As a modern woman, you wear many hats. You are a wife, a mother, and a nurse. Gone are the days when mothers stayed at home to raise a family. You love your job. It’s a passion and it validates you. At the same time, you are filled with guilt. You wish you could be two places at once.
Your career has placed a strain on your family in the past, but the COVID-19 has really put everyone to the test. You need to learn how to deal with the guilt of being a working mom for your sake. You won’t only be helping yourself, but your whole family when you find healthy ways to find a balance between work and parenthood.
Talk to Your Family
One of the first things you need to do is have a meaningful conversation with your family about nursing and the pressures that you experience. You can also encourage your husband and children to open up about their feelings. Let them know that you carry a great deal of guilt with you every day. It’s hard for you to walk out the door. You wish you could be with your family more often. Remind them how much you love them.
This is also your opportunity to explain how important your work is right now during a pandemic. You are needed to help people who cannot help themselves. That doesn’t mean you aren’t always thinking about everyone you love.
Look for Ways to Build Connections with Your Family
While you are working more hours than ever before, you can still show your family how much you care. Leave little notes in unexpected places. Send texts throughout the day when you have a minute or two. Call or video chat on your break. You can also encourage your children to leave notes or draw pictures for you.
If you have a locker or space designated for you at work, keep reminders of your family close to you. When you come home, always make a point of checking in on each member of your family. Be accessible if there is an emergency. You have a job to do, but never forget the importance of maintaining strong, healthy relationships at home.
Make Quality Time a Priority
Your time may be limited at home. Make the most of it. When you have a day or two off, plan something special for your family. On workdays, be present in the moments you are home. Whether you always have breakfast together as a family because dinner isn’t possible or you always read a bedtime story, some traditions are meant to be kept.
If there is a special occasion coming up, put in for the day off, or switch schedules with someone at work. Your family needs to know they can count on you to be a part of those momentous occasions in life.
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t be there for your family or your patients if you don’t make your well-being a priority. Get as much sleep as you can. Eat nutritious food. If possible, go for a walk on your break to stay active. Don’t forget the importance of quality nursing shoes that give you adequate support when you are on your feet all day.
Talk about your experiences with co-workers who can relate to you. Find ways to relieve stress. It could be a few minutes of yoga every day, soothing music, or an audiobook in the car on the way to and from work. If you feel healthy and strong, you will have more energy to devote to others around you.
Put your work in perspective. Remember why you became a nurse in the first place. You are considered an essential worker for a reason.
You make a difference in the lives of every patient you meet. In some cases, your efforts may mean the difference between life and death. Express how much your work means to you when you talk to your family. Being a nurse is an honor. Your family should be proud of what you do. When everyone you love understands how worthy your work is, the weight of guilt can be lifted off your shoulders.