As you will know, parenting is a full-time job, which is why it is no easy feat raising kids with a healthcare career. After all, you might need to find babysitters while you work long shifts regularly. Plus, you must find time to care for your mind and body to avoid burning out.
While all the above might seem like an impossible task, there are ways you can manage the position while effectively caring for your children. Keep reading to find out how you can juggle a healthcare career with a family.
Build a Support System
Double shifts can make it a challenge to care for your kids’ every need. Also, there will be times when you might have to go to work to cover for a colleague, or you will require a trusted loved one to care for your son or daughter when they are sick. Rather than choosing between your responsibilities, you must aim to build a solid, flexible support system.
For example, ask your family and/or friends if they could care for your kids when you can’t, and you could even create a schedule together. Also, aim to build relationships with other healthcare professionals, as they might be happy to swap shifts so you can attend your child’s school play or take them to the dentist.
Leave Work at the Front Door
While a healthcare career can be rewarding, it can take a physical and emotional toll. You might need to deal with rude relatives or provide medical help and support to many poorly patients, which could make you feel stressed, upset, or angry at the end of the working day.
To cope with the pressures of the job, you might be tempted to talk to your loved ones about the frustrating people you met or the challenges you faced. While talking about your day could provide some emotional release, it could eat into the little quality time you have with your family. If you need to talk about your career pressures, it might be a wise idea to confide in other healthcare professionals, as they will understand the obstacles you will face each day.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
Many people are guilty of comparing themselves to others. Rather than monitoring a person’s actions to gauge how well you are doing in your career or home life, you must focus on yourself. While a co-worker who has a similar situation to you might seem in firm control of their life, they might be better at covering up their many stresses. Stop obsessing over where they are going right, and you’re going wrong and focus on the different ways to manage your stress and tiredness.
Make Time for Self-Care
A demanding medical career and family life might make it feel impossible to enjoy five minutes of relaxation. If you don’t make time for a little self-care, you could suffer from exhaustion and lose all your career passion. Both your children and patients depend on you each day, which is why you owe it to them and yourself to care for your every need.
Care for your mind and body by:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Enjoying a good night’s sleep
- Eliminating bad habits
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing mindfulness
- Adopting deep breathing techniques
- Making time for relaxation – watch TV with your other half, take a bath, or book a professional massage
A little self-care can work wonders for your physical and mental health, and it will ensure you’re the best version of yourself at home and work.
Take an Online Course
Climbing the healthcare ladder might feel like an impossible dream when caring for children. However, it is possible to improve your education while juggling a medical career with raising a family. For instance, if you are a registered nurse with a BSN degree and dream of becoming a family nurse practitioner, you should consider an online degree. For example, an online DNP degree program is designed to match a working professional’s life, and it will allow you to develop advanced clinical and leadership skills at a flexible pace.
Stop Feeling Guilty
Many parents believe they need to be with their children 24 hours per day to ensure they have a happy, healthy childhood. However, this isn’t the case. As long as your kids are well-cared for by a responsible adult, such as another parent, a relative, or a trusted friend, you don’t need to worry about kissing them goodbye and leaving for work.
You must not worry that your kids will forget about you or stop needing you because of your job. If anything, they will appreciate your time together once you return home. Whenever guilt strikes, remind yourself that your children are happy and healthy, and that you go to work to provide them with a brighter future.
Talk to Your Kids About Your Responsibilities
It is essential to talk to your kids about the many pressures you face in your job. Take the time to explain why you might need to disappear for many hours each day or skip Christmas dinner. It could help them to understand why you might not be able to attend every event, which can stop them from being disappointed. They will also feel a sense of pride as they grow older that you have sacrificed many happy moments to care for vulnerable people.
Be Flexible with Occasions
Naturally, your kids would be disappointed when you can’t be there on their birthdays or Christmas Day. Rather than missing all the fun with your family, you could always celebrate an event at a later date. For example, you could promise to take your son or daughter out for ice cream the day before or after their birthday to ensure they feel both loved and special.
Stay Updated on Your Kids’ Lives
It’s easy to feel out of the loop on your kids’ lives when you work 12 hours per day. To ensure you never miss out on a fun story or a problem, aim to stay updated on your kids’ lives as much as possible. For example, you could give them a call on your break or ask your partner or a babysitter to send you updates. If you know you will miss their bedtime, ask them to write you a letter about their day, which will make you both feel more connected to each other.
Ask Other Professionals for Advice
If you are struggling to balance your job with raising a family, you should ask other professionals for advice. If an experienced nurse has or is raising a family alongside a flourishing career, ask them how they manage to juggle the two tasks. They could have a tip that could transform your daily life or mindset, which could take some of the intense pressure off your shoulders.
Household chores and grocery shopping can place greater pressure on your already busy life. If you’re unable to manage every task on your to-do list, you might need to work on your delegation skills. For example, you could provide your kids with age-appropriate chores to complete in the home. Also, you could order your groceries online and could hire a cleaner and/or gardener.
Declutter Your Home
Of course, you could reduce your household chores by decluttering your home. If you feel as if your home never appears clean and organized, it could be a sign you need to purge your belongings. On your next day off, take the time to throw away or donate items you no longer want or need, and instruct your kids to do the same. It will make your home appear organized, spacious, and airy, and it can stop you from stuffing items into drawers or tripping over items each day.
It might also help to invest in better storage solutions to free up floor space and create a tidy environment. For example, you could swap a freestanding wardrobe for a fitted closet, which will provide ample room for your everyday wear and scrubs. You also could incorporate bookcases, storage baskets, and shelving into different rooms across the home. The more storage solutions you have in the home, the cleaner your house will be, and the fewer tasks you will need to complete when you return home or on your well-deserved day off.
Improve Your Organization Skills
It is essential to be organized when juggling a medical career with a family. You’ll not only need to have a firm understanding of your shifts to find babysitters, if necessary, but you also mustn’t forget a loved one’s birthday, a school play, or your kids’ healthcare appointments.
If organization isn’t one of your strengths, you must look for tools that can improve your efficiency. For example, you could make a note of important events in the calendar on your phone, as well as your shifts and appointments. Also, start writing to-do lists to ensure you don’t forget to order a new pair of shoes for your kids or to send a card to a relative.
Invest in Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is every busy professional’s best friend. If you do not have time to browse many stores for a loved one’s birthday present, or you’re too busy to visit a store to pick-up an item for a school project, you can buy it on Amazon, and it could be delivered to your home the next day. So, you can order every product you need on the commute to work or on your break, which will ensure you never miss an important occasion.
Find Ways to Wind Down
A chaotic working day and a busy household can make it hard to wind down at the end of the day. If you are staring at the ceiling when you go to bed, you might need to ease yourself into sleep.
For example, turn off all devices at least one hour before bed, enjoy a cup or two of chamomile tea, and even treat yourself to a warm bath. It will help to relax both your mind and body, which will enable you fall asleep with ease every night. It will ensure you wake up feeling fresh and energetic the next day.
Make Time for Your Other Half
It might feel hard to make time for your other half due to a fast-paced career and many parental responsibilities. However, both your relationship and emotional wellbeing need to make time for your other half. Rather than allowing your job and home life to stand in the way of your relationship, schedule a date night at least once a month. It will enable you to reconnect with your partner, strengthen your bond, and make you feel secure and supported each day. It could make your everyday life feel a little less stressful.
It can be hard to find a balance between work and family life when you are a busy healthcare professional. As you will have multiple responsibilities to manage, you must look for ways to simplify your life and relax both your mind and body to avoid burning out.
To do so, you must attempt to build a rock-solid support system, delegate tasks in the home and at work, and stop feeling guilty for your career. Of course, you can eliminate some of the guilt and pressure you might feel by having an honest conversation about your job with your kids and celebrate important events at a later date with your nearest and dearest.
Most importantly, it would be best if you did not put your own needs on the back burner. If you want to climb the ladder in your career, take an online degree course. If you feel tired and stressed, do not be afraid to set time aside to sink into a bath, read a book, or enjoy an early night. You’ll feel happier and healthier for doing so, which will allow you to perform your best both at home and work.