Lessons Learned: Respecting Decisions

On my mind lately is respecting decisions. Two events occurred this month that has stuck with me, and I thought they’d be good to blog about as a subject.

The first decision was my daughter’s. When planning the birth of her child, she wanted limited drugs and a water birth. She was a champ and had no drugs during labor…at least the first 30 hours. Her pain was a little different after that when the doctor used drugs to speed up her labor. When the new nurse came in for her shift, she had an attitude with no compassion. She started in with questions, “Why doesn’t she want drugs? She should have drugs. She needs an epidural. Why won’t she have one?” The attitude continued as we tried explaining what my daughter wanted. The nurse wouldn’t have it. She then said, “If she can’t handle the pain now, she’s never going to make it through labor.” Those words had my daughter in tears. Finally I had to tell the nurse to stop. She was making my daughter upset. I repeated myself a few times, but the nurse wouldn’t listen. I then told her to leave the room with the glare of the devil in my eyes. She finally did. My daughter then decided on the epidural. I went out to the nurses’ station where four of them sat. I asked if one – without an attitude – would help explain to my daughter the procedure. The head nurse went in and explained, showing respect for my daughter’s wishes for a natural childbirth and how the epidural would help her. She let my daughter make the choice.

The second decision was a co-worker’s when she decided to take another job. She loved the people where we work; however, she needed more pay. She is a single mom that has to make ends meet. Everyone tried telling her that money isn’t everything. She had to take into consideration where she’d be working, the benefits, the stress she’d be put under, etc. My co-worker got it. She did think about the pros and cons of leaving. She was torn and wanted a few of us to make the decision for her. Obviously, we couldn’t. As much as we wanted her to stay, we know that she had to make the decision for herself. Once she made the decision, we had to respect it. We still keep in touch. I’m not sure if she likes her job yet (it’s still too new), but she does miss us. I will continue to support her or give guidance whenever she needs it.

Everybody has to make tough decisions, even when it turns out to be something unplanned or unwanted. At times decisions that you make can be wrong or need a different route, but that’s okay. Make a decision. Go for it. If things don’t work out, you can always change it. The main thing is to respect the choice made.

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