When I first found out I was pregnant, I was so excited beyond words. It took my husband and I 2-3 years to get pregnant. After all the excitement, it sunk in that we were creating a life and motherhood was beginning. I had so many emotions and thoughts running through my mind. Am I going to be a good mom? Am I going to know exactly what to do when my son is born? Will I be able to breastfeed successfully? Will my son be healthy? Will my labor be quick or long? My head spun the entire pregnancy. It still spins, actually!
My husband and I were both active duty in the Navy and to start a family was hard. I was in the Navy Nurse Corps so deployments were inevitable. At one point, we both deployed at the same time on different ships. To find the balance between work and life in general was nearly impossible being both in the military. So I had to make the decision to resign my commission in the Navy. It was hard, but a start to the many sacrifices I would be making for my family.
Towards the end of my active duty career was when we found out we were pregnant. To make it work where we wouldn’t need a babysitter, I decided to work night shifts so that my husband and I would switch off by him taking our son at night and me during the day. Your next question might be, when does she even sleep?? When people tell you to sleep when your baby sleeps... SLEEP! I don’t even know what real sleep is these days. I don’t remember what that even feels like anymore!
My son sleeps throughout the night so my husband has it a little easier than I do because my son loves to play during the day. For me to stay sane, I created a routine. Some days are tougher than others, but who said parenthood was going to be easy? Having a high stress job as an ICU nurse and coming home to having to take care of my son sounds impossible, but because I’m used to always having a routine, I know that I can only balance my work and home life through routine. I sleep when my son sleeps and when he’s awake, we go out and run errands. I’m big on fitness as well so I take my son out on runs or he is in the garage with me in his pack and play while I work out. On my days off, my husband takes us out on dates as a family so we’re not cooped up in the house all the time.
Being a full-time nurse and a mom/wife is definitely not easy. You really have to put forth effort even when you are ridiculously exhausted. It’s okay to struggle and feel overwhelmed sometimes. Just make sure you have some type of outlet to release your stress. I found mine in working out and my Etsy shop. You’re not alone, mama/dad! It’s alright if you have to hire a babysitter/nanny/daycare to be able to work. Do what works for you. In the end, you’re doing what’s best for your family. Others may not understand, but if it works, then it works!