Why I Quit My Nursing Job to Stay at Home with My Kids

Why I Quit My Nursing Job to Stay at Home with My Kids
Hey there!

I'm Kara the Mom Nurse to Five! 

What I wanted to tell you today was the reason why I quit my nursing job to stay at home with my kids. First things first, it didn't happen overnight, and the decision as a working mom to now stay home with the kids was not taken lightly. 

There were so many things to consider and ponder, and it felt hard to make the decision. I didn't become a nurse to spend holidays, weekends and evenings away from my babies! I didn't realize that becoming a nurse would entail working nights, weekends or evenings.... all of the above at times. I sucked it up and thought, hey-i'm gaining experience and eventually i'll be able to quit or find a job I love. I was SO wrong... I became trapped in the cycle of having to work for insurance and then getting all the guilt calls/texts/emails to pick up more! 

I was getting tapped out emotionally, physically and mentally. Try working evenings on Christmas eve and Christmas day on your DUE DATE with kid #5 while you're missing your family and holiday. I felt better that I was providing wonderful care for people that had to be in the hospital on Christmas... but it didn't take away from the fact that I was miserable and that my family and I were missing each other! Or that I should be in the hospital MYSELF having this baby!!! 

That was my tipping point of my working career in nursing. After baby #5 was born, I went casual at the hospital and only had to work two shifts a month. But guess what. Just because I was casual now meant even MORE emails, calls and texts to pick up shifts. Even MORE guilt as a mom that I should pick up work. I actually never did, but the guilt I felt was REAL.

I worked this way for almost a year until we decided to move out of state. We made a huge life change and I was able to quit my nursing job, and I haven't looked back. Its been a HUGE transition to being with my kids 24/7, and some days are just plain HARD. Nobody said it would be easy to become a stay at home mom, but here I am! I now am so grateful that I made that hard decision, even though it meant that we cut our income in half, I am SO grateful to be home with my kids. 

The reasons why I quit nursing include wanting to be with my kids more often, without guilt of being at work. I wanted to give my children that experience I had of my mom being home to greet me with cookies from school, to tuck me in at night and say our prayers, to playing outside with them. I want to be able to kiss them goodnight and read them books. I didn't want to be so burnt out that I had no energy to give to my kids.

You can make your dreams a reality, but first you must START with the small actionable steps of making the decisions to stay home if that is what you really truly want. What sacrifices will you be making? What is the good that will come out of you being home with the kids? Money isn't everything sometimes. Some mom's find their income actually INCREASES while they stay at home! Don't ask me why... :-D

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I miss being on the floor. I loved my job, and taking care of my patients. I loved every aspect of it, hard and easy. I know I will go back someday. Just not today. 

If you're considering quitting YOUR nursing job to stay home with your kids, I recommend you check this guide out:

Another tip I would recommend is taking out a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and write PROS on one side and CONS on the other. Write down all the pro's and con's of you staying home with your kids and hash it out. :-) Remember, we have one chance with our kids. Be the best mom you can be, whether you are working or not. 

You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Nurse Mom

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Nurse Mom Toolbox (What I pack when I've got a diaper bag along!)

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for kind and tender-hearted mama's like yourself, that are needing a little support in your life!

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)

Are your kids constantly fighting? Here are a few tips to get your sanity back!

Are your kids constantly fighting? Here are a few tips to get your sanity back!
Hey there!!!

The Mom Nurse to Five here with some help for you and your kids who are.always.squabbling.fighting. They just don't seem to get along these days are you're about to go CRAZY. Just check me right into that mental hospital over there...

Oh you got this momma!!! First things first- check in with yourself. Are you feeling more stressed out lately, and kind of tuning out the kids? How are YOU feeling? They are picking up on your feelings too, so make sure you fill up your cup first!!! Maybe get your work done before they get up so you can focus on their needs and don't feel tapped trying to multi-task all.the.day.long. 

Next, instead of hollering back at them, find out what is truly going on. A lot of times it goes well she said this, he said that, she did this, she did that and you can't ever get a handle on who did what first. Am I right? 

So next step, put both the kids in a giant t-shirt of dad's and make them sit in it until they apologize. HAHA no Just kidding, although I actually have done this with my 4 and 2 year old at the time and they thought it was hilarious. 

For older kids though, they are actually probably looking for attention, and ways to expand their creativity or feel wanted and needed in the home. You can give them this IDEA CLOUD-which is just $7 and you can easily print these off, have them cut them up and have them start drawing a card out of a baggie or box from this. The Idea Cloud has 75 printable cards with activities for them to do without a screen involved and will get them feeling pretty busy!!! (And get your sanity back)

My kids have already spent a whole day making flick books!!! (That is just one of the ideas in the idea cloud).

Some other ideas are to just have them help you with the housework, and make it fun. Have them help you with the cooking! I know the little kids its harder and sometimes makes your brain spin, but they love it and will always have those special memories!!! 

Try to get a rhythm going in your home too. Kids strive on routine and need to know what to expect next. I  am working on this but recently found a great resource about saving your homeschooling day!!! It teaches you about rhythm's and circles and all of that! I would check it out over at Jean Miller's Website HERE

Anyway, I hope these few tips helped to get you moving forward with finding out WHY they are fighting, and keeping them busy and keeping your sanity :-). 

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

Are Essential Oils Safe for Babies?

Are Essential Oils Safe for Babies?
Hey there!

 Are they safe for babies? Yes, with proper use, knowledge on how and what to use and when!

The Nurse Mom to Five here, with some information related to essential oils and babies.  Are they safe for babies? Yes, with proper use, knowledge on how and what to use and when! It's really not as complicated as you think.

I've used essential oils for all five of my babies and had FANTASTIC results!!! Now these doesn't mean you can just willy-nilly slap essential oils on your baby and know they are safe, you should have a general idea of diluting, what to do when they react to an oil (and by react I mean their skin turns red... it actually doesn't mean they are allergic!!!), when to use them and HOW!!! 

You also need to be using the highest and purest quality. You don't buy a knock-off coach purse and expect it to last like a real coach purse do you? You don't buy the cheap coffee and expect it to taste like the high end coffee shops do you? I would not use cheap oils on my babies that's for darn sure.

I have found my babies and kids have QUICK results with inhalation via the diffuser or just holding the bottle nearby with the top off. I have had babies calm down in 20 seconds or less using Peace and Calming near their nose!!! 

I didn't always start out so confident with using essential oils, but I have done a lot of research, gone to many trainings and also have many books I can reference when needed. I have gained years of confidence but I will be teaching that to you in my up and coming "Beginner Essential Oils Course for Babies and Children", that will get you using them confidently and safely within ONE hour! My goal is to get you using those essential oils that may be just sitting in a cupboard somewhere... OR maybe you are curious if these could be beneficial for your family! 

The course would help you with that too! :-D

If you would like to opt in to know when the course will be available, Click here
OR text BABYCOURSE to 651-370-9490.

Otherwise, Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

P.S. Here is also another blog post to check out on dilution and safety in children. This has some other helpful info!

When Yelling Doesn't Work...

When Yelling Doesn't Work...
Hey there! 

The mom nurse to five here!!! Have you been yelling at your kids? I know I have from time to time... and I know it doesn't even solve the problems going on but sometimes the kids will stop and realize i'm serious!!! Mom means business!!! 

Have you ever felt a bit out of control while one kid is in the tub because his brother was whacking him in the face with the dirty broom, the older girl says there is poop smeared on the end of her sheet and needs me to check it out, the oldest says she needs a toe-nail clipper, and the other is whining for a snack? All while you're trying to clean up the toilet water mess that the baby made while scooping water from the toilet to the sink? 

Oh man and thats just the small snippet of what was really going on inside my head, and i'm sure yours when you have so many demands at once and your brain is trying to prioritize what is most important. 

Then you start yelling because you start to clean up the poop sheet and realize there is a bigger problem here, you can't even get to the sheets because their room is a bomb dive!

I grab a garbage bag and start hollering "If these toys aren't cleaned up RIGHT NOW I'm going to throw them ALLLLL away!!!" 

The kids grudgingly start cleaning while I'm dealing with the 4 year old who whacked his sister with a metal thing next. Then i'm yelling at the top of my lungs by now about respecting your siblings and cleaning up after yourself and yadda yadda and realize the 4 year old probably needs to use the toilet. (He's still potty training)

At this point he wouldn't budge off the floor and listen to my demands and so I pick him up and put him on the toilet. He still wouldn't budge. 

GAHHHHHH. The yelling isn't working. Does it ever??? No not really... 

Now not every day is like this. I am normally a pretty calm person but when you have so many demands in life all at once it feels like you're blowing a gasket. (although I'm not really sure what that feels like.... other than IT JUST FEELS LIKE YOU ARE EXPLODING) But the yelling isn't working!!! He won't go to the bathroom!!!


I tell myself to cool it. I took more big deep breaths until I felt in control of my own emotions and then I asked him if he wants me to put a cheerio in the toilet that he could pee on for aim :-). He didn't think that was very funny. :-)

I knew at that point that my emotions were starting to spiral out of control and if I didn't do something NOW I was going to lose it. 

I had to diffuse the situation and turn it around. So I did. 

I told him if he peed on the toilet I would give him some chocolate chips. He peed. I breathed a big fish lip flabbergasted breath. 

Then I walked over to my oil shelf, picked out Inner Child and slathered it all over. I changed the sheets, got the girls tucked in and baby bathed and into bed. Then I wrote this. So you know you're not alone. You're not crazy for feeling overwhelmed at times in your life. You got this! You can TOTALLY get through this. Just learn from the mistakes we make as human beings, and figure out what you can do better next time.

And yelling doesn't work. :-D But sometimes it feels like maybe you're in control a little more if you yell... I'm not sure why we yell, but i'm guilty of it sometimes. 

Ask for forgiveness and then walk through the scenario with your kiddos once they are calmed down too and ask them for feedback and ways they can deal with their own emotions too and use it as a teaching moment later. 

I leave you with much love and support,

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

P.S. Looking for screen-free options for your kids? Here is a free download to my children's bored box

Laundry Without Dryer Sheets?

Laundry Without Dryer Sheets?
Hey there!

Kara the mom nurse here! I have had some people ask me before if I use dryer sheets, and the answer is NO!!! 

I used to use dryer sheets, it would help with the static cling and make the clothes smell nice. It was about 7 years ago when I stopped buying dryer sheets and I won't ever go back to them!!!

The dryer sheets have so many chemicals in them and they aren't even listed on the box. They build up on your removable lint liner, and can cause FIRES. 

Anyways, I don't want a fire in my dryer so I don't use them anymore, and I don't want those nasty chemicals leeching into my skin either so I don't use them.

I have used wool dryer balls with essential oils on them for scent, or you can make a stack of rags soaking in vinegar with essential oils added in for scent. 

For static, you can use a ball of tin-foil about the size of a baseball thrown in. I haven't tried this one before, so let me know what you think if you go ahead and try that one. 

I just deal with the static. I honestly don't even care if the clothes smell good anymore either, as long as they smell clean and not dirty I am SO glad we don't use toxic chemicals that can be absorbed by your biggest organ- SKIN! 

So ditch the nasty dryer sheets and opt for a more gentle approach!!!

For blog post updates, subscribe here: CLICK HERE

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

P.S. Looking for screen-free options for your kids? Here is a free download to my children's bored box

When Kids Don't Listen

When Kids Don't Listen
Hey there! 

Nurse Mom to five here with a few tips for when your kids aren't listening to you. This one's a bit longer than normal, but I hope you will find this information useful!

I've been there- you ask little four year old Henry to pick up his toys. You leave the room and come back 15 minutes later to find him still playing with his toys. Grrrr. You grit your teeth and through your teeth you say, "Henry, I asked you to clean up your toys. Can you please clean them up?" Henry replies, "NO, i'm playing mom!". 

You clench your jaw. "Henry, I need you to pick up your toys now, we have to leave!" and Henry still protests as your anxiety levels climb because you have to be out the door in 30 minutes and you just want him to follow through with what you asked!!! You give in because you don't want to fight this battle anymore and just need the chore done. It's just easier to do it anyway, you know it will get done the proper way anyway.

Henry goes on his merry way and then you ask him to get his shoes on and jacket so you can leave. Now you have to be out the door in ten minutes and you still haven't showered. Well scrap the shower, spray in the dry shampoo this time. You throw your outfit on and you come back. Henry STILL hasn't put his shoes and jacket on and you're quite fed up with him not listening to your requests. 

You holler from the entry way, HENRY come ON!!! We've got to leave the house in five minutes and you MUST come get your shoes on NOW!!! Henry doesn't appear. You now have to track him down and you are LIVID. You are on a time crunch AND your child isn't listening. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! 

So you demand he come now, he grudgingly comes to the door. He slowly is putting his shoes on and so you then just grab his jacket and put it on him so you can get out the door. Whew, you made it to the car in the nick of time. Henry is upset because you swooped him up and buckled him up and you're finally on the road. 

This is just one scenario of what happens in my life sometimes, and I have to remember to get on their level. Ask yourself these things when you can go back and hash out why the child wasn't listening to you. 

For the first request, does Henry know how and where all the toys go? Have you shown him where all the toys go? Sometimes kids haven't been shown how to do the task requested of them and don't actually know how to do it, so they chose to ignore the request. Consistency and repetition is key here, because showing them once doesn't necessarily equate to them independently doing the task. My kids can clear their plates from the table now, but it took consistent positive reminders to clear their spot after their meal!

For the second request to get on his shoes and jacket, this is another task that maybe a four year old SHOULD know how to do, but sometimes they cannot get it just right. They may be ignoring you because they want YOU to guide them. My four year old still requires help with his shoes at times and he can get frustrated. Children many times aren't intentionally not listening, but aren't sure of the requested task so they don't complete it. 

I then take the time to go back over the task WITH them, hold their hand consistently through the tasks requested until they can feel confident to do it independently. Kids won't ever learn if we do everything for them. PERIOD. When we take the time to teach them now, it pays off later!!!

 Anger never gets us anywhere, I KNOW THIS first hand as sometimes I yell when I become impatient. There are times when I have lost my cool and blown a gasket, but always remember to go back and make things right. But the anger makes the children want to rebel even more and they respond with anger. It can be a viscious cycle to get out of, but it CAN be done!!!

Kids are very smart and you just have to find what works best for your child. Sometimes they are being defiant, but just know that consistency, follow through and repetition is SO rewarding when you see them doing the chores independently and when they are proud and happy to do them too!!!

Also ask yourself these questions: Are all my child's needs met? Sometimes it can be a matter of their basic needs; hungry, thirsty, have to use the bathroom, tired, or their emotions are off. When you find the root cause of why they aren't listening to you, things can be a LOT easier going forward!!!

Keep your chin up and keep on parenting!!! These are the good years!!! :-)

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

Why Sleep Matters

Why Sleep Matters
Hey there!

Nurse Mom to Five here with why sleep matters.

I woke up groggy like most mornings after being up half the night with the baby. I'm constantly feeling like I'm in a fog and just. so. irritable. My brain struggles to get going like a car motor that doesn't want to start up. The kids all want breakfast and as I'm struggling to stay awake, feed the kids, get the laundry going and get the day started, i'm forgetting to take care of myself.

I know what I need but its so hard to come by to get good sleep! When you don't get good sleep your body is not able to rejuvenate fully and allow you to feel rested and full. Sleep is something my body likes to fight, why do I need sleep??? But I notice when I'm up multiple times during the night that I don't get good sleep and I feel very achy and sore in the morning. 

Good sleep equals: you feel rested upon waking. You awake happy and ready to start the day. You want to eat the healthy foods because you feel more energetic to prepare them. You have more mental alertness, leading to better productivity. Your immune system can function better!

There are many more reasons why sleep is good, but I think another important one is linked to anxiety and depression. These are huge topics and sleep is a broad topic in relation to these health conditions but I would like to highlight here the topic of Post-Partum Depression. 

Many moms experience this and its different for many moms. It also onsets at different times and can also show up as post-partum anxiety. For me I believe I have high-functioning post partum anxiety and have learned how to cope my own ways. This is also a sensitive topic for many and in light of this would like to ask you, how has your journey been? Do you get good sleep? As a nurse and a mom I have had many sleepless nights and I have been there too. I have been in the trenches of having to be up with a baby and go to work day shift the next day. I have had to work overnights and get sporadic sleep during the day. 

What do you do to get through the sleepless nights? Do you nap? Do you find a sitter to help with the extra things that pile up? Are you coping at all? I pray for your sanity, and know you're tough, you can get through this. This too shall pass and remember the stages in life and that it's ok to ask for help. It's ok to feel like you can't manage it all and that feeling of overwhelm??? I've been there. 

Sleep matters because YOU matter. You do what you need to do to get your sleep so you can be the BEST mom, the BEST version of you. Take that nap. Take the offer for a sitter. Swap kids with a friend. Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you need help, get help. 

That's all for today. Sleep well. :-)

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

How to Gently Irrigate Your Child's Ear

How to Gently Irrigate Your Child's Ear
Hey there!

Nurse Mom to Five here. I have a video here on how to remove ear wax buildup in a gentle way.

Now I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you are trained or told to do this by your doctor as you don't want to cause any damage to your child's ear, but here I show you what we do in our home with gentle irrigation.

I have an otoscope and I do inspect in the ear canal to see what is there first. You can buy them on amazon or sometimes your local store may have them. 

I have a welch allyn pocketscope, but you can no longer buy these in most places. Here is one I found that may be useful as it connects to your phone as well!

Now getting familiar with what the ear drum is supposed to look like is super helpful, otherwise you don't even know what you're looking for. It can take a lot of practice and trial-error to know what you're looking at in the ear, so don't be overwhelmed!!! 

Anyways, here is the video for you to view!!!

Don't forget to subscribe to my channel for more!

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

Which Baby Monitor Should I Buy?

Which Baby Monitor Should I Buy?
Hey there!

The Nurse Mom to Five here, back with some suggestions for which baby monitors you should buy!

I have used a few different baby monitors in my 10+ years of parenting and I will tell you which one I have loved the most!

The first one is similar to this one here:

Now this one isn't the exact one I first had, but pretty similar in that it had no video monitor. I liked this one because it would work for quite a ways even if I was outside. This is also cheaper and works just as well! 

The second one is this one:

This one is a motorola video monitor and worked just fine as well but the battery didn't last long and would need to be plugged in more frequently. I had an older model that I had bought from somebody on facebook so I am not sure how frequently it had been used before I bought it.

The third one I used was this one, and I still have this one:

I have a slightly older model of this Angelcare, but I received this one as a gift and have loved this one! I haven't used the breathing monitor part as it wasn't something I was worried about, but would work great for those of you who have worried about baby breathing. I like this one because it had a clearer picture than the motorola baby monitor and the audio was much better as well. 

The angel care one also had an audio back to the baby's room so if the baby was starting to cry you could talk to them and soothe them while you were on the way to get them. I actually tried this one time and scared the baby more, so I didn't use that feature. 

My favorite would be the angel care monitor, it is worth spending the bit of extra money to have a higher quality video if you need a video monitor. There are other monitors out there that are much more high tech, but this one suits our needs! I would maybe look into one that has a higher range as well, because I was not able to take this video monitor outside too far or it would lose the connection. 

I hope this helps in your decision making and your peace of mind!

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

Are Nurse Practitioners Doctors?

Are Nurse Practitioners Doctors?
Hey there!!!

Nurse Mom to Five here. A question I have had before is this- are nurse practitioners doctors?

The answer is no, they are not the same, but they can do many of the same things as a doctor. I truly feel like they take more time, are more thorough and take the whole picture of the patient. Here is a wonderful comparison if you are wondering kind of what the difference is between them.

I personally would chose a nurse practitioner over a doctor in many cases. The NP's I have seen over the years have a more thorough visit and take the time to really listen to me. Now many doctors I have seen also do this as well, but overall I feel that NP's are more empathetic.NP's also tend to be more holistic, and are also critical thinkers. I have also been to a PA's or Physician Assistant, which is pretty similar to a Nurse Practitioner.

I have had many NP's that are more open to alternative therapies throughout my nursing career, but it also depends on the personality of the provider. I am up front with all of my providers no matter what they think about the way I take care of my kids. Be your child's advocate in all cases, and if you don't happen to jive with somebody, know that there is always someone else to try out. 

A doctor has its pluses and minuses just like an NP- I have also had lots of great doctors that have taken the time to listen to me. My hope for you is that you can make an educated decision on your healthcare provider, and know what the difference is. I have had all sorts of experiences with many doctor visits over the years, and also working along side many different health care providers. 

When would you want a doctor over an NP? Well that depends on your needs. If you are normally healthy and your children are normally healthy, than a family practice NP would be wonderful. If you have special needs or something that is very specialized then I would chose a doctor. 

NP's essentially do the same things as a doctor, but they don't get paid as much :-) 

I hope you can make a well-informed decision and do what is best for your family. 

Have a wonderful day!!! 

The Nurse Mom

Read Older Updates Read Newer Updates