Choose my Baby or my Career?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have been an RN for almost 12 years, with exclusive pediatric experience (mostly ICU). This past year I had my first child, after many years of trying and miscarriages. Since she has been born, I feel so burnt out. All I want to do is spend time with her. I love my coworkers and patients, but I feel like I am missing her growing up. I can't quit my current job, or go
    part time for financial reasons. I also owe my facility for my BSN I finished last year.

    I have two options: I am interviewing for
    a RN Case manager on my current unit. This involves a schedule change from 3 days a week to M-F with a commute. I don't know if that's a better move for increased family time, but it will be less stressful and fulfill my requirements to pay back my BSN.

    OR

    I have applied to an insurance company to do a work from home Concurrent Review. It has flexible hours, and I can definitely spend more time with family. The pay will likely be more, which should allow me to pay back my BSN. I would stay PRN in the PICU to maintain my skills, just in case I want to go back to bedside when she's older.

    Am I making a mistake leaving my job of almost 12 years? Which option should I take? I have such anxiety over this--my thought is that my baby is only a baby once...and with my experience, bedside PICU nursing will always be there.



    Dear My Baby is a Baby Only Once,


    Congrats on your baby girl!


    You are so very right- a baby is a baby only once. PICU will always be there.


    At the same time, safeguard the career you've worked hard to achieve. You are wise to plan for maintaining your skills and keeping your foot in the door. I get many sad letters from nurses who "quit" for 10 years or more, and then can't get back in the market.


    Your anxiety is a sign, I'm glad you are listening, and I believe you will find the right path for you and your family. Love and enjoy that little one. The time goes by very fast.


    Best wishes,


    Nurse Beth



    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jan 9
    •  
  2. Visit Nurse Beth profile page

    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,412; Likes: 4,214

    8 Comments

  3. by   llg
    I agree with Nurse Beth. If you heart wants you to make a job change to spend more time with your child -- listen to your heart, but leave a path back to the PICU should you want to return later. That's what is great about a PRN position. A PRN position will keep give you more options for later, when you needs and desires may change.

    That way, it is not "baby OR career" ... it is "baby AND career."
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    Motherhood really changed me! I joke that my daughter (also my first, born this past summer after some first trimester losses) has thawed out my cold, black ER nurse heart. Lol. I did things a little bit backwards - went from ER shift work for 12 years to working as a clinical educator Monday through Friday, then (unexpectedly, but joyfully) got pregnant. And if I could work at home starting tomorrow, I would! But that is a few years down the road.

    As the others have said, that PICU will always be there! Congratulations and good luck!
  5. by   mellind
    Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

    My advise would be to check with your hospital to see what the penalty would be if you were to go PRN. Would you have to pay them back in one lump sum? Maybe you could change from full-time to part time on your unit and take the insurance job from home. I worked from home for a little bit and you would still have to set time aside to work. Maybe you could do a day or two at your facility and that would fulfill your requirements for them. Maybe you could do a day or two at home for the insurance company and that would give you time at home with your little one.

    Your little one is only little once but if you make the time you have with her quality time that goes a long way also. Good Luck!
  6. by   ProperlySeasoned
    I have small children who I love, and a thriving career. What was key for me was switching from my job that was on my feet moving and lifting all day, to one that was more of a "desk" job. My brain is still going full force, but I have have enough energy in the evenings to play with my kids. To me, the 3 day a week case management job sounds ideal. Especially if those three work days are in a row, that will give you a nice chunk of time to be with your amazing baby.
  7. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from ProperlySeasoned
    I have small children who I love, and a thriving career. What was key for me was switching from my job that was on my feet moving and lifting all day, to one that was more of a "desk" job. My brain is still going full force, but I have have enough energy in the evenings to play with my kids. To me, the 3 day a week case management job sounds ideal. Especially if those three work days are in a row, that will give you a nice chunk of time to be with your amazing baby.
    You misread her post. She wouldn't be working three days a week as a case manager but working Monday through Friday.

    At any rate, I would probably take the work at home job and stay PRN in the PICU. Know that you will still need childcare to watch your kid while you are working.
  8. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    Know that you will still need childcare to watch your kid while you are working.
    This needs to be emphasized! I have looked at some work at home jobs that specify that you need a dedicated office space and that not attempt to care for a child during the work day.
  9. by   caliotter3
    My client removes their special needs child from the home during the day because the work at home dad realizes he would be spending most of his time caring for the child instead of getting his work done.
  10. by   turtlesRcool
    I can't make a decision for you, but both of your proposed solutions seem problematic to me.

    I assume you work 12s now, so those three days a week you work, you barely see your child awake, if at all. That sucks. It really does.

    On the other hand, since you have an infant, she probably goes to bed pretty early - 7pm? Maybe 8? If you take the 5 days per week plus commute, when would you be getting home? 6? It seems like you'd be losing the two full days you spend with her now in exchange for just an hour or two a night. And, at least with my sons, that time of night was the worst because they were tired and cranky. I felt like their daycare teachers were the ones who got to have them when they were awake and happy. I'm also not convinced that working as a case manager would be lower stress. I think the CMs spend a lot of time dealing with difficult family members, picky insurance companies, etc. Our CMs work dayshift, but they rarely leave at 3 because there are usually things still happening.

    I'm a little wary of work at home jobs providing more family time. You say the hours are more flexible, but how flexible are they? Would you be able to do all/most of your work at night after your child goes to bed? Would that lead to more exhaustion, basically working FT caring for your child all day and then starting another FT job in the evening, and then falling exhausted into bed...only to be wakened by a child who doesn't sleep through the night. Very often "flexible" hours mean that you put in as much time as it takes to get the work done...which can lead to working more without increased pay. My husband works at home, but our children have always been in daycare because when he's working, he has to be WORKING. Providing child care is a job in itself.

    Man, I really sound like a Debbie Downer here, and that wasn't my intent. I guess I just want to make sure you really know what these other options entail because the grass is not always greener.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.


close