Has Nursing Made You a Homebody?

  1. 6
    I currently have a sick animal at home...Him being sick has stressed me out a lot the past 24 hrs or so and that has led me to write this post. My husband has recently made remarks of how much more of a "homebody" I have become in the past few years (We've been together for a little over six years). I have noticed that, too. I feel like it started when I decided to go back to school and become a nurse. I did an accelerated 1 yr. BSN program at a tough and expensive private school. As mentioned in an earlier post, it was the most stressful time in my life and as menial as it may seem, the sudden sickness of my pet has brought up those feelings of stress again. Constant worry, a feeling deep in my stomach of utter pain. My pet is my baby. Nursing school was a similar stress because if you fail a test or you get below a certain percentage in a class, you were out. That was it. You had to wait a year to restart the program and I wasn't about to do that. I didn't have a year...my husband, then fiance had already established his career and was waiting on mine for financial reasons. He was very supportive and my super hero through school. Plus, we couldn't get married until we had money for the wedding that I wanted. I couldn't fail. I couldn't wait any longer. That gut wrenching feeling that I'm feeling today with my pet being sick, had me in it's grips the whole year of nursing school. It aged me 5 years at least. I didn't fail, thank God! But I did gain something else along with a degree...15lbs! I eventually lost the weight or most of it. I'd never really experienced stress like this before and before school, I liked to go and go. Always doing something. Outgoing for the most part and had a good attitude about life. Then I became a nurse.

    After school, I started working within four weeks after graduation. My job in the NICU was nothing like starting old jobs I had and they don't teach you about the NICU in school. I was fresh and scared out of my mind for the first.....well, I'm still scared on some admissions and I've been there a year on June 4th. The seasoned nurses would say, "It takes at least 2 yrs to feel like you have a grip on things." Jeeeez...They were right. On top of the stress of school and a new job I became less social. I hadn't really noticed it except maybe in the last year. I don't like to be around big groups of people. I'd much rather be in a one-on-one conversation when socializing. I'm ok at work. I can talk to co-workers or patients without hesitation, however some days I'm more social than others. It all depends on what I have going on in my life at the time. I also work third shift which means I don't function when people normally function. I have grown accustomed to peace and quiet, rather than drinking/dancing my stresses away at a bar with a whole bunch of drunk people and loud music. My stress makes me want to just simply be home, on my couch, watching Netflix or something. I would rather visit with my sister, who is my best friend, rather than my extended family. My husband is a cop and there is always some social gathering going on in the cop world. I've turned down invitations to those more than I have gone to them. Plus, my husband who is opposite of me in terms of social interaction, (he's a social butterfly) works a lot. We both work a lot to pay down our student loan debts because we wish to purchase a home in the next 2 years. I'd rather spend precious off time with him alone when we get the chance. I've also turned down invitations to family functions, with the exception of major holidays, because I've sometimes found social interaction mentally draining. Even just going out of the house to grocery shop alone or going to the mall alone is too much sometimes. I avoid it unless I absolutely have to. I think this job and the rigorous path to get there has changed me. I love the job...I can handle the job. I'd just rather be at home when I don't have to work. My husband and I are great together. He brings out the social butterfly in me at times. Deep down, it's still in there. When he's with me I don't care to go to the grocery or shopping. I like running errands with him or anyone for that matter, but not alone.

    I'm still figuring this out. I'm puzzled. If it's me just getting older and my priorities have changed, maybe? I'm 28. Sometimes I feel being a nurse takes a lot out of me that I don't have much left, plus I'm tired a lot because of working 3rd shift. It doesn't really bother me that I'm a homebody, but I don't want it to change the relationships between my family members and I. My mother is a homebody.....uh oh. I could be turning into her! Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd like insight on this if anyone has felt this way and you are a nurse or have a stressful job, I'd like to know. You may comment below if you feel you can relate. Thank you!
    Last edit by nicurn84 on May 20, '13
    jtmarcy12, Marshall1, poppycat, and 3 others like this.
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  4. 43 Comments so far...

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    My social life went to pot after I became a nurse. I was older than you, but still young enough to go and be and do.......but those 12-hour shifts and working nights sucked every bit of the social butterfly right out of me. And I've never recovered, although in recent months I've started saying Yes to seeing friends and meeting people for dinner and conversation. Nursing can be so draining---it's so much responsibility with so little authority---that there's hardly anything left over of "me" after a long work day or week.
    jtmarcy12, Marshall1, silverbat, and 6 others like this.
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    And it gets worse the older you get! At my age, my body really has aged. Before nursing, I worked in an office and had to "dress up." I wore the fashionable high heels with dresses and suits, so my feet and legs took a beating. Now nursing has pretty much "finished me off." I really need my "down time," too. But I am somewhat introverted anyway.
    Marshall1, poppycat, anotherone, and 2 others like this.
  7. 3
    I can totally relate! I'm 27, and when I was younger and in college I went out every weekend with my friends. When I met my husband, we also went out and spent time with friends. I noticed a change once I graduated and started working full time. My job (non-nursing) sucked the life out of me, I was so burned out. I decided to change careers, and I start nursing school in the fall. I'm hoping the change of scenery and not having I-hate-my-job syndrome constantly on my mind will help me want to get out of the house more often!
    Nurse2BeInGA, Tinker88, and nicurn84 like this.
  8. 2
    I had the opposite experience, funny enough. It honestly depends on your environment, though. I like a lot of my coworkers, and my place had weekend people and weekday people. This means that the people you work with on whichever shift are likely off the same days you are, so you can all hang out. My unit does dinners every now and then, sees plays, etc. and I found some fellow horror movie buffs who are go for going to see movies. I don't hang out with them every week or anything, but I had a really limited social life before and now my social life is much better. Having four days off a week means I'm free a lot more often than I would be if I worked five days a week anyway. I guess it just depends!
    sergel02 and nicurn84 like this.
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    I'm glad you all can relate! Honestly, it doesn't bother me being more introverted now and your responses help me validate the reason. I think people have started to see me in a different light which bothers me a little. Some people take it as I don't like them but it's just I don't feel the need to be "on" for people all the time...
    Marshall1, qaqueen, and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    Wow, this isn't just me?! I've been seriously pondering this over the past year and was really beginning to think that it was just me. I'm content to plop in front of the couch and watch TV, or go to the mall by myself or go out for food. Now, I have some social anxiety but I think it's just the constant 1:1 and team interaction all shift that make me relieved when I come home to just my cat.
    applewhitern, Marshall1, poppycat, and 5 others like this.
  11. 4
    I don't think it's nursing per se, but rather the stress of having a full-time job. I've never been one to enjoy the bar scene, although having moved from second shift (where I did occasionally help close down a bar) to day shift, I'm in bed before it's dark in the summer. Add on the requirements for call- I just don't want to risk being somewhere and having to leave- and the fact that I'm also back in school full-time, I just don't have much time to go out. Hopefully that will change a bit in a year when I graduate.
    VivaLasViejas, Marshall1, anotherone, and 1 other like this.
  12. 9
    I am so thoroughly sick of people that I have to be alone after work.

    Last weekend, I had a rough shift and I was really irritated to find out my husband's family had spontaneously descended on us
    Crap! I was wanting to just sit and be alone!
    Well, I smiled and conversed and I don't know how I survived it!
    I had to field their questions, "Say, you're a nurse, Hygiene... what do they call that disease? What should I do about this? Blah blah blah".
    Then I had to listen to their drama-filled stories that made me feel like I was at work on my psych unit.
    I wanted to run away! I wanted to cry!

    My withdrawal from others is kind of a coping mechanism for me. I'm being drained all day with needy, whiny, nasty behaviors... and it takes every ounce of energy and self control to remain calm and professional. I hang up the phone with patient families, and I just put my head in my hands sometimes as I try to pull more from myself to finish out my day.
    So, when I get home, I want to be alone. I want something to read, a Pepsi and-- yes-- a smoke.

    I am also a homebody because I have become very possessive of my time to be at home away from work.
    valzRN, smartypantsnurse, grandpaj, and 6 others like this.
  13. 1
    I am in my 20s and work night shift and live alone. I relocated for a nursing job years ago and still don't know anyone
    in the area. Some weeks on end work is my only "social" time where ai actually talk to people. Most of the time I just want to go home and sleep and watch tv. When I was younger i wasted too much time studying and socialized a lot less too. I think alot of it is just personality but after some shifts , I am sick of people interactions and would rather be alone watching tv even if it is a major holiday.

    after thought, It can change your relationship with people and most likely will . Say no enough times and the invites will decrease, people will talk to you less too. It is hard for some to not take the rejection personally. I rather sleep then only sleep 4 hrs to drive 8hrs for a thanksgivig dinner and some people don't understand that .....
    Last edit by anotherone on May 20, '13
    Marshall1 likes this.


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