Why I’ll Never Be Super Nurse

October 26, 2010

I work with a lady who I like to call Super Nurse. In addition to her full-time job in patient care on our unit, she is also in school to advance her degree. She is the chair of about a thousand committees. She is constantly conducting employee inservices and creating educational posters for the rest of us. She does research projects to figure out the best patient care. She plans all our parties. For a long time, I thought I wanted to be just like her.

But then this year happened. We had a miscarriage, David dealt with debilitating pain and got both of his hips replaced, I developed food intolerances, and sunk into depression. My job, in which I formerly thrived, became a huge source of stress to me. I was the chair of a single committee, and even that was too much. Eventually, as you know, I went so far as to take a new job – one that I hope will be calmer.

I’ve been feeling guilty about the decision. I’m not even thirty years old yet! I should have tons of energy! And yet here I am, wiped out at the end of every day, needing a regular schedule and less stress in my days. How am I ever going to be like Super Nurse?

But then I realized that I have no idea what her life is like outside of work. Her job could be everything, her whole identity.

I love being a nurse. I think it’s the perfect vocation for me, and it’s a fantastic profession. But it’s only part of me. I have way too many other interests and priorities to let it consume me.

I want to be home every evening and weekend when David is there. I want to be more involved in my church. I want to read more, to see more shows, listen to more live music, run more races, take my dogs to the park more, make my house look pretty, learn to cook, and I even want to watch more TV. I want to have children, for goodness sake.

I’ll probably never be like Super Nurse, but I’m okay with that. I’ll still be a darn good one.

Posted in: personal, me, personal

Comments on Why I’ll Never Be Super Nurse

  1. 1

    From Lauren from Texas:

    Darn Good Nurse, Super Nurse’s sidekick! You’re right, K, she probably has no life outside her work. Something HAS to suffer when you’re that busy; you know that now. Cheers to you for realizing that & looking for balance. Love you.

  2. 2

    From Callina:

    I don’t think you should feel guilty about needing less stress right now, even in your twenties. You are going through a very stressful time in your personal life, and that can happen at any age. Maybe in a few years you will find everything is smoothing over and you want more excitement in your work life–you can always go back to inpatient care or get more involved or advanced in your career if you want! I agree with you about your career/life balance desires though–I want the same thing. I want to be fulfilled in my career but I also don’t want my career to be my entire life. Which is one of the reasons I’m seeking a career in nursing!

  3. 3

    From San:

    Sometimes it’s hard to not compare yourself to others, but in the end, there is nothing to compare. Your life is unique. You have to chose what is right for YOU. Nobody else’s life can tell you how you should be or what should make you happy.
    I am glad you realized that.

  4. 4

    From Emily:

    Kudos for you for listening to what is right for you and your family. I’m struggling with this too. Family life is way more important to me than a job. And realizing that what works for someone elses family isn’t necessarily what will work for our own. nursing is a great profession, but the hours are terrible and not family oriented, according to my family. Now I’m struggling with fibromyalgia which is making nursing an even more difficult career. One day I’ll figure it all out! Glad to know I’m not the only one trying to find the balance. And so sorry about your miscarriage, I can’t even imagine the devestation.

  5. 5

    From kapachino:

    Oh my goodness, I can’t imagine being a nurse with fibromyalgia! What kind of setting do you work in? Are you looking to make any changes?

  6. 6

    From Jill:

    I like your way of thinking! Your happiness is what’s most important! Finding a life/work balance is sometimes so difficult, but in the end, you have to make choices that are going to work for YOU!

  7. 7

    From Glam-O-Mommy:

    It’s good that you recognized this and can take steps to make your life what you want accordingly. Three years ago, my boss left the company, which left her position open. Although I didn’t think I actually had enough experience to replace her, I thought that my VP would expect me to apply to show my desire to keep growing my career, because of course, who doesn’t want to keep going up the career ladder? I, however, was in the midst of my battle with infertility, and trying to get pregnant felt like a second full-time job on top of my real one. When I had a meeting with my VP about something else, I took a moment to tell her that I was not going to apply for the job, because I couldn’t take on additional stress at that particular point, and I shared a little about my struggle to get pregnant with her. I told her that I was stressed enough trying to get pregnant and I needed to focus my energies outside of work on achieving my goal of having a family, and after climbing the corporate ladder in my single 20s, I needed to step back for a bit in my early 30s to make this happen. She told me she appreciated my honesty and was very supportive. Luckily, I did eventually get pregnant with assistance and have a baby. After I came back to work from maternity leave, I was trying to be superwoman and do it all, and I was miserable. I was working long hours for about nine months. Some nights my husband picked up our daughter from day school and I didn’t get home in time to see her before she went to sleep. It sucked. So I once again took myself off the career track. I asked to go part-time. I took a 20 percent pay cut and I work four days a week only. I spend my three-day weekends enjoying my balance in life with my daughter and my husband. Occasionally, I miss the money I gave up and people on my team have been promoted over me, but I don’t regret it. I’m really lucky to be in this situation and I treasure my hard-won motherhood.

    Sorry for the dissertation, but I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been there and I think you are smart to make yourself and your family a priority. And I’m praying for you and your husband as you continue with your own struggle to have a baby. All the best from San Antonio…

  8. 8

    From kapachino:

    It’s so nice to hear from someone who’s been there, made the tough decisions, and come out happy on the other side! I know I’m doing the right thing, I just have to convince myself of it. I’m sure that I can be fulfilled professionally in my new, less stressful, job.

    Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, and we hope we have good news to share soon on the baby front. :)

  9. 9

    From Rachel:

    Kat~ I have just spent a long time reading through your blog and kind of catching up. Ahh Kat my heart aches for you. You have been through a lot in 2 years of marriage and it is understandable that you just started fading out of normal. Don’t underestimate the amazing power of Christ. I will put you on my prayer list and pray that God gives you strength when there is no strength in you.
    Sidenote: Try out the gluten-free diet. I have two siblings that were diagnosed with Celiac. My brother was having terrible pain and becoming malnutritioned when he was in med school and a dr. friend asked is he could test him for this and he was right. My sister on the other hand had been living years with stomach pain, dairy problems and the inability to get and keep a pregnancy. She changed her diet and within a year was pregnant and then two more pregnancies after that. I am not saying this will work for or not, but hope it could maybe be an encouragement to you. Diet changes are so very hard, but you may see some great improvements.
    I’m sure comments are not supposed to be this long…sorry. I have a time management problem when it comes to the computer, but I plan to add you to my list of reads because I would love to stay connected with you.
    Rachel (sorry if I spelled a ton of words wrong)

  10. 10

    From kapachino:


    Wow it’s so good to hear from you! And now that I know you have a blog I’ll definitely be checking in with yours too. I know what you mean about computer time issues; I have to continually watch myself. Actually, in the past several months since I’ve been struggling mentally I’ve gotten much better. I’ve had to prioritize and the computer didn’t make the top of the list.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your prayers! We have been through a lot but it’s nothing we can’t handle without God’s help. I’ve been pretty good with the gluten-free diet, although it’s no fun at all. If it makes me feel better and gets me pregnant then it’s worth it!

    I loved your long comment and hope you’ll continue to leave me your thoughts. :)

  11. 11

    From dadman:

    Remember Kat for everything there is a time and a season. Years ago I gave up management and it’s grasp on my time so i could be a technician which freed up my time to be a father. I think I made the right choice. Forget the prestige, glamour, perks, etc of the next rung on the career ladder and focus on your life and happiness. Many of those “super” people don’t have much of a family life. It’s all about friends, family and love. The next rung on the career ladder won’t help you with any of those.


  12. 12

    From Megan:

    I think it’s great that you’re cutting back to allow yourself some room to breathe. :)

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