Nurse moms offer motherly advice for today’s health care parents

Balancing a workload as a mother can be tough. For nurses, the challenge is often even greater. Nurses work long hours, often with shifting schedules. They work weekends, as well as holidays. Finding a balance between life as a nurse and life as a mother can consequently feel like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to feel that way.

Here are a few ways, according to other nurse moms, that you can have a better work-home balance.

Find a schedule that works for you

Finding a schedule that works for you and your family is key to success. Take away the unpredictability of nursing by requesting a work schedule on your terms.

“As my children got older, I was missing holidays, missing events, I was exhausted from my work schedule and not able to take care of myself,” Monica L. Diehl, MSN, RN, told Nurse Journal. “I was able to go back to school. I found a position with no holidays, no weekends, and no night shifts. This is why nursing is such a great career choice. There are so many ways to adapt within the umbrella of a nursing career — so many avenues.”

Don’t be afraid to share your children

The idea of leaving your children with family may feel daunting, but the time away from home may actually be beneficial for them.

“Remember that your baby/kids will be just fine and being away will be a blessing to whomever is caring for them in your absence,” Kristin Breslin Heider, a mom of three and nurse of 25 years, told Travel Nursing. “I have always struggled to leave my kids, but I can say objectively that it is GOOD for them, their daddy/grandma, and for me.”

Consider the upsides of a 12-hour shift schedule

Many nurses work three days a week, rather than five. It’s a benefit of working 12-hour shifts that can come in handy for moms interested in having more uninterrupted time with their families.

“One of the notable advantages of 12-hour nursing shifts is the extended break periods,” Mother Nurse Love’s Sarah Jividen, a registered nurse and mother, reported. “With longer breaks, nurses can recharge, refuel, and engage in self-care activities. Additionally, the compressed schedule often allows for more consecutive days off, providing valuable time for personal pursuits, family commitments, and leisure activities that can enhance work-life balance.”