Janelle Turk, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
My husband and I have been married for 11 years and have four children ranging in age from 20 months to 10 years. We moved out to our farm in rural Saskatchewan just over 5 years ago. My husband is a grain farmer, on his family farm. I can truly say I am where I am meant to be, in a rural area. I was born and raised in a small community and I am quite content out on the farm. There are so many reasons that I like rural nursing, but the main one has to be the variety of patients that we see. We do have limited resources out here, so health education and early intervention is key to maintaining health. The more we know and can be prepared, the better. Especially when it is a two hour drive or more to the nearest city.
As a Mom of 4, I can say with great certainty that no two children are alike. No two pregnancies or birthing experiences are alike. With my first baby I struggled with breast feeding. Before I had my son I was sure it would be easy, no big deal, women do it all the time, right? Well, we fought and worried and persevered for over a month before I felt comfortable with breastfeeding. It was likely one of the most difficult things I have ever been through, but one that I am so proud of as well. Then, with my second child it was a breeze for both him and I, right from the birth story to the breastfeeding. Just completely different experiences. I believe it is important for moms to realize that not everything will come naturally, and sometimes we need to rely on outside support for help, and that is okay. I have realized after four children that above all else, sleep is likely the most important thing for parents, babies and children. It is amazing what even an hour nap can do for your mental health and energy when you are exhausted with a new baby. It is equally amazing to see how your children can benefit from good sleep!
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I graduated from the University of Alberta in December of 2006. I have come from a long line of nurses. My Grandma, mom and a few of my Aunts were all nurses. I knew I wanted to be involved with healthcare, and helping people. A career in Nursing seemed like a natural fit for me. I worked in Saskatoon at St. Paul's Hospital on a surgical unit for 7 years. From there I moved on to rural nursing, where I continue to work now. It has been a huge learning curve, but I really enjoy the diversity of the job. I love that now I can work with young and old alike! I've always been passionate about working with babies and children. Every time I get to work with them in my current job, I thoroughly enjoy it. When I first heard about The Mama Coach it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to follow my dreams of working with Women and Children. As a Mom and a Registered Nurse I feel that there is most definitely a need for extra support and education for parents in our rural areas.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Every family is different and will have unique needs. Support systems are so important to have as parents, and to know where to get the help you need, when you need it.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
If you are fortunate enough to be offered help- take it! Even if it is for an hour, use that time for you...rest, have a shower, regroup! There is no shame in taking or making time for you.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Self-care is something that lots of times ends up at the bottom of my to-do list. Trying to fit it in between hockey games and dance class can be a daunting task! Some days, for me, it happens when all the kids are asleep and involves a bubble bath and a good book. Other days it's a day in the city with no kiddos ( or just one or two!), running errands and a meal out. In the summer it includes spending time at the lake at my parents' cabin. The kids can swim and play the day away and then we have campfires at night. Lazy days reading books and watching movies with the kids. Family time is so important to us, especially when we aren't racing to the next event. Occasionally my husband and I will get away for an evening out, this time is much needed to reconnect and regroup! I think there is something to the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder", sometimes you need to take a step back to appreciate all that you have.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I am very excited to bring The Mama Coach to rural Saskatchewan!
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