Nursing is an extremely rewarding career that can bring about high job satisfaction and plenty of benefits. That being said, it can also be exhausting and mentally draining at times. The challenges faced by nurses are made all the more difficult when you have a family. Working moms should pay close attention to their health and wellbeing, particularly when employed in a demanding field like nursing. Being a mom and a nurse may seem like an impossible task at times. However, balancing your career and parenthood and thriving in both areas is achievable with careful planning and time management. Here are some tips to help you survive being a mom and a nurse.
Ask other nurse moms for advice
One of the best ways to get tips on how to successfully juggle a nursing career with parenting is by asking other nurse moms for advice. Plenty of nurses have children, so ask your colleagues for guidance on how they manage their time between work and family. Nurse moms have experienced being a mom and nurse first-hand so they are in the best position to provide you with valuable advice. Don’t be afraid to ask your co-workers for their top tips or search on parenting blogs for extra guidance if you’re struggling.
Embrace flexible working hours
Being a nurse means that you will have to do shift work which is likely to involve irregular and unsociable hours. This can be off-putting for people wanting a regular 9-5 job. However, moms should embrace flexible working hours and use it to their advantage. Experts at travelnursing.org explain how “a night shift schedule can be extremely convenient when you have school-aged kids as it allows you to sleep when they’re at school and still feel involved in their activities.” If you are working a night shift, then it’s likely that you will get home in time to have a family breakfast and help your kids get ready for school in the mornings. You can then pick them up from school and spend some quality time together before heading off to your next shift. Another great benefit of night shifts is that you will often receive extra pay for working unsociable hours. Working a night shift schedule can be a challenge, but many mom nurses make it work for their families.
Use a family calendar
Having a family calendar is a must for nurse moms. You can use the calendar to keep track of your shift schedule, plan family time and organize your kid’s activities and events. It will also make sure that you don’t accidentally forget important school events like parent meetings. You can download a free app like Google Calendar to organize your family’s daily schedule, create meal plans and give your family notice of times they won’t see you i.e. if you’re working a double shift at the hospital. The whole family can access and edit the family calendar and all other family members will be able to see the changes instantly on their phones or smart devices.
Earn nursing qualifications online
Traditional nursing training routes and qualifications can be unattainable when you’re a working mom. Fortunately, modern technology means that nurses can now earn a huge variety of qualifications online from the comfort of their homes. Remote learning is ideal for working moms as it is fully flexible and allows you to fit study around your family commitments. For instance, online second degree nursing programs are designed to broaden nursing skills and equip nurses with the expertise needed to excel in their nursing career. Qualified nurses can take advantage of convenient online qualifications to boost their job prospects, increase their earning potential and gain a competitive edge in the field of nursing. This, in turn, will put your family in a stronger financial position and may mean that you have more time to spend with your kids.
Schedule family time
Family time is extremely important and everyone should invest in building and maintaining strong family bonds. Spending enough quality time with your family can be a struggle when you’re a nurse. You may find that you have to work on weekends or over the holidays when your children are off school. Make the most of any time you have available and try to plan at least one night or day a week when your family enjoys time together. Some fun activities to do with your family include playing board games, watching movies, going on a family walk, or doing art and crafts projects. Eating dinners together as a family is another simple way to connect with your family members and keep up to date on each other’s lives. Schedule family time in advance and make plans around your nursing shift pattern. You can use a family calendar on Google to check everyone’s availability and make a note of family activities and events.
Take some time for yourself
Being a nurse and a mom is hard work. Often, mom nurses focus all of their time on caring for their patients and family and neglect their own wellbeing. Everyone needs some time for themselves and trying to do too much can cause stress and burnout. This will harm your nursing career and family life in the long-run. With that in mind, you must take some time for yourself now and then to relax and unwind. Book a pamper day at the spa, go on a night out with the girls, or ask your partner to take the kids off your hands so you can enjoy a peaceful evening at home. You shouldn’t feel guilty about needing a break once in a while. Having a well-deserved break will allow you to de-stress and recharge your batteries. This means that you’ll be far better equipped to cope with the demands of nursing and motherhood.
Balancing a successful nursing career with motherhood is possible! Use the above tips to help you survive and thrive at being a mom and a nurse.