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Guarding the Nursing Profession

Life Doesn't Pause- My Return to Blogging

Published June 16, 2016 2:13 PM by Colleen Villamin
My last blog was October 1, 2014.  Why the long hiatus?  I suppose it was the complexity of life. Jumping in head first into my first real nursing leadership role, I became involved in every quality project that I could find.  I spent my time drafting research and grant proposals, applying for graduate school, and leading teams.  I rushed from work to pick up the kids, take them to ball games, cook dinner, put everyone to bed, and clean up the day's mess. The alarm went off at 4:00 am and the routine started again with the hour commute back to work.  In that period of time, I went to conferences, suffered a miscarriage, took my grandmother to Italy, and gave birth to my third son.  On maternity leave I read a novel called "The Two-Income Trap, Why Parents are Choosing to Stay at Home." The title caught my curiosity. After reading the book, I found myself feeling incredibly guilty for allegedly placing my career before my family.  I was not a single-mom so did I have to do this?

 I returned to work full-time and pumped breastmilk twice a shift so my baby could continue nursing.  I realized I was missing his milestones of rolling over for the first time and holding his bottle.  I changed my schedule from full-time day shift to part-time weekend night shift to allow more time at home with the kids.  Somehow, I did not calculate how to function on little or no sleep and still attend every baseball and soccer game.  Furthermore, I did not factor in spending any time with my husband.

I made the difficult decision to resign from my position to stay home with my family at least until the baby reached one year old.  From the sound of it, this should have been an easy decision but that was not the case at all.  Nursing is so much more than a job to me.  It is wrapped up in my identity as it is with many of my friends who are also nurses.  I find it hard to have conversations about anything other than children with other stay at home mothers.  I miss having the satisfaction of knowing I worked hard but made a difference today.  I am eager to have intellectually stimulating conversations with my colleagues again.

In the meantime, I am blessed to slow down and enjoy the world through the eyes of my sons.  I love hearing their enthusiasm with new experiences and their innocent way of processing ideas.  They have genuine curiosity, excitement, and joy.  They love unconditionally and that is all they ask of in return.  Perhaps I will never know if my struggle to achieve work-life balance was successful or not.  I have learned there is no right or wrong path and that this "balance" may be an unachievable fantasy.  What I do know is we all do the best we can with what we have and it is an honor to care for others as a nurse and a mother.




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