With midterm elections approaching, help us make everyone smarter about the economy. Donate Now
My Economy

Working as a nurse but wishing to be a mom

Emily Henderson Sep 6, 2017
HTML EMBED:
COPY
A patient has her blood pressure checked by a registered nurse practitioner during a checkup in Wellington, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
My Economy

Working as a nurse but wishing to be a mom

Emily Henderson Sep 6, 2017
A patient has her blood pressure checked by a registered nurse practitioner during a checkup in Wellington, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.


For the latest installment in the series, we hear from Joy O’Brien, who works at a community health clinic in Massachusetts.

I’m Joy O’Brien. I am living in Stow, Massachusetts, in central Mass., and I am a nurse practitioner.

Working in urban environments with very poverty stricken, homeless families, that’s kind of my passion area. That’s the area that I want to work in. 

I actually grew up in a very stable family but a very poor family. Briefly, we didn’t have anywhere to live, too, so I have a deep feeling that I can meet these people with an area of understanding and compassion and not a sense of judgment. 

I’ve always wanted children. I started buying books at the school book fair when I was 8 and writing notes to my future children, you know, “Oh, I really like this book in third grade. I hope you do too.” And I’ve also always known that I wanted to adopt children. Life circumstances have actually made that an essential, but that’s not a blow for me, except for the financial aspect, in that that’s an unachievable thing right now. 

We can’t afford adoption, and I can’t afford not to work full time to pay off my student loans. So I’m paying $2,100 a month in loan repayments, which is about half of my salary. 

I made what seemed like a logical career decision to do something that was fulfilling and meaningful to the world and could make a difference in people’s lives. So I can help other people be moms but I can’t be a mom myself.

In a perfect world, I would be able to do this and be a mom. And I don’t think that it’s fair that I have to pick. 

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.