Too Much On My Plate

  1. Hi All!

    I came here for any advice or encouragement. You all understand more than anyone what I'm about to vent out...

    I hate to say it, but I feel like I am losing it. I'm a full time FNP student in my first rotation of clinicals, a full time RN working 12 hour shifts, a wife and a mother of a one year old. I am also 6 months pregnant.
    I am completely overwhelmed. I am generally a happy go lucky person but I have had a dark cloud over me.
    1) I feel like a terrible mother because I am too busy studying, working, doing clinical or sleeping to spend a lot of time with my daughter.
    2) I miss my husband. I hate not seeing him much.
    3) I really don't care for my current nursing position (I just started this position 12 hour shifts in Dialysis. I thought it would be better than my 6-2 job but I fear I made a mistake.)
    4) I feel like many nights I neglect to study as much as I should because I'm making dinner, passing out from exhaustion or want to have a seldom day night with my husband.

    I just keep telling myself to push through but man times are tough for me.

    Thanks for listening.
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  2. Visit TruvyNurse profile page

    About TruvyNurse, MSN, RN

    Joined: Nov '16; Posts: 304; Likes: 865

    9 Comments

  3. by   OncRN37
    Wow! You definitely do have a lot on your plate. I dont really have much advice but I encourage you to stay strong. I will hopefully be going back to school this fall and I am hoping to be able to balance work, school and home. I know that guilty feeling of not being around enough for your children or spouse, but just remember you are also doing this for them. Good luck! I hope things get better for you.
  4. by   TruvyNurse
    Thank you! And I wish you the best in your academics. May I ask what you'll be going for?
  5. by   OncRN37
    Thank you. I am applying to a few AGNP programs. Hoping I get accepted!
  6. by   TruvyNurse
    Best of luck!
  7. by   OncRN37
    Thank you so much! Same to you!
  8. by   Caprica6
    Wow....that is a lot. I am also a full time PhD student, writing my qualifying exams, working as a research assistant on 2 separate studies, teaching, and working a per diem job. I don't have kids, but I do have a spouse and other obligations.

    What I have found to be helpful is to have calendars. Yes, multiple calendars. I have a white board broken into 4 months and I use that for my school work, appts, jobs, etc. I also have this on my phone with more details and alarms for the really important stuff. Then I have a weekly white board where I can put my tasks for each day and cross them off as I do them.

    I am very protective of my time and have had to say "no" to a lot of fun stuff. BUT...you still do need to make some time for levity in your life...or you'll go nuts. Remember, it's always going to be one thing at a time...get that done and then on to the next.

    I love to remember this poem when I'm at my wits' end:

    "Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
    Lead Thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home,
    Lead Thou me on!
    Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene; one step enough for me."

    Good luck, we're all rooting for you!!
  9. by   AnnieNP
    You definitely have a lot on your plate!!! I have no practical advice, but just want you to know I had a student (I was her Preceptor)a few years ago in a very similar situation, and she finished!! It wasn't easy, but she had a great support system ans was able to do it. Wishing you the best.
  10. by   GatorKatie2485
    I think that your mind and body are telling you something and its important to listen. I was in a similar situation not to long ago, where it felt like I was completely burnt out. I was constantly depleted, putting my energy into something that demanded my full attention and I had to make a ton of sacrifices. In order to get everything done, I had to sacrifice MY own needs. I saw a therapist for being overwhelmed and if you can make the time to see one and have the resources, it might be the first step in sitting down with yourself and making some adjustments for your own happiness. What I learned throughout the therapy sessions was something I didn't fully understand before: you simply can't accomplish the rigourous achievements you have set out to without at every step of the way, being able to nurture yourself and meet your own needs. Think of it like a fight in a rink. The fighter always has a station and a group of people that he goes to when the fight becomes too much, when he gets hurt, when he needs water ect. Without that station to recover at, without those people to bandage his wounds, without water to drink when he has sweat everything out- he can't win the fight. The burnout you are feeling is letting you know that you need to take care of you, so that you have the strength and energy to do what you need to. Nursing is very demanding, school is demanding, being a wife and a mother AND growing another human inside you is demanding. I think a good start is write out all YOUR needs. From what you wrote, it seems like it would be 1. More time with husband 2. More time with daughter 3. More rest 4. More fulfilling/ less physically demanding work (shift wise, at least while still pregnant). I think if your current situation isn't working and its burning you out, try to tweak it with little adjustments like you have a time/ place carved out for studying, like at a coffeehouse during a weekend day, but then at night your husband, daughter and you can go out to dinner and have family time. It sounds like you have the guilt when your studying/working for not being with your family but then when you are with them you have guilt for not studying. I think setting up a schedule for this would be super helpful with the rule you aren't allowed to feel guilty about one thing when you are doing another. Also, talk to you husband and let him know how you feel. Whether its helping out with your daughter more, doing the dishes, giving you a foot rub at the end of a long shift- he isn't going to know you need a little TLC if you don't tell him. If the tiny tweaks don't help, a bigger change will have to be made whether its switching jobs, taking a lighter academic load, or something else that can lighten your load. Sometimes, we just have too many demands placed on us and it's ok to find a balancing act. Just remember to look out for yourself and that your health/ happiness is the most important thing.
  11. by   Devnation
    I was in a similar position when I started my AG-ACNP program. I was working two jobs, going full-time, pregnant, with a two-year-old and husband. I felt I was doing everything poorly. A year and a half later, it's still a struggle. Here's what I learned: if you have a support system, USE IT! If you don't, try to develop one. It really does take a village, so cash in every favor from every friend and relative you can. Thank them profusely, and make it up to them down the road. Don't turn down any offer of help; you'll need especially when the baby comes. Define your priorities and let everything else go. I'm looking around my living room right (as I get ready for clinicals tomorrow, and work on a take home test) and it's a disaster. Toddler toys everywhere, but that's ok. My kids are clean and fed, and I spent the time I could've been cleaning tucking them in. Organization is key. I use a Google Calendar and have it color-coded to reflect work, school, and personal events. I set reminders frequently.
    I can't say this will make everything OK, but it has helped me a bit. Good luck!

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