Many nurse practitioners (especially those that struggle with nurse practitioner burnout) experience a lack of work-life balance. This imbalance can cause feelings of mom guilt.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about mom guilt. How we feel guilty for being a working parent and spending time away from our kids. I wanted to elaborate on how we can manage the mom guilt.
Manage the mom guilt of being a working parent.
Disclaimer: I am not a child psychologist or even a perfect mother. I have just learned a few things (and still learning) in the eight years I have been a mother.
Don’t get me wrong, I still mess up as a mom- often!! I still struggle to manage the mom guilt. But family is part of work-life balance, so I think it’s important to discuss.
While this article is mostly related to parents of younger children, I think a few concepts can also be used for adolescent years and beyond. If there are any parents who have made it through the “parenting a teenager years” and have advice, please share! I will be needing it very soon!
Lead by example
Instead of worrying about taking time away from my kids, I focus on showing them how to achieve their goals. My actions teach concepts of hard work, believing in yourself, and overcoming adversities. I am leading by example and making more of an impact in my kid’s lives. If they learn nothing else in childhood, I want them to learn to love themselves and strive for their dreams.
Graduating with a MSN, starting a business, running a marathon are examples of goals I have accomplished with my kids cheering for me. I love that they get to be involved in my goals and I show them anything is possible. I am leading by example everyday. I want to manage the mom guilt so I can be there for my children.
Be present with your children.
Our kids want us to be present. They live for our attention. Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Our basic needs include food, water, and shelter. The next step is safety and security. The next level is love and belonging.
Our children need to know we love them and one way is being mentally present when around your kids. I don’t do it perfectly. There are some days I am tired and overwhelmed. But I know I need to manage the mom guilt. I continue to strive to give my kids the love and attention they deserve.
Put your phone in the drawer, turn off the TV, play a game with your kids, enjoy a meal at the table, talk to your kids. These are easy ways nurse practitioners can manage the mom guilt. Our children need to know they are loved and that they belong.
Stop the comparison.
Too often we compare ourselves to other parents and end up feeling less of ourselves. Some parents volunteer in the classroom, coach their daughter’s softball team, or remember to pack their child’s homework the night before school. While other parents work full time and provide for their family.
The sooner we can stop comparing ourselves to the other moms, the sooner we will find joy in our own lives.
Plus, remember: to your child, you are their everything. There’s a reason they gave you the homemade “World’s #1 Mom” sign. They love you for who you are and don’t compare you to other moms, so why would you? Your children need you to be you.
Keep going mom!
If you think you’re messing up a mom, I guarantee you’re not. Being a parent is hard. Being a working parent is hard. Managing the stress of your full time nurse practitioner job and still showing up for your children is hard.
I encourage mothers to just keep going. Find ways you can mange the mom guilt. Because it is not benefitting you in any way. If you are constantly stressing about being a terrible mom. If you feel like you are always messing up. That you can’t do anything right. These thoughts and emotions are taking more time and energy away from your children. It does not benefit your child in any way.
We don’t need to overcomplicate things. We don’t have to beat ourselves up when we don’t do things right. We don’t have to feel the guilt. Being a mom doesn’t have to be perfect. Your kids just want you.
If you would like more information on ways to manage the mom guilt, check out Burnout Resolution for Nurse Practitioners. There is a bonus lesson discussing 6 tips to master the mom guilt!
For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at www.npchartingschool.com
**Full disclosure, this blog post may include affiliate links. I do receive a commission if any of the affiliate programs/services/supplies are purchased. This is at no extra cost to you but does allow me to continue to provide content as The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner! Thank you!