'My family nurse showed me I could do anything if I put my mind to it – I am more than I thought I could ever be'

A blog from FNP graduate, Skye

Just over three years ago, when I first heard about FNP, I was terrified – I thought there was going to be someone coming around to judge me on whether I was fit enough to be a mother and asking me trick questions but I couldn’t have been more wrong. My family nurse showed me I could do anything if I put my mind to it – now, I am more than I thought I could ever be.

Looking back at my journey with FNP and reflecting on where I am today makes me feel so proud. I graduated in February and am now working with adults who have special educational needs and Autism. I’m also studying Early Childhood Education and Care at university, with the aim of becoming a teacher when I finish my studies. Before FNP, I never thought I would finish college, let alone get this far – I’ve won an award, I’m at university and have a job in the career path that I want!

I learnt so much from the programme and everything I learnt about being a mum was from my family nurse. I learnt that every child grows and develops at their own stage so never ever judge your child on what someone else’s child is doing. I now know that it’s ok to not be ok! There’s no such thing as a perfect parent and everyone makes mistakes, everyone has their highs and lows (believe me, I’ve had mine!) so never be too hard on yourself.

Not only did my family nurse help me with practical things (like the colour of baby poo!) she also introduced some completely new things to me, such as how to stimulate a baby’s brain when they’re in the womb. Never in a million years did I think I would find myself talking to my tummy but it was so interesting to learn about how babies perceive the world when they’re so tiny; what will stimulate them, because they’re able to play so young just in ways you wouldn’t expect. The importance of  having ‘tummy time’ is something I never would have done if I my family nurse hadn’t informed me of it and I truly believe tummy time is the reason my son physically developed a lot quicker than expected.

I also learned new things about myself. I had major insecurities and I would hide them and pretend they didn’t matter and for some time, that was my coping method, until I had a breakdown and physically couldn’t cope with myself anymore. My family nurse helped me see that no matter how low you feel, life can be good and things can get better – and they did. I couldn’t be more grateful for every obstacle she helped me cross.

I was also able to give something back. I was asked to be on the interview panel for recruiting a new family nurse. It made me feel so valued and that my opinion mattered. The thought that another young girl could have a fantastic family nurse that they could connect with and be supported by, due to me and two other FNP clients is something really memorable and special to me.

I have learnt so many life skills from this programme not just being a parent but being a true person as well as learning basics to make it through life independently.