This guest blog post was written by Lori Burke, a mother to two medically complex, technology-dependent children. A version of this post originally appeared on The Heartful Mom.
It takes a special person to come into a stranger’s home and love and care for a child as if they were their own. Even for a seasoned nurse, it can be quite overwhelming. Something is always beeping and the action never stops!
It also takes a special family to welcome strangers into their home and allow them to care for their precious and fragile children.
So how do we find the middle? How do we coexist with “strangers” in our home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
For parents who are new to skilled hourly home nursing, here are a few tips from one parent to another:
- Mutual respect goes a long way. Most nurses really want to help. Show them how you take care of your child and they will follow.
- Choose your battles. No one is going to care for your child exactly the same way you do. Give the nurse a little space and see what happens. Usually, things can be done in more than one way without detrimental consequences.
- Be appreciative. Everyone loves to be appreciated. I make sure to thank every nurse after every shift. A small, heartfelt thank you will last the whole day!
- Back off a little. Let them love your baby! One can never have too much love. The outside world can be so cruel, so this love can be just as fulfilling for you as it is for your child.
- It’s hard to leave, so take it slow. At first, it will be hard leaving your child with the nurse. Start by doing things around the house, and then in the yard. Take a short walk. Eventually you will be able to actually get into your car!
- Allow time for a trusting relationship to develop. Hint: It takes more than one day!
- Listen to your gut. You will know when a nurse is not a good match for your family. The longer you don’t say something, the harder it will get.
And to the nurses who provide the care for our children, please remember:
- It’s not easy giving up being the mommy (even a little bit). We know we need your help to care for our children, we just wish we didn’t. Please don’t take it personally.
- Everything we do, we do out of love for our children.
- Be patient with us. By the time you meet us, we have seen our children endure more than most people endure in a lifetime.
- Sometimes we have an off day. We’re human, just like you!
- It isn’t easy having people in our home. Remember that we don’t get a break. We have nurses in our home 24 hours a day.
- We really do appreciate all you do! …especially at night!
Do you agree with Lori’s tips? Do you have any other tips that may be helpful to parents or nurses? Tell us in the comments section below!