Nominate Mum Project | Mother's Day 2020

by Alison Schipp May 15, 2020

Nominate Mum Project | Mother's Day 2020

If you want to talk about commitment, then I have to say I think I have seen the walking talking definition of it in our two recipients of our Nominate Mum project. 

A few weeks ago we asked our community to Nominate a mother who has been in the frontlines, who is giving back during these tough times, or someone they feel deserved a little luxury this Mother's Day.

With an overwhelming response, we got to see what some of our community has been up to over this strange period of coronavirus. And it was that particular circumstance which motivated our Nominate Mum project. Mum’s give so much every day of their lives, but add the complications of coronavirus to the mix, and you have one busy and seriously committed lady.

Very happily we announce our deserving mums – they are Christie Pulbrook and Helen Knight. And we asked both of them to squeeze some more time out of their busy shift-working days and provide responses to some questions that we thought we all might help us all appreciate what they are doing on a daily basis.

Once you finish reading, I am certain you will agree they are seriously deserving.  It highlighted to me their unwavering commitment to their communities and their families, further they both seem to have a very upbeat and energetic attitude to this seemingly sleepy wintery period of our lives, and as I read, I got a sense of positivity, generosity and kindness. I’m not so sure I would be quite as well organized or robust to the pressures of the day (week and month), but then again, these two ladies are seasoned medical professionals and incredible mums, who clearly live and love life to the full!

Enjoy our interviews and we hope you enjoy this article. If you do, please leave a comment, we would absolutely love to hear from you!

Following an interview style - we feature each in turn - with a couple of photos to enjoy.

Warmest

Alison x

P.S We thought everyone nominated was so deserving, and the nominators so lovely, that we couldn't help ourselves but give them all a 40% off Cotton Kimono voucher - just for participating.

 

Christie Pulbrook

“My legs are aching, my heart is full

How long have you been in the medical field? 

I have been a Registered Nurse for 10 years. While I was at Uni I worked at a Nursing Home so I have been caring for people since I was 19.

 What inspired you to get into this field? What got you started?

I think I was always fascinated by the medical world as a child. No one in my family has a medical background so it wasn’t a case of looking up to someone close to me and following in a parents footsteps. I used to watch RPA and was always interested in health. I never knew what I wanted to do when I finished school and actually did one year of Biotechnology at Uni thinking that it may lead me into Medical Research. I then realised I wanted to be more hands on and actually care for people so without a lot of thought I switched to Nursing. I didn’t really know what I was in for to tell you the truth. I didn’t think about the shift work or what was actually involved. I had never done any work experience or asked many questions. It was my young, crazy, spontaneous self that made a quick decision and ran with it. It must have been meant to be!

 What do you actually do?

I am a Registered Nurse with a background predominantly in Intensive Care and Haemodialysis. I have also taken on a part time role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist who responds to deteriorating patients and is a support and resource person for the other Nurses in the hospital.

 Can you briefly describe a work day in the life for you right now?

At the moment I am working full time between ICU and the Clinical Nurse Specialist Role.

5.20am Alarm clock: it’s time to start the day.

6am Jump in the car, drive to the hospital. On arrival, get your temperature checked and change into hospital scrubs.

7am Receive handover from the night shift nurse and start your day. You never really know what you are in for until you arrive!

Working alongside a bunch of brilliant doctors, nurses, cleaners, clerical staff, allied health teams and countless others makes even the worst days bearable. There are so many opportunities for meaningful connections to be made and everyone is working together and watching out for each other. Looking after sick patients for 12 hours is hard work and can be super demanding physically, emotionally and mentally.

7pm Night shift staff have arrived! Time to hand over the baton to the next nurse - tell them everything you know about the patient and everything you have done for them during the day and wish them a good shift ahead! Go and get changed out of the scrubs. Shower if you have been looking after a patient with covid (or if the patient is still awaiting a negative result). Walk to your car (in the dark - what is sunshine when you work for 12 hours?!)

8pm Arrive home to my beautiful husband and my gorgeous girls (4 and 7 years old). Big cuddles and kisses (after a shower - can’t touch mummy after she has been at the hospital). Check how the home schooling went for the day, listen to usually all three of my family members trying to tell me things at once (while the dog is jumping up for a pat!), try to heat up and eat some dinner in between the girls requests (because once mum is home she is the one that needs to get the drink of water, help with the puzzle, check out the colouring in, wipe a bottom, etc, etc!) I love being home with them OF COURSE! But that time of night when I return from a 12 hour shift and they are getting tired and competing for my attention is guaranteed frantic!

8.30ish Try to wind the kids down for bed. Brush teeth, toilet, drink, story, jump into bed. I still lay with the girls to put them to sleep so in we go.

9pm Creep our of the girls room. Quick tidy up and reorganise. Catch up on things I need to read from the school or any mail I have received. Try to have a quick chat to my husband if he isn’t already in bed.

9.30pm Plonk myself into bed ready to repeat the next day! My legs are aching, my heart is full. I feel lucky to have a job and be able to care for people while providing for my family.

How do you mentally prepare for such a day?

I have to be super prepared before a run of shifts. I need to organise enough food and meals to be in the house. My husband is an incredibly hard worker and does so much but he doesn’t cook (I’m totally fine with that though! After being together for over half our lives we have our roles sorted out!) So it’s to the shops and cooking up batches of butter chicken, zucchini slice, lasagna and that sort of thing. I have to make sure washing is sorted, home schooling materials are printed, the house is clean and everyone’s days are organised. Communication is very important! Making sure my husband and mum knows who has to do what and be where, etc. I like to make sure a feel well rested and have had a chance to do a bit of exercise and get some sun before I am at the hospital for a few days straight. Being organised before a run of shifts is vital. If I know everything is in place while I am away it is much easier getting in the car each morning to face the day ahead.

What do you do to keep yourself feeling good? How are the family coping? Any words of advice/ wisdom?

During this crazy time I have found a few things help.

Staying connected with people. Phone calls, messages, kind gestures to others. You will make other people feel better while always making yourself feel better.

Letting go of trying to reach perfection (eg. if Remi doesn’t complete every home-schooling task on a particular day there is no need to stress about it)

Keep having fun, especially with the kids. We ride our bikes, go to the beach, collect fire wood and have a back-yard fire pit sessions. We play music and keep things light hearted.

Make sure you get exercise, fresh air and sunshine - so important!

Don’t watch too much news or read too many articles about covid on social media. Stay informed but don’t saturate yourself with too much info.

Stay positive - things seem to be improving and things will be back to normal eventually.

 

Helen Knight

“Haha I just wake up and get on with it!  I just try to keep in the back of my mind how lucky I am to have a beautiful family, health and work.”

How long have you been in the medical field? 

Since 2004, I qualified in the UK and then started nursing in Australia in 2008 and have worked here ever since!

What inspired you to get into this field? What got you started?

I had a part time job as a health care assistant in a nursing home in my home town when I was at school.  Initially it was just to earn some money but I realised how much I enjoyed it and decided to enrol at Uni for a nursing degree.

What do you actually do? Eg what is the job title and what does that mean?

I work part time as a Registered Nurse at an Urgent Care unit (basically an ED in a country town)

Can you briefly describe a work day in the life for you right now? (also include from the start of the day, to end briefly).

I work many Late shifts (1-9.30pm) although tonight I’m actually on a Night shift which I do not like much at all!  Normally I’d get up with the kids.  Juggle home schooling my eldest (in Prep) and my youngest (in kinder).  We do some farm jobs such as letting chooks out and collecting eggs.  I’d make them lunch then at 12.15 drive the 30min trip to my work and work until 9.30pm.  We have no idea what might come through the days, could be a crazy busy day or a quiet one.  Much more intense at work due to all the corona virus changes that have happened and continuing to happen.

How do you mentally prepare for such a day?

Haha I just wake up and get on with it!  I just try to keep in the back of my mind how lucky I am to have a beautiful family, health and work. 

What do you do to keep yourself feeling good? How are the family coping? Any words of advice/ wisdom?

The isolation has actually enabled to access some of the classes I like to do but couldn’t squeeze in having to drive everywhere from our farm so I have been doing some Pilates and Yoga classes via zoom.  Also just trying to make sure myself and the kids get out every day for some fresh air.  Diet is very important to me, so I try to cook most things from scratch and if possible, using the fruit and veg from our garden.  Of course, this all takes the extra time but I think it’s worth it for our health.

I think by Friday there’s a lot of frustration in the house.  My Prep boy has had enough of me “telling” him what to do (e.g. schoolwork) and I can feel my patience wearing thin too!  We are lucky to have some space to roam around our house so trying to make sure the kids get out when the weather’s good.  I think myself and husband are struggling to find time for ourselves and as a couple with the home schooling and it has made my husband’s work-life harder as he works from home and when I’m working he looks after the kids who used to be at school/kinder so that gives him less time.

This is such a unique time in our history and even though it feels like it will go on forever it will come to an end and we will all move on in our slightly altered world post virus.  It has made us a family slow down and just enjoy not rushing around with all the usual extra-curricular activities and visiting people in any spare time we had.  I feel are so lucky to have the technology that we have so we can still be connected to people who mean the most to us.  It reminds me to appreciate what we have in life and not to take life for granted however hard it feels as times. 

Keep healthy and keep following the government advice and we will get through this.

The Kimonos

Both Helen and Christie chose our gorgeous short cotton Plum and Warbler Cotton Short Kimono in Pink Spritzer. We will update our post with an image of Christie with hers too - the postie was a bit slow to get it to her in her gorgeous home on the South Coast of NSW.

Here is an image of the kimono - and please click on it to find out more. :)




Alison Schipp
Alison Schipp

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