WOMEN'S HEALTH BLOG June 2022
Inspiration For Women
from A Mother and A Nurse
Written by Jaysa Leger
If you had asked me 20 years ago what I wanted to do in life, my answer would have been “anything that involves children.” I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer was always the same, “a pediatric nurse.” It wasn’t until I became a pediatric nurse that I knew it was where I belonged. Being a nurse is challenging but can be rewarding in many ways. The same goes for being a mother. Being a pediatric nurse and mother requires some serious balance. Let’s face it; life is not always easy. We try our best to leave our home worries at the door before walking into work. This practice allows us to put our best foot forward and give our sweet little patients all our attention.
As a working mom and nurse, I understand how difficult it is to care for patients, care for your husband and children, and then care for yourself (if you can find time). In my 13.5 years of nursing, I have worked 12-hour shifts, 8-hour shifts, night shifts, and day shifts. I worked full-time while attending school to further my nursing career while planning my wedding and growing our family. Managing motherhood and nursing was something I had to learn to do, but it didn’t necessarily mean separating the two roles. Sometimes I leaned on one role to navigate the other.
I have often come home to my children and held them tighter and a little longer. Additionally, I have looked at patients and questioned how I would comfort them if they were my child. I sat on the floor with an eleven-year-old child and held her face in my hands when she was at her lowest point of sadness. It was at these times that I felt the patient needed genuine compassion. Just because these children aren’t the ones we have raised and cared for at home, we care for them as if they are our own. As nurses, we give our patients unconditional care and attention for the hours we spend with them.
Leaving everything at work when I head home every day is hard sometimes. There are tiresome days when I want to come home, take a bath, and go straight to bed. There are times when the kids I care for at work come in so sick that I worry about it until I can check on them again. However, I keep everything in perspective and acknowledge that I have a husband and kids who need my care and compassion at home. I have a moderate commute to and from work every day. I open my sunroof on my commute and say a prayer before hitting the road. Listening to my Christian music helps me settle and regroup on the way home. As a Christian girl at heart with strong faith, I realize that my faith is what gets me through most days. I firmly believe to be effective in your job, you must be focused and in the right state of mind. For me, that means leaning on my faith and my family.
Ultimately, there is no right way to be a nurse or a mom. However, finding the right path that works for you and your family is essential. No matter how you make it all work, you need to know that you are doing two of the most challenging jobs, rocking both.
About the Author
Jaysa Leger, RN., has been a nurse in the medical field for the last thirteen and a half years. She worked as an LPN in the hospital setting for 8.5 years while pursuing her RN. Jaysa is a wife and a mother to three beautiful children. As a child, she dreamed of being a pediatric nurse. She has always loved children and knew that it would involve children no matter what she did in her future life. When graduating from nursing school, a job opportunity in a pediatric unit was available, and that is where her career started. She says she can’t pinpoint precisely in her career when she decided to further her degree; however, with the support of her now-husband and family, she took the leap and achieved her degree. Jaysa is passionate about working with children at all stages of their life. Before going to college and becoming a nurse, she was a cheer and tumbling coach. Jaysa says, “Throughout my years of nursing, if I only made a difference in one child’s life, then I have done plenty.” She prays that she can continue to make a difference in children’s lives, whether it’s her children or the life of her patients.