Having experienced some serious im
balances in my work/family life, I think I'm in good shape now that I work 32 hours a week (4 8-hr. shifts) and am able to leave work AT work, instead of bringing it home with me and being on call 24/7 as I was when I was in management. It was tough going for a long time: through the years of nursing school when I was working, going to school fulltime AND raising young children, then when I was working 2 part-time jobs while actually learning how to be a nurse, and then when I went into LTC management........in the meantime, my kids were growing up, my DH was floundering in his career, my social life became nonexistent, and even when I was at home physically, my mind was always at work.
Finally, in December of 2002 I flamed out.......I was so depressed and wiped-out that I actually got fired. Then I had to have surgery to fix some of my female problems, and the forced sabbatical made me slow down and re-examine my life and my goals. I'd made money, sure. I'd gotten fairly high up the career ladder, especially for an associate's-degree nurse, and that was OK......but at what cost to my family and my mental health?
So now I'm back to being "just" a staff nurse, with no responsibilities other than taking care of my patients and doing my job the best I know how. OK, I'm on a couple of committees and am considered a leader, but when I clock out and leave the building for the night I'm just me again---a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend. I go home to my big, old-fashioned country house in the woods, where all the really important things are.......my family, my pets, my soft warm bed, my comfortable furniture, and my peace.