Saturday, January 24, 2015

Measures of Success

Well hello New Year. My, you came fast! In my last post I talked about getting a new job in the new year, and here we are.  And yet, in this moment, I am no closer to working then I was back then.

I will say I did a quick search for jobs in my area last week.  Nothing jumped out at me right away, and then Bella started crying so I got sidetracked and haven't thought about it since.  Well, a PICU position was posted which got me all excited, but then it listed the 16 hour night shift requirement, and the joy quickly escaped me. So then I stopped thinking about it.

What I have thought about, however, is how much my definition of success has changed in the last 7 months since becoming a mom.

In the PICU, a successful day was going home at a decent hour with my patient(s) still alive.

I suppose in the same arena, if I go to bed at night at a decent hour and Bella is indeed, still alive, that's a success.  

But I am thinking that this is where the similarities probably end.

In the PICU s successful day is not getting blood or any other bodily fluid on my white coat or nice dress clothes. A shower is assumed and not any measure of success.

As a mom, a successful day is one in which I take a shower (more than 2 minutes would be nice!) and get dressed (and yes, leggings or yoga pants do count as "dressed!").  A really successful day is getting less than 2 bodily fluids on my outfit by bedtime!

A successful day in the PICU has built in work-outs as I am constantly moving, and perhaps success is found in moments where I can actually sit.

A really successful Mom day includes a 20 minute dedicated work out.

A successful PICU day involves completing rounds, all procedures, multiple patient examinations, charting, and all phone calls before 6 pm. 

As a mom, a successful day means I have completed breastfeeding my baby 5 times, and solid feeding her 3 times all by 6 pm.  *Let me tell ya, we don't have many successful solid eating days around here!*

In the PICU, a successful day involves giving my patient multiple medications, stabilizing blood pressures, preventing bed sores, having many thought provoking and educational conversations, and providing comfort to family members in distress.

As a mom, a successful day involves remembering to give Bella her Vitamin D drop, stabilizing her booty so she doesn't topple over as she learns to sit, preventing total meltdowns by anticipating her next need, having one conversation that doesn't involve my voice sounding about 5 octaves higher than normal (and something educational would certainly be a successful bonus!), and providing comfort and cuddles to my little one in her moments of distress. 

After a successful day in the PICU, I leave feeling exhausted, accomplished, thirsty, fulfilled, and like I made a difference in the life of someone.  

At the end of a successful day as a mom, I feel exhausted, not always sure of what I accomplished, thirsty, fulfilled, and not entirely sure if I made a difference.

Yes, my life is very different right now.  Being a PICU APN is hard work.  Being a MOM is hard work!  And at the end of the day, many times it does not seem like I am as successful as I once was as a PICU APN.  Yet I know deep down that this is not true. I know that it takes stamina, knowledge, patience, love, and compassion to be a great mom.

So I guess while success can be measured in so many different ways, in the end it is the success itself we should be relishing in.  Yes, keeping my patient, or my daughter alive is a great success.  But it's the intricacies of all the other Mom successes, and PICU successes, that are just as important.

And until I have career stresses, and successes, once again, I will do just that. Relish in all of the good mom moments. Relish in the days where I know just what I accomplished.  Relish in all of the many, amazing Mama successes!

3 comments:

  1. I love that list! Nothing is more important than your family. I'm sure you will figure it out. Have you ever thought about working in a pediatric outpatient speciality clinic? I'm sure the hours would be better. It might be dull for you after PICU but that's an option too. Maybe even part-time?

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  2. Hi, my name is Holly and I just turned 21. I've had 56 brain and spinal surgeries and live in daily pain. I've spent months at a time in the picu and it had inspired me to become a nurse and hopefully get to work in the picu or a children's hospital. I admire you for being an excellent picu nurse and having to deal with tragedies as well as celebrating the triumphs of your patients and for being an excellent mommy to you gorgeous daughter, she truly is the luckiest little girl. I wanted to let you know that I greatly admire you.

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