Advice for Juggling A Nursing Career & Parenting

The work life balance is definitely hard with kids. But while we'd love to just say people should be a stay at home mom, that isn't feasible for so many people in so many situations. So how do you figure out that work life balance with kids when you're in a profession such as nursing? This post from a reader gives some good ideas that are relevant to nursing, as well as many other professions.

One of the biggest challenges that many nurses face is juggling their profession with parenting, and it certainly can be difficult, although not impossible. The two can complement each other well. Many of the best nurses are parents and best parents’ nurses because there are similarities such as care, time-management, and good communication. It can be stressful, especially when you have long shifts to cover and then have to look after the kids at home. With this in mind, here are a few tips for juggling nursing and parenting so that you can give both your all.

Enlist Help If Possible

You should not shy away from asking for help as juggling parenting and nursing can be too much at times. A partner, friends, and family can be of immense help in this situation, but they may not realize that you need help unless you ask. You might also find that there are after school clubs or other activities that will keep them busy and looked after a while you are working.

Speak to Your Boss

You do not want to be a special case, but it is important to make your boss aware of your situation. This is helpful when it comes to scheduling as they may be able to work with you to find the best possible pattern so that you can juggle your work and parenting as well as getting enough rest and looking after your own wellbeing.

Develop Strategic Scheduling

The key to success when trying to balance work and your personal life is strategic scheduling. You need to know what your work schedule is as far in advance as possible and then get to work finding out how you are going to manage when you are at work and what you need to be doing in your spare time.

Enjoy Spare Time with Your Kids

Following this point, you also need to make sure that when you do have to time off that you enjoy spending time with your kids as opposed to just sitting around the home. This will help you to have fun, connect with your kids, and help you to de-stress.

Find Ways to Relax

You must also find ways to relax as juggling nursing and parenting can feel overwhelming. Many nurses find that meditation is a good option because it is something that you can quickly do from the comfort of your own home and can have a huge impact on your mood both at work and at home.

Make Time for Sleep

It might seem like there is no time for sleep when you are a parent or a nurse, but this is not strictly true. If possible, you should try to sleep when the kids are sleeping and schedule in time for getting enough sleep (at least 6 hours a night). This is crucial for both your physical and mental wellbeing, so it is not something that can be overlooked.

Study Online

Getting qualified is important for nursing, and the BSN program is ideal because it can open many doors. Ordinarily, this would take four years, but you can take online accelerated BSN programs for non nurses to qualify much faster. Additionally, the fact that a lot of the work is carried out online also makes it easier for parents to study while also looking after their kids, so it is perfect for parents looking to enter the profession.

Meal Prep

One of the best insider tips for nurses who are also parents is meal prep. Cooking up meals to last the week on a day off is a fantastic use of time because it means that you do not have to worry about cooking after a long shift, plus it allows you to maintain a healthy diet for the whole family as opposed to something quick and easy but unhealthy (or takeout). Meal prep saves an enormous amount of time, it allows for a healthy and balanced diet, and it means that you can save money as you will not have to buy food while you are working.

Get Help with The Housework

Following this, the idea of adding housework on to the pile can be too much, which is why many nurses hire somebody to take care of the housework or have a partner, friend, or family member that takes care of this. Nothing feels worse than coming home to a messy house after a long shift, so having someone handle the housework can take a big weight off your shoulders and make you feel much happier and calmer while you are at home.

Socialize with Friends

You also need to make sure that you make time for friends and family, ideally without the kids, if possible. Even if this is just a quick coffee after work, it will help with your mental health tremendously and help you retain some independence. Socializing is important for your mental health, so this is not something that should be ignored, and you need to make an effort. While you need to make an effort with socializing, you also need to be ok with saying no to people if you are simply too tired.

Reach Out If You Need It

Finally, you need to ensure that you reach out for support if you need it, whether this is to friends and family, someone at work, or a mental health professional. Nursing and parenting are two of the most demanding jobs that there are, so you should not feel bad if it feels overwhelming and reaching out can be helpful for mental health support while also finding solutions.

Hopefully, this post will help anyone that is a nurse and a parent to manage their time effectively and look after their own wellbeing. It can be extremely challenging and there are sure to be difficult days, but nursing and parenting can both be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable when you are able to get in control of your situation and lead a happy, active lifestyle.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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