Job at pediatrics and your own kids

  1. How did your relationship with your own children change while / once you started working as a pediatric nurse? Or how did your job attitude change once you became a mom? Do you worry a lot about crazy things that may happen? Do you become overprotective? Do you get burn out from working with kids all day/night long and feel there is not enough "you" left for your own children? Please share your story.
    •  
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   OldDude
    Well, I've yet to become a mom but maybe some day. I had two kids when I graduated from nursing school, age 4 and 2; ended up with 5. Started in a Pedi ER and ended up here in my 16th year as an elementary school nurse. I don't get tired of the kids but I get tired of the parents; like everyone else who works in pediatrics. And, like all nurses I worry my kids have some fatal illness every time they get sick but I strictly adhere to the "KISS" method of treatment (Keep it Simple, Stupid). This keeps me and them rooted in reason and objectivity. I'm not burned out with kids but the chronic parent drama makes it difficult to attend extra curricular activities regularly. I know pediatrics has had a positive contribution to my dad and parent skills. But for pediatrics, I would not work in the nursing field.
  4. by   PeakRN
    I agree with much of what OldDude said, although I don't particularly desire being a mom. The majority of my experience being Onc and ED I learned that life is short, and being paranoid about minor injuries doesn't help that. You will always worry about the worse case because you took care of that kid who drowned, coded, got diagnosed with cancer after the PCP failed to find if for six months, etcetera. I also have a much higher expectation than most parents because I know that kids are more capable than people think, and I will support them but I don't give into quitting or tantrums.
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    My relationships with my children didn't change after I became a peds nurse. They were 15, 13 and 11 when I graduated and I was already one of those moms that said, "If there's no blood, or no bones sticking out then you'll be fine." I never felt like I didn't have anything left for my kids, because although I love my patients, they're NOT my kids. The interactions are completely different.

    Here's a funny story. My oldest daughter and her family live thousands of miles away and we only see each other (face-to-face) once in awhile. When my oldest grandson was 3 months old I flew out to meet him; my daughter was going back to work the following week and she looked like she hadn't slept in a year at least. Her husband too looked exhausted. So, being the warm and loving mom I am ( ) I said, "You two should take a break. Go to a movie, or go out for a nice dinner. Or even just a walk. I'll hold the fort here." My daughter looked horrified - "But what if he cries?" she said. After I got control of my rolling eyeballs, I asked her, "You DO know what I do for a living, right? If I can't handle a little crying I have no business looking after sick kids." To no avail. They wouldn't go. That took me another 3 months.

    When I first started in PICU, my greatest fear was that one day I'd walk onto the unit and one of their friends would be in a bed. Then that happened... That child subsequently died. So that was out of the way. As they got older then my fear shifted to walking onto the unit and finding one of their friends' kids in a bed. Then THAT happened. And that child too died. In some strange way though, I felt like I was able to support their families to understand what was happening and how to cope with the eventual outcome. I've also provided nursing care to one of MY friend's grandchildren and the son of a coworker. The thing is, you have to know yourself. If you expect working in peds to be too emotionally draining, then don't go into peds.
  6. by   Watchme81
    My daughters are currently 10 & 8. I was a nurse for 4 years before I had my first child.

    I thought that being a mother working in peds would make the job more difficult emotionally, but I don't think it did. I'm still able to compartmentalize work from home fairly well.

    I do, however, appreciate the fact that they are healthy every day. I don't worry too much about what could happen to them, but that didn't stop me one night from calling an ambulance, unnecessarily, after my critical thinking skills were impaired by a few adult beverages, ha ha. That was only one time!

    When they get sick/injured, I don't think of myself as too much of a "coddler". I may have threatened an NG tube once or twice for my youngest who was refusing oral antibiotics.

    I am a stickler for helmets and any other sports/play time PPE. My youngest daughter's doll even has a bike helmet.

    My now 13 year old step son had a *near* near miss, car vs. cyclist in the spring of this year. He got an earful from me (and everyone else), about the benefits of helmets vs. headphones. Side rant: It amazes me these days how many children/adolescents are walking and cycling to school, paying absolutely no attention to their surroundings.

    Pround moment last week when my eldest actually ASKED if she could get a flu shot this year (WIN).

    Half the time my girls are at their dad's (divorce), so I feel like there is plenty of me for them...since I miss them so much when they are away! They always get lots of hugs and love from me <3.

close