Having older kids, the conversation recently turned to them getting jobs. My worry is that school work might suffer, which is important. Probably less important is how old it will make me feel if the kids are old enough to get jobs! I do think it’s good for kids to work, though. Especially outside the home, though chores are also beneficial. Teenage employment teach responsibility and give kids the satisfaction of their own money. It also doesn’t hurt to pick up some skills and experience to help them when they enter the adult workforce. What all this has made me think about is the variety of jobs I had as a teenager.

The first few were a little bit unusual, now that I think back.

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Shift work. It’s not for everyone. However (and I hate to brag…) shift workers pretty much make the world go around. We work days, nights, evenings, split shifts, short shifts, long shifts and everything in between, every single day of the year.  As I have said before, shift workers only ask for a bit of understanding and tolerance if we are confused, tired, unavailable for social events, wondering aloud what day it might be or jamming chocolate into our faces at 2 am.

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I often write about nursing- nursing in public, nurse-ins, nursing education and support… This post is about the other kind of nursing- nursing as a profession- and the unique set of challenges faced by mothers in this profession. This profession is arguably the backbone of our healthcare system; from hospitals to clinics to aged care and more. While we certainly have male nurses it is still a female dominated field and where there are women there are invariably going to be babies and children.

Is it possible to be a mother and a nurse? Yes…but not without often significant disadvantages.

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