Being A Mother And Nurse: A Challenging Balancing Act - Eastern Mirror
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Being a mother and nurse: A challenging balancing act

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: May 11, 2024 11:15 pm
Lily with her mother Engoi, a retired nurse.

DIMAPUR — Lily, 46, grew up watching her mother L Engoi, who is a retired nurse in her 70s, attending to patients from house-to-house, as there were no hospitals in Longleng then.

‘I used to accompany my mom to patient’s house during holidays. I saw the patients she checked on and the family members she dealt with every day. And at times, she would provide free service to those struggling financially,’ she recounted.

Having lost her father at a very young age, she and her sister grew up under the care of their mother. She admitted that she would get upset with her mother, as she was not at home most of the time due to her long working hours.

“At times, I used to wish that my mother was home like others, waiting for us when we returned from school. I did not understand the nature of her work then, although I would wish to be a nurse like her,” she told Eastern Mirror.

But this crazy working hours and sacrifice eventually became the driving force behind her decision to follow in the footsteps of her mother; she wanted to give back to the community like her mother, who served as a nurse for 44 years.

The selfless service rendered and the appreciation her mother would receive from people she attended to, motivated Lily to pursue a career in nursing and has been in the profession for the last eight years – like mother, like daughter.

“It’s a part of my mother that has impacted my life,” said the mother of four children.

Coincidentally, Mother’s Day and International Nurses Day fall on the same day this year, on May 12, and it is apt as many nurses juggle between their career and as mothers, which involves nursing children.

“As a nurse, our struggles are uncountable especially if you are a mother. Other than the work demands, we have to be physically, mentally and spiritually prepared as a caregiver to the patients. Our work demands are not only about giving an injection or checking on their pulse but also being there for our patients and their families, mentally and spiritually,” said Lily about the roles of a nurse.

Being a mother with a demanding job is not easy, as her children too were upset with her for not giving enough time to them, like she and her sister were to their mother once. She added that her children eventually realised the demanding nature of her profession.

In the meantime, she opined that being a mother and nurse at the same time is rewarding and an added advantage, ‘because as a mother, you are already a pro at care-giving’.

Mercy, a nurse and mother of two children.

Rewarding challenge

“Nursing profession can be challenging, especially to balance motherhood and nursing if you work evening or night shifts. When you need to work evening or night shift, you have very less or no time for your children and home to tend to their needs,” said Mercy, a 37-year-old nurse and mother of two who has been in the profession for the last seven years.

The silent struggle of a nurse, she said, is not being able to take care of her young children and home as “we are at race with time”.

‘A nurse sacrifices her precious time to do justice to her job and responsibilities. The nursing profession demands paying respect to others,’ she said while adding that it is rewarding to be a nurse and impact the lives of others despite the challenges.

‘I was naturally drawn towards nursing. Since I was a kid, I had the natural instinct to help people as I took the responsibility at home from a young age, although I was not the eldest child (in my family),’ she shared.

She said that she had to discontinue her studies after Class 12 to help her mother take care of her home, as her father was posted in a far-off place.

“We did not have the opportunity to stay with our father throughout his service as he was posted in interior places. It was not easy managing two houses, so I had to discontinue my studies to manage home and expenses,” she said.

Mercy admitted that nurses do experience emotional outburst at workplace and it becomes difficult to stay calm when patients lose their temper. However, one important quality a nurse should have is to remain cordial and calm with everyone, including strangers, even in negative scenarios, she added.

“Being a mother, one cannot lose patience on children while taking care of them and home. Similarly, this is something a nurse should exhibit which is also essential to be a proficient nurse and caregiver,” she asserted. 

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: May 11, 2024 11:15:55 pm
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