Dear Nurse Marge,
This isn’t exactly a nursing question but I’m hoping you can help. I work in a great L&D unit. I love what I do; I’ve been there sixteen years, and adore my job. Sure there are tough times, but that’s part of nursing.
My brother’s new wife is what I call an Earth Mother: a real hippie type. And she’s of course expecting, and is planning a home delivery.
At first I thought she was going to ask me to assist, but luckily I dodged that bullet. Now though, I seem to have taken on the role of defender of the traditional medical establishment. She grills me about c-section rates and forceps use; I don’t know where she finds these nightmare scenarios to grill me about, but the stories she tells are horrific. And all I can say is, “Well, I’ve never seen that.”
So how do I handle this? I’ve been trying to avoid her, of course, but there’s only so much family obligation ditching you can do effectively. She’ll be having her baby in a month or so: is it a bad idea to just hide away until this is all over (and thank God I don’t work pediatrics?)
Stressed Out Sister in Law
Dear Stressed Out Sister in Law,
Tell your NM that you’re available for any and all unfilled shifts for the next thirty days. Not only will you have a legitimate reason to not be around, you’ll have so much OT you can buy a great ‘Welcome, Baby!’ gift.
They have the cutest camouflage onsies now, you know…
Family relationships are very difficult. It’s particularly tricky when you’re talking about a new in-law: the siblings you have are used to (and stuck with) you. Now, I think it’s really a good idea to be forthright and truthful right from the get-go. Relationship difficulties inevitably spring from a failure of clear communication. Start things off right by letting your position be known, and there will be no unpleasant surprises. That’s what I think your sister in law has done; you should embrace her example.
For example, try wearing a “Home Deliveries: Great for Pizza!” to the baby shower. That would work pretty well.
Or maybe it wouldn’t work so well, but it would be funny. And that’s what I would do!