdays at my unpaid internships for 9 months. My husband has major depressive disorder and our sons are 3 1/2 and 14. I just want to know if what I'm doing is too selfish or if my family can rise to the challenge. I don't know at this point. Thanks.
March 3, 2015
Thank you for your question.
Wow you sound like such an amazing woman.
I actually believe you can manage everything you mentioned. And no I don’t think you’re being selfish. You are providing for your family now and also thinking of your family’s future by furthering your education.
If you do go ahead with your plans, as I am not sure how much your husband is able to manage, it feels important to ask other family members or friends to help out with your sons on occasion and other domestic duties that may be harder for you to attend to. If not, then maybe there is some room to employ someone a few afternoons a week to help with dinners etc.
Also so you don’t experience burnout, try and squeeze in a massage or healing/counselling session, even if its only once a month. Self-nourishment will help you through those times when you are wondering if everything that you are doing is worthwhile.Naturally those thoughts will come; you’re only human. The secret is to not ponder them for too long and making sure you take some time out to relax and let them go.
I would also suggest an open family discussion with your husband and your older son. During the discussion explain to them very clearly exactly what type of support you feel you will need during that very busy period.
Considering your husband’s ill health if his response is not favorable, maybe have a joint counseling session. Having someone witness you express your needs can really help you reaffirm your commitment to what you want to do, and alleviate any feelings of guilt that may arise. It will also help your husband to understand why it is important for you to follow your heart and fulfill your dreams.
I realize these more adult discussions are not suitable for your 31/2-year-old son, however you can inform him about certain changes once things are underway. He feels such kind hearted little boy, and although he will miss you, he will be okay.
It will be a huge thing that you will be undertaking. However nine months will pass very quickly.
The Angels are also telling me to remind you that you have a very Good Heart. You are already a wonderful healer/counselor and once you have completed your Masters your work will deepen significantly.
Many changes are afoot and although change can be challenging, pursuing your dreams will help to smooth out the edges of those changes. And once you have completed your Masters your ‘vision’ will have also expanded allowing you to see into the hearts of others with greater clarity and insight.