Salute to Moms Working as Nurse during Pandemic
To be a Mom
Being a mother is a blessing and an honor. To be a mother means more than physically bearing a life within your body. Motherhood means providing security and comfort to your children, seeing a future of hope in their eyes, and nurturing them with love.
Motherhood is the hardest job in the world so they say. It will tire you out, squeeze your patience, empty your pocket! And yet many will still choose to be a mother. It is a profession that you won’t trade for riches.
To be a Nurse
Nursing is a complex profession that requires skill, tolerance, strength and patience. Nurses are in the forefront of the medical arena. Not only do they help treat and take care of their patients, they also offer emotional support and advice to the ones who need them. They work on week-ends, rotating schedules and even bid holidays goodbye. Even though there is a rising number of male nurses, still, females dominate the profession.
Many have lost their loved ones. We turned our backs to festivities and social gatherings. Some lost their jobs. Truly, Covid-19 has a serious toll on humanity. In the US alone, there are 29 million reported cases of Covid-19 and 525,000 deaths as of this writing. It is like a thief stealing our healthcare, our supposed shared memories and experience, and our sanity.
Mom + Nurse + Pandemic
To be a mother working as a nurse is a difficult job that requires balance and sacrifice. Both are on-call vocations. Given this time of pandemic, nurses have stretched working hours on a full workload.
We read a lot of stories how nurses unmask the new faces of heroes. But we don’t fully know how family dynamics with a mom nurse change in this pandemic specially in the eyes of their children.
Samiya, a 16 year old student from Nashville, has known her mom as a nurse most of her life. Currently, her mom works in a mental health facility. Aside from the standard protocol of washing hands and wearing masks in public places, Samiya and her family put their guards up since the pandemic began. And since her mom is likely to be exposed to the virus, it also puts their whole family at high risk.
“Ever since the pandemic began, my family and I started taking quarantine quite seriously. Nevertheless, having someone in our household who works in the medical field made us extra careful. Since she could be potentially exposed to the virus at any time, it caused my dad, sister, and I to be more hazardous to others,” she said.
According to Samiya, not only did it affect the family’s routine, the pandemic also took a toll on her mom’s well-being.
“I remember when she was terrified of going to work because of the number of positive patients admitted at their hospital.” Samiya said.
“Oftentimes, she would miss lunch and work extra hours due to excessive workload. And by the time she gets home, she must first get cleansed and take a shower before interacting with us. I found myself missing those moments where I would dash to the door when she arrived, so I could give her a hug. Eventually, it got to a point where this routine has become unhealthy for her,” she added.
Because of her mom’s stretched workload, the rest of the family needs to step up and fill in the household chores.
“In times like these, all of the family members must compromise for one another. When one of us fails to attend family duties, then that’s when teamwork comes in. For instance, if mom could not make it home in time to make dinner, then one of us must step in to do so,” she said.
Given the chance to turn things around, Samiya would have chosen her mother’s safety. But being the nurse her mother is, Samiya understands the value and dedication her mom puts in her profession. She also acknowledges the silver linings of her mom’s job.
“I am and will always be thankful for my mom’s occupation. It is the reason why someone could take care of us when we are sick. The reason why we have things we could have never imagined having. The reason why we could give back to others. And most importantly, the reason why she is the person that she is,” she said.
“However, if I had the option not to allow my mother to fulfill her duties as a nurse during these crazy times, then I would choose her safety,” she added.
On the other hand, Samiya never felt her mom’s intention to quit her job especially during this pandemic.
“Covid-19 has affected all of us, especially those who have been infected, and those who are first responders. I have noticed my mom’s fatigue from going to work. However, I never sensed that quitting as a nurse, especially in a pandemic where her profession is needed the most, has ever crossed her mind,” she said.
Samiya wished that the pandemic would soon be over. She is proud of her mom and fully supports her profession.
“We (her family) are all in this together. She (mom) is not fighting this alone because she has her whole family along with her. She is my inspiration, and a hero to many. Mothers are, after all, super heroes,” she said.
“And to all of the first responders out there, I hope you are staying strong because you will get through this,” she ended.
With the vaccines quickly rolling out and accommodating a larger population, we are all hopeful that we can go back to our norms.
And soon, we hope, mom or not, we can fully embrace again what we are made for, to be social beings.