Monday, September 16, 2013

Nurse to Mom & How I Am Not Wasting My Time

I often tell people that before I was a mom I was a nurse. I loved being a nurse, but really, really love being able to stay home with my kids. Some people ask if I feel like I am 'wasting' my education or career by staying home. The question always catches me off guard, because I full heartily believe that any time spent on my husband and kids is in no way a wast of time. It's why I have time! It also confuses me because I believe that I gained valuable skills from being a nurse that have helped me make the transition into managing my home and raising our kids. And it may not be in the way you might think.

When I tell people I was a nurse, and an ER nurse at that, they usually think that I know exactly why my kid is sick or what they have or when I should or shouldn't take the baby to the pediatrician. Honestly, I don't. I have forgotten some most of the medical side of nursing. Here are the skills that I did learn that are not being wasted:

Time Management:

To be a successful ER nurse, one must manage their time appropriately. When there are tasks to be done they must get done; But at the same time, you must take your time and do them well. As an ER nurse you may have one thing to do or twenty. A nurse must be able to decide what is the most important task at that time and get it done right the first time so that she can move to the next task. If it's not done right then that takes more time to re due the task.

As a homemaker and mom the same applies. You may have 1 load of laundry or twenty (I usually have the twenty- does it breed while I'm not looking??) You may have to wash dishes and make lunch and kiss boo-boos all at the same time. Learning how to manage your time and decide what is most important at the time helps with keeping your day on track. For example, today I had several things on my to-do list. My plan for the day was to get up and do breakfast, throw in a load of laundry then run to the bank, grocery store and mail something at UPS (that must go out today!). Well, my plan changed when the 3 oldest kids were taking turns having melt downs and temper tantrums. I decided that although all of the tasks on my to-do list are important, there is nothing more important the capturing the hearts of my children. We needed to stay home and work on listing and obedience. My sweet boy twin woke up grumpy and wanted to whine and love on mommy. So, snuggles with mommy took priority. Once I got the boy under control, my sweet girl twin wanted to express her need for independence by disobeying a simple task I asked her to complete. She had several timeouts, spankings and 'talks' from mama. She eventually did what I asked her to and I was able to have a sweet moment shaping her heart by calmly working with her. No to-do list is more important then that! That brings me to my next lesson-


I love schedules. I love to-do lists and checking things off. I'm not so great with change. But, as an ER nurse the job is ever changing. At any given time you are loving on a child who doesn't feel well, assisting a physician with stitches, assessing an elderly patient with a heart arrhythmia or preforming life saving CPR. You could have no patients or 4. You could have one task then when you turn around you may need to do 10 different things. Being able to be flexible and realize when the plan needs to change is crucial. Just like when I decided to stay home and work on my children's hearts instead of checking the things off my to-do list. I had to learn to go with the flow and take what comes at me.  

Performing on little sleep:

Well, this one is all entirely true. As a nurse I did work long hours, but then I got to come home and take a shower and eat and snack and watch TV. But, there were many nights that I crawled into bed and then couldn't get to sleep because I couldn't remember if I had taken that old lady a glass of water when she asked or if I had, did I documented that I gave her the glass of water?!

As a mom you get no time off. No bathroom breaks no meal breaks, no breaks! Many times I lay awake at night thinking about all the things I did wrong that day and how I should have done better. I spend many nights begging God to not let my mess ups- my short temper, my over correction or under correction, the nasty thing I said- affect my sweet kids. The long hard hours of being a nurse prepared me for the long hard hours of being a homemaker and mother.

Preforming on little food intake:

,For most of my ER days I worked 3pm-3am. Crazy terrible hours. Some people thrive on the night shift; I did not. Because it also was usually the busiest time, there were days that I did not get a meal break. I learned to eat a little here and a little there. Same goes for mother hood. I will prepare a beautiful lunch for my kids- OK, a heart shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but what they want to eat is MY food. I have learned as a mom I can not go all day without eating, gotta eat when you can! And hide your food- if you don't label it in the lunch room it gets eaten. Hide it and eat it when no one is looking!!

Getting to know the individual:

As a nurse I got to meet lots of different types of people. Some patients were fun. We would crack jokes and chit chat while I took care of them. Some didn't want to hear anything I had to say. Learning which patient was which was important.

Same goes for our kids. Each kids is different and needs different treatment. One may need more discipline then another. One my react differently to a situation. Even knowing who needs more food or sleep is important. Realize that just as all people are not the same, neither are your kids. 

I went to school for 4 years and then worked as a nurse for about 4 years before I became a stay at home mom. I do not feel like I wasted those eight years just because I am no longer making an income. On the contrary, I am pulling the lessons and life experiences I gained from nursing and using them to train my children and manage my home. I am sure you are doing the same. Maybe you worked in an office. You gained many valuable lessons on working with others and managing you work load that you are now using to raise and train your children. Maybe you got your masters in communication, but never worked with your degree. You are still using things you learned to train your children. Maybe you have a top security government clearance and traveled the world. I can not even imagine the life lessons you got from those experiences that you can now pass on to you children.

I think we should not let the amount of 'income' determine if we are successful or not. We should not let the about of money we make determine if we are 'wasting' our time. I am doing more good for this world by molding a shaping my 4 children into the adults that God wants them to be then if I had worked as a nurse for 30 years. These 4 children will grow up and influence their work places, community's and family's because of the hard work I am putting in now. No amount of money could be better then that. My point is, don't get talked into the argument that being a mom is a wast of education. No amount of time that you spend mothering is a wast of time- It's what God gave you time for!


  1. I agree...The more time you have with your children the better...that is what I'm aiming for too :) Nice Post!

    1. Thank you!! You are doing a great job!