Hi! I read your post and want to respond because I was in a similar situation. My marriage was not doing well. But I decided to become a nurse in spite of that. I also wanted to enter the BSN program and so I had a lot of prereqs to take.
The big lesson I learned was that I was in denial about the seriousness of the problems in my marriage. I thought we were a regular couple who would work through our problems.
My desire to go to school put more strain on an already precarious marital situation. I did not recognize how precarious my situation was. I thought my marriage was a foundation I could rely on. We had been married over 8 years and had a stable life (home, kids in private school, 3 kids in lots of extracurricular activities.
My husband also had health problems which affected his mood and desire to put in extra help. He had no diagnosed psychiatric disorders, but had Low Testosterone, 100lbs overweight, uncontrolled blood sugar and blood pressure so high he nearly had a stroke and was hospitalized at age 40!
I say all of this to give you 2 pieces of advice, which may sound harsh.... (I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have taken my own advice, but that's not going to stop me from giving you some advice)
1) You need to take steps protect yourself and your son's financial interests. Even if you don't go through with a trial separation, you should consult a divorce attorney to find out what legal options you will have to assure that you and your son will have a roof over your head and food if, indeed, your marriage doesn't survive.
2) Don't give up on your dream! You can become a nurse as as single mom.
In fact, I wrote a post similar to yours back in 2011. Read it here.
I just graduated from an LVN school a few weeks ago. Because I didn't protect myself and didn't make moves fast when the sh@t was about to hit the fan, I completed nursing school under very adverse conditions. But, I can't complain because I made it through it by the grace of God. I lost a lot by pursuing my dream but I also felt it was important to put myself in a position where I could make good money.
I was also close to my husbands family, closer to them than my own. But when he started making accusations against me, neither his family nor mine, came to my rescue.
I was able to receive funds from a program called "WIA"
to help fund my LVN program. Your divorce settlement may force him to help pay for the costs of retraining for you. Or, may at least make him responsible to pay for half of your education loans.
I don't think your concern should be your husband, it should be about achievement of your goals and making sure that you and your child are financially OK.
You asked "Have any of you guys made it through full-time nursing school as a single mom?
Yes. I did. I was actually without a regular place to live for the first 4-5 months of the program because my husband kicked me out by filing a false restraining order against me because he was angry and I lived on different people's floors with my kids for months. (I never thought he'd ever do this when we were married and he still cries when he sees me and tells me he loves me
In order to get through nursing school, I lived off of cash aid/ food stamps, the generosity of others and the grace of God. My program was 40 hrs/wk plus travel time. I couldn't work much, but maintained straight A's for the first 6 months of the program and graduated with a 3.6. I kept primary custody of our son throughout this and kept his grades up. (I also had to attend court proceedings during nursing school which was very hard, he kept accusing me of child abuse!) I guess I'd like to warn you that when people get hurt or mad, they tend to lash out,
which is why you have to protect yourself. My husband never seemed like the type to do this type of thing.
If you want to read more about how I made it through nursing school, check out my blog