Balencing Nursing and Family Life

  1. Hi! I wanted to know how others balance their work and family life as a nurse. I am a new grad and planning on starting a family soon. I'm not sure if I'll want to work full time when we have our first baby. Do you work 8 hour shifts or 12 hour? Daycare? Part time? Fulltime? What are the pros and cons to the way you balance nursing life and family life?
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    About nina12345

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 29; Likes: 6


  3. by   Here.I.Stand
    I feel like it's way easier for nurses than many other disciplines actually. My sister is a geologist and must work FT or not at all. My husband works in high finance and often doesn't get home until the kids are in bed. Years ago he was an auditor on the corporate side, and during tax season, not kidding would leave the house at 0400 and come home at midnight. Look at high-school educated or less single moms... when you qualify for minimum wage jobs and have to work 2+ of them to make ends meet, it's hard to balance work and family.

    I work very part time -- every other weekend. 8 hr shifts. When I worked FT I did prefer 12 hr shifts, although I did physically struggle with them... my schedule block was a 36 hr workweek, a week off, and a 72 hr workweek (Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun.)

    My main pieces of advice: as a new grad, I'm sure you have noticed, but your education is still in progress. It will really benefit you professionally if you can work FT or even a 0.8 FTE for the first couple of years. I hear a lot of new moms say they want to stay home until the kids are in school, and that's their choice... but personally? I have five kids. I felt/feel they need MORE of my attention once school-age. To me, it's felt like leaving a baby to go to work is harder on me than on the baby. Now they're older and busy with music and sports, want to get together with friends, need help with homework, make more messes, are harder to feed, want you at their class parties............

    That's just my experience, but for those reasons I would consider working more now -- you would be in a better place professionally and hopefully financially, which will hopefully make it easier for you to cut back if you choose.

    Second: don't work for employers that utilize mandatory OT as their backup plan for staffing holes. I always ask during the interview. I don't think ANY nurse should have to put up with that, but from the family angle? Uh no. My life is planned with military precision; it has to be, being responsible for so many people. I can't have 8 extra hours of work injected into my schedule with 2 hrs' notice, when people at home are depending on me. Why should I or my family suffer, because management failed to plan?

    I would encourage you and anyone else to set this boundary.

    Wishing you the best!
  4. by   nina12345
    Wow that is so helpful thank you so much! I read it aloud to my husband while I read it for the first time and we agree with your statement about kiddos needing more attention when they are older. We are planning on being parents soon and you have helped me understand nursing and parenting so much better. I am excited to become a mom and be able to enhance my career while I do it! I see your mentioned military life, my husband is in the military. We are wondering if you have any tips or lessons about deployment and being a mom and nurse during that time? I don't have any friends who are nurses with a spouse in the military, and I always wish I had someone to relate to and share knowledge with.