Q&A: Can I Manage Being a Mom and Wife with a Part-Time Job During Vet School?

I’ve always wanted to be a vet but things never go as planned so I now have a family, married with two children. My oldest is in school already and my youngest will be by the time I can apply to vet school but I wanted to ask you if you think it’s possible to not miss out on my children’s lives and attend vet school at the same time? I can’t find any information on the internet that says how many hours a day you are in class as a vet student (or weekly) and that is vital information I need to know because since I do have a family I will have to have at least a part time job while I’m in school. So essentially I will be in school, studying, having a part-time job, and am a mom who hopes to make most of my kids’ events and tuck them in at night. Oh Lord, I feel like I could pull my hair out just thinking of all of it! Okay I think this is long enough for this hour of night so I will let you go and will be looking forward to reading your reply.

Thank you very much,




Hi SE –

Thanks for writing. I know that the rigors of vet school are overwhelming enough for the average person who does not have a family, so I can understand how you are feeling. I wish I could honestly say that you can balance it all out and make all parties happy, but I’m afraid it’s not that easy.

There are a few parents in our class, most only have one child, but one woman has three young kids (all under 10 years old). Speaking with her about her situation is heart-wrenching because she knows how her kids are missing her because of all the time she is in class or studying. At times, it makes her want to quit vet school just so she can be with them and be the mom she wants to be. Unfortunately, it seems like the way she has managed to balance is that she ends up giving 80% to each part of her life—her family, her education, etc. She’s not putting any one particular thing first in life, but she knows she can’t just devote 100% of her attention to school and forget about her family.

Though my classmate may have 3 children, she does not have a part-time job like you say you would need. And honestly, I do not know how one would manage 2 kids and a husband with being full-time student and a part-time employee. I do not want to discourage you because I think people can do astounding things when they really are pushed and have the desire to, but I do not think the average person could handle all of that. I don’t think I could, at least.

Remember, the old curriculum at Davis (which is my curriculum) has us in class from about 9-5 every day, while the new curriculum cuts the number of classroom hours but increases the independent learning portion. So in the end, regardless of which curriculum you’re learning under, even if you’re not in class, you’re studying in the majority of your free time.

I would say that, if you really want to be a vet, consider what things you are willing to compromise on in order to balance all of these competing priorities. I know you want to be there for your children and tuck them in every night, but I think the first step is coming to terms with the fact that you (and your family) will likely have to make sacrifices in order to pursue this dream of yours. The good news is that it is temporary!

Good luck!

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