Jun 15, '04
I think it is a complicated issue that involves balancing and continually adjusting your committments to both your work life and your non-work life. It isn't a matter of one getting 100% of your committment and the other getting 0%.
Certainly, there are limits to my committment to nursing in general and to any one job in particular. I would never keep a job that significantly hurt me or my family. So, you might say that I am a "personal life comes first" person. However, that is not exactly true.
I do believe that professional committments are important and that is not only OK, but even desirable for family and friends to understand that you are (I am) a person who is part of the larger community. As a member of society, we have obligations to that community as well the obligations we have to ourselves, families, and friends. The children of firefighters, police officers, military pesonnel, health care workers, etc. learn that early in life and I think that is a good thing. They often grow in character by seeing their parents contribute to the betterment of their community even when it is not convenient or pleasant. The view that parents' lives revolve solely around their children is a developmentally unhealthy one for children beyond infancy -- nor is it the sign of a healthy romantic relationship or friendship. It is a sign of over-dependence and obsession.
It's a matter of finding a healthy balance -- and being able to shift the priorities to suit the exact situation -- having the wisdom to know when to ask yourself and your family to bear a little burden so that you can contribute to society, and knowing when you need to give more to yourself and/or your family.
Last edit by llg on Jun 15, '04