Supermoms: nurses at work, mothers at home

2013-05-11 00:00

THEY work long hours taking care of patients, then go home and take care of their children.

For some mothers, May 12 is an extra-special day. Besides being Mothers’ Day, it is also International Nurses’ Day.

Weekend Witness caught up with some of Pietermaritzburg’s finest nurses to find out how they juggled working long shifts and being mothers. In addition to working, some nurses study for degrees while raising their children.

Ramona Padayachee raised two children while nursing, training and studying. She has been at Northdale Hospital since 1979. Raising her children and working as a nurse weren’t a problem.

“It can be difficult raising children while working, but for me was made easier as nursing was my passion and my children were my priority. The key is to create a balance between home and work and to plan ahead …” Padayachee says.

For Junie Ballim, a nurse at St Anne’s Hospital, being a nurse and a mother comes naturally.

“When it comes to raising your kids and nursing you don’t think. You just do it.

“Being a nurse, you are always a mother. At work you are a mother to the patients you take care of and to the younger nurses who look to you for help and guidance.”

Although nurses work long shifts there are also benefits.

Elaine van Jaarsveld, also at St Anne’s, says she makes the most of her days off.

“Those are great because it allows me to spend quality time with my son.”

Despite the challenge of raising her son and being a nurse, Van Jaarsveld finds it all rewarding. “My son has become quite independent and is more compassionate than kids his age because of me being a nurse.”

These women all agree that a strong family support system is essential to balancing hectic shifts and family life. Husbands, aunts and grandparents have all been there to help out with the children when things get difficult.

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