Being a parent keeps you extremely busy. Being a nurse keeps you extremely busy. Now combine those two (full time jobs) together, and you have one incredibly busy person, juggling a lot of balls. So how does a parent-nurse do it all? What is the secret to being that amazing parent who is always a reassuring presence in their child’s life, while at the same time being a dedicated nurse to their patients?
Each job requires dedicating your heart and soul to nurturing and caring for others. The key to doing a great job at both of these important roles is striking the balance of not allowing your personal and family life to interfere with each other.
Here are some practical tips on perfecting the art of balancing being a nurse and a parent:
Manage Your Stress
When people are busy, and life gets hectic, one of the first things that often suffers as a result is their sleep. There is so much to do and accomplish that cutting back on sleep seems like the only way to get more done. Not getting enough sleep makes you feel more irritable and increases your stress levels, which definitely won’t help in getting more accomplished. Making sure to get a full night (or day’s) sleep is of utmost importance for everybody, but is especially crucial for those whose job requires increased levels of energy and stamina. By getting adequate sleep you will not only feel great, but you will be able to do your best in taking care of your patients and your children.
Also, we all know that a nurse’s work can be intense at times, often dealing with tough situations. Don’t bring the stress home with you! Before coming home to greet your family it is a good idea to remove your medical uniform and take a few moments to and decompress and relax, allowing the stress from your job to fall away before walking through your door. You can do this by listening to relaxing music on your way home, indulging in your favorite chocolates, or doing deep breathing exercises. Do it for yourself, and do it for your family.
Getting Proper Help
We often want to do it all, not imposing on others for help or favors. Don’t we all feel better when we feel like we can do everything ourselves? Maybe in the short term, but it’s not possible for one person—especially a nurse parent—to do it all. Accepting the fact that you can benefit from help, and graciously accepting the help offered to you will make a huge difference in your life. Whether it’s your mom offering childcare help or your partner stepping in to do household chores or cook dinner, these small acts will make things so much easier for you. Just the knowledge that everything is not on your shoulders, and that someone is sharing some responsibility with you will make you feel so much more at ease.
Shifting the Balance
As the children grow older, and life circumstances change, you may need to take a look at your job and reevaluate to see if any changes are necessary to properly care for your family. You may realize that a shift change is due so you will be more available to be with your children. Whatever it may be, it is important to take the time out every once in a while and see if things are working for the common benefit of everyone, and then adjust things when necessary.
It’s all a work in progress. What works today may not work tomorrow, and what works for one nurse parent may not work for you. So, put your best foot forward and feel proud as you go about and accomplish amazing things as you positively impact the lives of others.