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Is it normal that being a nurse makes me worry about my kids?

Posted

Specializes in SICU, Step Down, NICU. Has 3 years experience.

I work on a very busy trauma and neurosurgery unit at a level 1 trauma center, where the majority of my patients are men age 16-25 who have been seriously and permanently injured in car, motorcyle or construction accidents. Last year I had twin boys and ever since their birth I worry all the time that my kids will end up like one of my patients. I think about all the horrible things that can happen to them ALL the time. My husband says I am "too sensitive" to work SICU, but he doesn't see what I see and deal with the parents of these young men everyday like I do. Is this normal new mommy worry based on what I see everyday at work, or am I taking things to an unhealthy extreme?

Jday

Specializes in Acute,complex and surgical. Has 16 years experience.

I think that initially it is normal to worry especially when you work in certain units. I have found that there almost seems to be 2 types of "nurse" parent, in the beginning

1. the parent that worries over everything.....

2. the parent that does not worry, and thinks they can handle it all.

This eventually changes and you discover the proper balance, as a new mom it is ok to worry, Have faith that you will raise you kids right and teach them how to be safe. Your hubby will help ground you in some of these worries, and remember they can't drive or work yet so you might cause yourself some undo stress if you keep on this path of thinking.

Hope this helps

J

GHGoonette, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, OR.

Sigh. Yes, I know what you mean. I discouraged my son from playing rugby because it is such a strenuous contact sport-and in retrospect I realise how wrong I was. But when you see how kids can mess themselves up...

Even now, when my kids are both grown up and living 1500km away, I worry-and worry-and worry-until I jerk myself up and tell myself how pointless it is. Worrying myself about what might happen is natural, but if you worry yourself sick about it you will harm yourself and end up, like me, over-protective of your kids, which is not good for them either.

This is normal new mom worry on steroids.

I went through some of this when I was an EMT. Saw more graphic stuff in that role than in nursing. Cautioned the kids (six of them) about the results of bad decisions and irresponsible behavior. But then I had to put the brakes on and turn my mind to more positive things.

We all have fears, but it's what we do with them that determines their power. Letting your mind dwell on the worst possibilities has a way of making them more likely to come true. Overprotecting your kids could eventually leave them feeling smothered and eager to take risks--thereby creating the very recklessness that chills your heart.

What to do, then? You face your fears head on and recognize that, yes, the awful things are possibilities. But then you seek out other truths that eventually help you balance your thoughts and resist the urge to drape your kids in bubble wrap and confine them to their rooms until they're twenty-five.

In your case, you can replace the images of broken bodies and shattered minds with happy, healthy, adventurous young people who choose to condition themselves to face challenges. You take your boys on hikes and teach them to swim and climb rock walls. You get them interested in hobbies that require dedication and stamina. And you surround them with love, good limits, and as much freedom as they are ready to handle. You let them make mistakes when they are young so they learn how to be discerning and how to handle consequences when they are older. And you show them how to trust in love and life.

Now, while your sons are small, it's time for you to develop the habit of disciplining your mind and filling your own landscape with the kind of people you admire. Some will have overcome many obstacles, including bad circumstances of their own design. If you can see that there is room for trial and error in most lives, and that adversity is sometimes the making of a hardy spirit, you may not want to insulate your boys from every negative in their lives. Rather, you might instead want to teach them how to navigate the rapids and gather information along the way. Show them that there is no such thing as risk-free living, but your love will help them up whenever they fall.

If you discover that you can't strike a healthy balance, you might want to find a different specialty that doesn't cause you such anguish.

I wish you and your family the best. :up:

nurse2033, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU.

I just try to educate my kids about the dangers of our world and take reasonable precautions. They always wear helmets and other protective garb. They do so without complaint because A) it is the rule and B) they don't want brain damage. Then I don't hover and tell them how to skateboard or bike or whatever. As another poster pointed out, there is a balance. I think our business is good in that it makes us aware of what can happen if we don't pay attention.

puppyluv1526

Specializes in SICU, Step Down, NICU. Has 3 years experience.

You certainly are a writer! Thank you for your thought out and extremely well written advice. All the moms who replied have made me feel better already.

GHGoonette, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, OR.

You certainly are a writer! Thank you for your thought out and extremely well written advice. All the moms who replied have made me feel better already.

Yeah, she's brilliant isn't she? I'm taking her advice to heart as well.

PostOpPrincess, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

Yes very normal to worry about your kids. When I worked trauma, I wanted to buy an ARMY TANK for transportation.

I had to remember that I had a warped perspective on life because I saw the worse of the worse. It pays to be careful, but also remember that life cannot be impeded by our work.

You need to speak with someone and learn some new coping skills or you will burnout.

J

GHGoonette, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, OR.

Yes very normal to worry about your kids. When I worked trauma, I wanted to buy an ARMY TANK for transportation.

My son's previous car was a Ford Fiesta, which was written off by an inattentive driver rear-ending it. He took the insurance money and used it as a deposit on a Honda Civic, which is a pretty solidly-built car.

South Africa has a road scourge called the minibus taxi, widely used by poorer commuters and those living in less well-serviced areas. These drivers are hell on wheels who interpret the rules of the road according to their own laws-that is, none.

So earlier this year my son was at a malfunctioning traffic light, and the rule is you treat it as a 4-way stop. He and the driver next to him (it's a dual carriageway, major intersection) move off, and halfway across this intersection this damned taxi comes flying over, doesn't even slow down approaching the intersection, straight into my son's Honda and driving it into the car next to him. If that had been the Fiesta, I doubt whether my son would have survived...

And as I said when I heard this, "We all need to get bloody tanks and sweep these sods right off the road..."

Btw, the ******* tried to blame the accident on my son!

The death toll on our roads due to the recklessness of taxi drivers is horrendous.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

One word answer......YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely normal but you cannot let it consume you and take over. Teach your children the consequences of their actions by sharing personal experiences which for me,have become more graphic as my children get closer to the driving age. Remind them that everyone in that car was having a blast until they struck the tree........educate them make them sign a pact with you..............and kiss them every night! After working trauma for 30 years there is no case senario that I cannot give your the worst case outcome. Stike a balance and tell your babies you love them.

PostOpPrincess, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

BTW, if you ever feel like your kids (as they grow older) decide they want to do drugs, or smoke cigs...just show them a few black lungs and a tour of the morgue and they'll get over it quick.

I admit. My kids are totally traumatized and it was my intention to do so.

They have monies saved for future therapy--but they will thank me for it when they are emotionally mature....

TDCHIM

Specializes in Health Information Management.

BTW, if you ever feel like your kids (as they grow older) decide they want to do drugs, or smoke cigs...just show them a few black lungs and a tour of the morgue and they'll get over it quick.

I admit. My kids are totally traumatized and it was my intention to do so.

They have monies saved for future therapy--but they will thank me for it when they are emotionally mature....

JoPACURN, you're my kind of mom! :yeah:

OttawaRPN

Specializes in acute care med/surg, LTC, orthopedics. Has 5 years experience.

BTW, if you ever feel like your kids (as they grow older) decide they want to do drugs, or smoke cigs...just show them a few black lungs and a tour of the morgue and they'll get over it quick.

I admit. My kids are totally traumatized and it was my intention to do so.

They have monies saved for future therapy--but they will thank me for it when they are emotionally mature....

My teens know all about my 25 year-old now vegetative TBI-brain stem patient who flew through the windshield after colliding with a semi because he wasn't wearing his seat belt.

And about the various 2 pack-a-day-for-30-years Lung CA's dying a slow, grueling, miserable death drowning in their own fluids.

Or the long-standing ETOH patients with lewy body dementia who aren't able to recognize their own children, or wipe their own bums.

I'm continuously using scare tactics to intimidate the crap out of them and yup, all things considered... they are both pretty awesome kids with good heads on their shoulders.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I have 2 sons and work Trauma too, so I am all too familiar with the tragedy.

I counterbalance what I see at work by looking around at all the young men who make it through adolescence and young adulthood just fine.

For every guy who ends up dead or with serious disability, there are thousands who are going to school, working and coping with life just fine.

Unless your sons are at high risk, the odds are good for them.

puppyluv1526

Specializes in SICU, Step Down, NICU. Has 3 years experience.

LOL that's a great idea, I"ll have to keep it in mind for when the boys are older!