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How Has Your Nursing Career Affected Your Relationships Or Other Aspects of Your Life?

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Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

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I've been thinking lately about my nursing career and where things are going for me.?Right now, I'm finishing up my Master's Degree and am being encouraged by others in my life to pursue a doctorate degree.?The more I think about it, the more I'm interested.??

However, I also can't help but wonder how my focus on my career and schooling is impacting other areas of my life, such as home ownership and possible marriage and parenthood.?While I have no doubt that I'll eventually be able to purchase some type of home that I can both reasonably afford and be satisfied with, I do question how much pursuing additional degrees or continuing my current career path may interfere with marrying or becoming a mother.?Frankly, I want it all...education, career, marriage, and children.?I'm just not convinced that all of that will end up working out.??

The other day, I saw that a former boyfriend of mine just became a father with another woman.?His newborn son is absolutely adorable and I couldn't help but feel a bit sad that this baby is not mine as well.?We stopped dating about two years ago when I started pursuing my Master's Degree because I wanted to pursue further education at the time and he wanted to start a family right away.?He didn't want to wait for me to finish schooling, and I wasn't sure how time consuming my degree would be.?I can't help but feel some regret for my decision.?Maybe if I would have held off on schooling or just put it aside together, I would be the mother of that baby, not another lady.? Maybe I'd be married by now.?The breakup between my former boyfriend and I was mutual, but it still made me sad to see him with another woman.? I regret that I wasn't the person to give him what he wanted.??

The thing is, I'm intrigued by additional education.?I absolutely love going to school and would probably go forever if I could.?At the same time, I can't help but feel remorseful in regards to what this means for other aspects of my life.?Because honestly, as a nurse manager, I work 16-20 hour shifts Monday through Friday, and on the weekends, I complete school work, so there's really not time for dating, marriage or babies.?I just wonder how much I'm going to regret this lifestyle.?I'm already 30 years old, so really only have about 5-10 more years where I would be able to have any biological children.? ?

But at the same time, do I hold off on education for a marriage that isn't in the nearby future and children that don't exist and may never exist??My schedule right now is actually perfect for continuing on from my master's to my doctorate.?

Has anyone else ever felt that their nursing career may be impacting other areas of their life? Any regrets??

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

I suggest getting all educational aspirations out of the way before starting a family. A husband won't necessarily stop it, but kiddos and their activities can definitely put your plans on hold. Just my thoughts

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

14 minutes ago, Hoosier_RN said:

I suggest getting all educational aspirations out of the way before starting a family. A husband won't necessarily stop it, but kiddos and their activities can definitely put your plans on hold. Just my thoughts

Thank you.? That's what others have told me as well.? It makes sense, I just worry that by the time I am done with school, it will no longer be possible to have babies?

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

We're always comparing ourselves to others, or at least I know I do. The reality is that life is not a race, everyone accomplishes things in their own time, and that's perfectly fine! It was your friend's time to start a family, just like it's your time to further your education. We put so much pressure on ourselves to "have it all" but there will always be something that we feel we lack: a partner, career, education, children, even recreation. I think it?is?possible to have it all, but not necessarily all at the same time. Many, many people continue their education, have kids, have wonderful careers but it doesn't all happen at once, there's only but so much time in a day!

I get frustrated sometimes because I have had to take the scenic route with many of my goals. As I've posted in other threads, I have struggled with severe mental illness most of my life, that until the past year or so had been refractory to treatment. It has slowed me down professionally and educationally by a great amount in comparison to my peers. I do understand where you're coming from.

I figure it's all checks and balances, for instance, I haven't met my educational goals yet like many of my peers, but in balance I have a very stable long term relationship/marriage that I've invested a lot of time into. For that I am very grateful, certainly there are people who are more successful than me and have the same blessings, but there's always somebody with "more".?

I will tell you, that if you continue to pour the amount of time you do into your career by pulling 16-20 hour days, you are going to have to reshuffle your priorities related to school and your personal life. Just based off your other threads, this job sounds toxic for you, and working that many hours on a daily basis is just not sustainable. I really hope you're getting paid for the extra time you put in.

I don't know how old you are, but I estimate you are probably early 20's to early 30's, if that is the case you realistically have plenty of time to biologically have children and achieve your educational goals. Even longer if you decide to foster or adopt. And depending on how bad you want kids, a long term relationship is not a requirement for women to have children. The point is, you have options.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Well, the real conflict came for me when I had kids (well I had a son when I started but he was already in school)---- but got pregnant 2 years after graduation. I did not want to go back to work----at all. I did not want her in daycare. So I compromised. I worked PRN NOC shifts on weekends when the hubby was home.

I truly had to learn to identify as a person, not a nurse. I am a nurse, but that is not who I am. I am many other important things, mom, wife, sister, etc, and ME, first.? It's so easy to get lost in our identities as nurses, I see it all the time.

Schooling sooner than later if you can. If it's going to take that long, then well, you have to plan on delays while childbearing and rearing, both in career advancement and graduating.

Someone who said "we could have it all" got it? only half right. We can, but not all AT ONCE. Prioritize then go from there. Only you can decide how that should go.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

37 minutes ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

Someone who said "we could have it all" got it? only half right. We can, but not all AT ONCE. Prioritize then go from there. Only you can decide how that should go.

^^^100% this^^^.

Anyone who says otherwise is either lying to themself, or everyone else

Hannahbanana

Specializes in CC, rehab, consulting. Has 51 years experience.

"Enough" is being happy with what you have.

You'll get there when you get there.

Ahem.

I misread the thread title to ask how being a nurse has affected my life. Well, for one, it was really easy to talk the hematologist into a warfarin sliding scale when my partner had DVT and PEs. I was able to show my brother why his thumb and first two fingers were numb after he started having neck and arm pain, and get him to a neurosurg for his C5-6-7 fusion. I can talk shop with my PT, and I was the health and safety leader for my volunteer org.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

22 hours ago, SilverBells said:

Any regrets??

Life is like a algebraic expression.

The more variables we put into our lives, the fewer?constants, the more confusing it becomes.

I never was very good at math.

So I didn't get married until I was nearly 30 years old and got a vasectomy three months before I got married.

More constants, fewer variables, fewer regrets.

?

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

It's normal to compare ourselves and want to have it all, especially in the days of social media. Many of my friends delayed marriage and kids for their education and careers. Some are happy with that choice, others sad not to have found a partner yet, and others struggling with being pregnant in their late 30s/early 40s. It is unfortunate that biology puts a time limit on when women can have kids, but as mentioned above their is no time limit for adoption, and I know people who have adopted alone as well as with a partner.

Your current schedule sounds unhealthy, because working that much you can't be getting enough sleep or interaction with friends/family. Furthering your education and relationships/having kids are both possible;?like others said you can prioritize which to focus on first but it is harder to further your education after marriage and kids. (People do it though!) You can also be a lifelong learner without working toward a specific degree! I had?plans to become an NP, then get a PhD and do research/teach because I?like school. But, I ended up falling in love at 23 and now looking into adoption. I need to keep my job that pays well and not take out loans/pay tuition to have my finances in order to adopt. But, I read medical journals for fun all the time! What are your goals? Do you have a specific job in mind that requires a certain degree, or a degree you really want? Basically you have to answer that annoying interview question, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?", then work toward that goal ??

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

Your current job doesn't sound sustainable or enjoyable.? When do you sleep with the ridiculously long hours?? You've mentioned being unhappy with it before so I would plan to find a better job where you can simply work 40 hours or less.

I wouldn't rush for a PhD.? Is it for teaching?? Unfortunately college teachers are very underpaid, sometimes as gig workers per class, literally making less than minimum wage.? The majority are adjunct, pay by the class, many times without benefits such as health insurance and retirement.? They cobble an existence together by teaching classes at 2 or 3 different colleges and can be poor enough to get medicaid.? It is crazy that college tuition is so high and yet most of the teachers are terribly underpaid!

How many student loans do you have?? Try to limit them and have a payment plan in place as well.

I would finish your masters, find a better job, and then use your free time to find someone and have a family as the biological clock is ticking.?? Putting off a family can become expensive if unable to conceive without fertility treatments.? IVF and or adoption are both expensive.

Good luck to you!

Edited by brandy1017

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

Internet communication can be done in other ways besides the symbols of the typed word.?SilverBells has graciously given me permission to submit images to her threads,so I'd like to respond to both LibraNurse's and Brandy's posts, regarding having children, with an animation.

Bear in mind that I hold both LibraNurse and Brandy in the highest of regards.

?

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Why are you wanting your doctorate OP? ?What is your end goal with your education?
?

As a PP stated, being a nurse is a small part of who I am. ?It is absolutely not my whole identity. ?I’m a wife, mom, daughter, friend..... ?I volunteer. ?Nursing takes up 36 hours of my week.

?

With that being said, some people draw their energy from their careers. ?They live for it, pick up often, see themselves as a nurse first. ?I see NPs who are like that as well as coworkers. ?That’s great for them. ?That’s what they want. ?But it doesn’t truly sound like that’s what you want.

?I’m also going to tell you, you are 30. ?I had my last baby over 40. ?I promise your eggs don’t automatically dry up at 40. ?I’m more fertile now than I was at 30. I had many failed fertility treatments in my early 30’s. ?I’ve been pregnant 3 times since turning 39. ?
?

You have to decide what is important to you. ?I’m perfectly content as a bedside nurse in my mid forties. ?All of my time away from work is spent caring for my family. ?I have nice lunches with friends. ?I work out. ?I’m training for a marathon. ?I’m a basketball mom, a baseball mom. ?My husband and I have and great relationship. ?But do you know when I achieved this wonderful, well-rounded life? ?At 40.

Do what makes YOU happy. ?Not what other people expect or think you should do.

Curious1997, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Medical. Has 13 years experience.

On 2/16/2021 at 8:05 PM, SilverBells said:

I've been thinking lately about my nursing career and where things are going for me.? Right now, I'm finishing up my Master's Degree and am being encouraged by others in my life to pursue a doctorate degree.? The more I think about it, the more I'm interested.??

However, I also can't help but wonder how my focus on my career and schooling is impacting other areas of my life, such as home ownership and possible marriage and parenthood.? While I have no doubt that I'll eventually be able to purchase some type of home that I can both reasonably afford and be satisfied with, I do question how much pursuing additional degrees or continuing my current career path may interfere with marrying or becoming a mother.? ?Frankly, I want it all...education, career, marriage, and children.? I'm just not convinced that all of that will end up working out.??

The other day, I saw that a former boyfriend of mine just became a father with another woman.? ?His newborn son is absolutely adorable and I couldn't help but feel a bit sad that this baby is not mine as well.? We stopped dating about two years ago when I started pursuing my Master's Degree because I wanted to pursue further education at the time and he wanted to start a family right away.? ?He didn't want to wait for me to finish schooling, and I wasn't sure how time consuming my degree would be.???I can't help but feel some regret for my decision.? ?Maybe if I would have held off on schooling or just put it aside together, I would be the mother of that baby, not another lady.? Maybe I'd be married by now.? ?The breakup between my former boyfriend and I was mutual, but it still made me sad to see him with another woman.? I regret that I wasn't the person to give him what he wanted.??

The thing is, I'm intrigued by additional education.? I absolutely love going to school and would probably go forever if I could.? At the same time, I can't help but feel remorseful in regards to what this means for other aspects of my life.? Because honestly, as a nurse manager, I work 16-20 hour shifts Monday through Friday, and on the weekends, I complete school work, so there's really not time for dating, marriage or babies.? ?I just wonder how much I'm going to regret this lifestyle.? ?I'm already 30 years old, so really only have about 5-10 more years where I would be able to have any biological children.? ?

But at the same time, do I hold off on education for a marriage that isn't in the nearby future and children that don't exist and may never exist?? My schedule right now is actually perfect for continuing on from my master's to my doctorate.?

Has anyone else ever felt that their nursing career may be impacting other areas of their life? Any regrets??

?

You seem perfectly capable of prioritizing your education so you are organized. You should turn that same skill into achieving your other goals.?

I'm almost thirty myself and I have never felt insecure about finding a woman or wife when necessary. This might sound arrogant, but once you get over the rejection issue, everything works itself out. Personally, if I see someone I like who's available, I simply talk to them, but never with an agenda. I'm a very civilized, polite person and women seem to like that. That gives me confidence. Maybe you can try the same strategy? I don't know if a man's technique is applicable. Personally, I find rejection intriguing.?

Re your doctorate, you seem conflicted about your education and personal life and being very good at psych issues, your personal life can never wait, unlike your education.?

Curious1997, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Medical. Has 13 years experience.

On 2/17/2021 at 2:11 AM, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

We're always comparing ourselves to others, or at least I know I do. The reality is that life is not a race, everyone accomplishes things in their own time, and that's perfectly fine! It was your friend's time to start a family, just like it's your time to further your education. We put so much pressure on ourselves to "have it all" but there will always be something that we feel we lack: a partner, career, education, children, even recreation. I think it?is?possible to have it all, but not necessarily all at the same time. Many, many people continue their education, have kids, have wonderful careers but it doesn't all happen at once, there's only but so much time in a day!

I get frustrated sometimes because I have had to take the scenic route with many of my goals. As I've posted in other threads, I have struggled with severe mental illness most of my life, that until the past year or so had been refractory to treatment. It has slowed me down professionally and educationally by a great amount in comparison to my peers. I do understand where you're coming from.

I figure it's all checks and balances, for instance, I haven't met my educational goals yet like many of my peers, but in balance I have a very stable long term relationship/marriage that I've invested a lot of time into. For that I am very grateful, certainly there are people who are more successful than me and have the same blessings, but there's always somebody with "more".?

I will tell you, that if you continue to pour the amount of time you do into your career by pulling 16-20 hour days, you are going to have to reshuffle your priorities related to school and your personal life. Just based off your other threads, this job sounds toxic for you, and working that many hours on a daily basis is just not sustainable. I really hope you're getting paid for the extra time you put in.

I don't know how old you are, but I estimate you are probably early 20's to early 30's, if that is the case you realistically have plenty of time to biologically have children and achieve your educational goals. Even longer if you decide to foster or adopt. And depending on how bad you want kids, a long term relationship is not a requirement for women to have children. The point is, you have options.

I think you are dead wrong! Dead wrong! You sound so insecure and yet you appear so insightful re your self examination. I don't understand the business of comparing yourself to anyone. Maybe it's a man thing. Maybe it's just plain selfishness. But I can assure you it allows you to be happy.?

Education can be obtained any old time. My parents emigrated from England in their middle twenties after being professionals in the UK. Father was a lawyer and my mother a teacher. They wanted adventure. They started over and both had to redo their education to sit for examinations. Both worked as janitors for six years before getting into the positions they wanted. Their priorities were always each other and still is, despite all the huge fights until my mother puts her foot down. It took my father twelve years to build his law firm employing 17 people. He still puts in about 80 hours a week. My mother is a history professor and she didn't start her masters until she was 43. Her children came first. She always had a plan and never wavered. Her family and then her education. She directed my father's trajectory as well.?

Take what you will from my story,but I think family comes first. I am not going beyond my BSN. Yet, I make more money than my brother and mom. I'm sort of business oriented and I have a few different businesses. My younger sister only has an Associates and she's by far the most clever and educated person in the family. My older brother has his PhD in engineering and is thick as a plank.?

I think your insightfulness about yourself makes you far more successful than you think.?

Curious1997, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Medical. Has 13 years experience.

On 2/17/2021 at 6:23 PM, Davey Do said:

Life is like a algebraic expression.

The more variables we put into our lives, the fewer?constants, the more confusing it becomes.

I never was very good at math.

So I didn't get married until I was nearly 30 years old and got a vasectomy three months before I got married.

More constants, fewer variables, fewer regrets.

?

What prompted the vasectomy? Hmmm? ????????

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

Hmmm...in a job I love BUT in a very small town with one HS, I am a higher profile than other nurses in town. Been single for more years than I care to? admit to. In my area, not known as a dating paradise, the online thing is difficult. Meeting single guys who are? moderately unencumbered is difficult. Hanging out (pre covid) in the few watering holes we have, is not my idea of fun....I would say my social life (romantically) has suffered to an extent.

But that's just me, not the end of the world and my hard work has put in a good place financially where I need not depend on anyone else.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

29 minutes ago, NutmeggeRN said:

?Hanging out (pre covid) in the few watering holes we have, is not my idea of fun....

Nor was mine, in my single days, Nutmegge.

So I picked up a couple of women at the local library.

At least they could read.

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

You work 16-20 hours per day, 5 days per week? ?That seems both incomprehensible and unwise. ?Based on this post and your past post about your diet, it might be time for some therapy.

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