Work, Summer, and Family Time: Can They Coexist?

By Jon Aldama, RN, Manager of Cardiology Service, Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Summer may be the time to kick back and relax, but in health care, that’s easier said than done. Summer often means more stress from managing work schedules, kids at home, family commitments, and vacations. Basically, summer is a constant juggling act.

This challenge is shared by managers as well as staff nurses and other health care providers. We all have lots of balls in the air, but when you’re in health care, you recognize that taking care of sick people is even more challenging when you’re juggling caring for yourself and summer activities.

As a single dad with three kids, and as a manager of four areas within the cardiology service at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, taking time to be with my family during these summer months is a priority. Time is always at a premium, so it’s about quality versus quantity. Here are some tips:

  1. Keep everything in perspective. Step back. See the big picture. Is this really important?
  2. Prioritize. Set your priorities, then organize the process to make everything flow more smoothly.
  3. Dial down the pressure. Sometimes parents put too much pressure on young children, such as having them enrolled in two to three sports at a time. Instead, let the kids choose one per season, or just let them chill and be kids.
  4. Slow down. We all get in a hurry, but slow down and enjoy life. You might try getting up 30 minutes earlier so you can enjoy breakfast with your kids. The extra time will help create a calmer environment for the whole family.

Often, it’s the simple things that matter the most. When’s the last time you played cards, board games, or building blocks with your kids? It can be a great way to connect. We always think it has to be a big event, but just hanging out at home together is a valuable experience for children.

Last, take time for yourself and try to find that activity that lights your inner spark. You may find it does something for your family as well. I love men’s recreational softball and feel at home on the field. I’ve also been able to coach my kids’ baseball and T-ball teams, which gives me a lot of joy to see them experience something I like so much.

At Methodist Health System, we help employees be their best at work, at home, and at play. To learn more about being one of our shining stars, visit Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

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