Being a parent and a Nurse are demanding roles and it may seem almost impossible to thrive and manage both at the same time, but it is possible! If you're a parent in the Nursing field consider these tips below.
This feeling of missing out on important moments in your children's lives while away at work can really build up negative emotions such as anxiety and depression.
Author and Journalist Amy Westervelt has some advice to overcoming this guilt. First, stop beating yourself up over your choices and circumstances. Instead, remember the reasons behind your choices. Every time you think to yourself, “I feel bad about __” replace that with, “I made that decision because ___” and then move forward.
Amy mentions it's important to remember that guilt is inherently tied to empathy. Feeling guilty means you have compassion, care, and concern for those around you.
Set Standards Early
You must show up and give it your all at work as well as at home so it's best if you set clear parameters and priorities from the start. Openly talk with Supervisors, Coworkers, and Family about what shifts and commitments you are able to attend.
It's great to help coworkers with an extra shift from time to time but work shouldn't come at the expense of your family. If it's your day off, don't check emails and voicemails, focus solely on enjoying your time with loved ones.
Connect With Fellow Nurse Parents
There are plenty of Nurses who have children, it's a good idea to get to know them. They can give you tons of great advice and suggestions to improve your work life balance.
These parents know exactly what you're going through and can offer empathy and support. Just being able to talk to someone who can relate is a stress reliever.
Declutter Your Days
In a perfect world you'd attend every parent teacher meeting, do car pool, eat pizza after soccer matches, etc. but in reality you can't say yes to everything. Life can become hectic with everyone's different schedules.
So in order to stay on top of everyone's availability, creating a calendar at home and on your phone is a great way to stay organized. You can plan out meals for the week, keep track of extra curricular activities, kid's chores etc. Organization is key to a good work life balance.
If you can afford to outsource help it can alleviate a lot of stress and free up time to spend with your family. For example, if trips to the grocery store are taking up too much time try getting them delivered. Overwhelmed with house cleaning? Hire someone to come and help clean for a couple hours. You find you don't have the energy to walk your dogs, local dog walkers are always available.
Don't Forget About You
Balancing family and your career can tire you out physically and mentally. There's the old saying, "You can't pour from an empty glass." So it's important to take care of yourself.
It's okay to ask friends and family for a helping hand in taking care of the kids so you can have some time to do things for you.
Use that calendar we mentioned above to schedule some self-care or time for the hobbies you enjoy. And if you find yourself with an open time slot, that doesn't necessarily mean you should fill it, leave some space to breathe.
Give yourself some of the love you are constantly giving to others. You are a wonderful Parent and a terrific Nurse, so keep going - you got this!