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5 Realities of Being a Working Mom in Healthcare

May 14, 2023

Being a mom in healthcare is no easy feat. It’s a juggling act between caring for patients and caring for your own family. From spending time with your children to maintaining other relationships, handling household chores, and finding some “me” time, the list of responsibilities can quickly pile up. And while there are many great things about being a mom in healthcare, there are also some untold truths that many people may not know about— here are 5 of them:

1. Mom guilt is a THING.

Mom guilt comes from the constant pressure that mothers feel to be the perfect parent— made worse by societal expectations and the opinions of others. Working moms in healthcare are particularly susceptible to this guilt, as their jobs often require them to miss important family events. While it’s natural to feel guilty about this, it’s important for moms to remember that they are doing important work and providing care and compassion to those who need it. It’s okay to prioritize your job, and it doesn’t make you any less of an amazing mother. Rather than letting mom guilt bring you down, focus on the moments you can be there for and cherish all the quality family time you can get.

2. The burnout is real

Working in healthcare is a demanding and often high-stress job, and when you add parenting on top of it, burnout can quickly become a real issue. Working long hours, dealing with emotionally taxing situations, and managing a busy family life can take a toll on anyone. It’s important for moms to recognize the signs of burnout, such as feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, and take steps to prevent it. Whatever it takes, self-care is an absolute necessity for moms with the weight of working in healthcare on their shoulders.

3. Scheduling anything is a real challenge.

Healthcare careers often come with irregular and unpredictable schedules, making it difficult to schedule anything outside of work. This can make it challenging to balance work and family obligations. Doctor’s appointments, school events, and daycare pickups don’t always align with healthcare work schedules, especially for those working evening or night shifts. Planning and coordination are crucial to ensure everything runs smoothly. Unexpected emergencies can also arise, making it even harder to maintain a consistent schedule. So, cut your loved one in healthcare some slack the next time they show up late to a family event—the world’s schedule doesn’t always align with theirs!

4. There’s an emotional toll that comes with the job.

Being a mom in healthcare is tough. Healthcare workers, including moms, face emotional and difficult situations on a daily basis, such as losing patients, delivering bad news to families, or dealing with combative patients. This is the reality of healthcare work, and it can be emotionally draining for those on the front lines. Mothers are often expected to show up for their families after experiencing such emotional moments, which can take a heavy toll. It’s essential for working moms to prioritize their mental health and wellness by seeking help from a therapist or counselor, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or finding support from colleagues who understand what they’re going through. Remember that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed or emotional, and seeking help is a sign of strength.

5. A support system is key.

As a mom in healthcare, it’s important to have a support system in place. This might include a partner, family members, friends, or colleagues who understand the unique challenges of balancing work and family life. Having someone to talk to, vent to, or simply share a laugh with can make all the difference when things get tough (healthcare workers are all familiar with the “humor to cope” mechanism— while some may find it a tad morbid, those who get it, get it.). Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help or support when you need it: it’s a big job you have, but you definitely are not alone.

Being a working mother in healthcare is no small feat, and it comes with its own set of challenges and joys. To working moms: we see you, and you are killing it. To others: we hope this helped shed some light on a sliver of the trials and tribulations working mothers face in healthcare. If you see a mom at the grocery store in scrubs trying to calm her screaming toddler, let her know she’s doing a great job— she deserves it!

Psst: Working with a healthcare staffing agency can help provide some of the flexibility working moms often need. Curious? Fill out our quick apply form to get matched with recruiter dedicated to finding you a job that checks all your boxes. Happy Mother’s Day!


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