I have felt like a stellar mother this week (insert dripping sarcasm here). I am in no way a morning person and thankfully this job has eased me into the early morning thing with each morning of work being an hour earlier. However, it kills me that I live a ten to fifteen minute drive from the hospital and yet, it takes me over an hour to get to work using the public transportation system. The other morning I woke up at the still-night-hour of 5:45 to get ready to be at work by 8am. Munchkie's Daddy had his first presentation of the school year and was a nervous wreck. I noticed that he wasn't in bed with me and when I went into the living room he was just lying down on the couch. I told him to go to bed. What good would he be at a presentation if he got next to no sleep, and the hour or so that he got was on the couch? After sending him to bed, I rushed around trying to get ready. As I was trying to get out of the door, a little face was smiling at me over a baby gate. That sweet little face says to me, "Look Mama! I wake up!" Oh no! Why?!? Why did she have to wake up so early?!?! I whispered to her, "Mama has to go to work, play in your room for a little while so Daddy can sleep." Next thing I knew there was crying, no she didn't want to do that. She wanted to be with Mama. Naturally. So I did what every good mother running out the door does. I poured a bowl of cereal, filled a sippy cup with milk and turned PBS on, leaving the door to Munchkie's Daddy opened and raced out the door. I was slightly late to work, but so were other new people, so I didn't feel so bad about that. However, all morning I was a complete mess about running out the door like that. Besides the fact that I don't really like that I am leaving my daughter most days with what feels like a stranger who's name I know, mornings like this make it extremely difficult to walk through the door and away from her.
Today, I was scheduled to work for twelve hours, the shift that I will be working. Somehow we got very lucky and they decided to cut our training a little short today, so I was home shortly after seven. Normally I will be getting home around 8:30. This means that I will be gone from before 6:00am until around 8:30am. If I work two days in a row, I will not see Munchkie for those two days. At all. Oh, this is a very difficult realization. While life in a city has so many advantages at times, being able to walk down to a market, having a huge aquarium or park nearby and having access to a very reliable public transportation system, it also means that it takes a while to get anywhere. I just don't know how I will be able to handle this. I love my family and my family comes first in everything. Not being able to see Munchkie, hear about her day, talk to her or even get a hug is going to be extremely difficult. I guess that it will be a learning experience for all of us.
We will have to learn how to make the time we do have together incredible. This makes it very difficult to want to do necessary things around the house. I feel like even reading the mail is taking time away from spending time with Munchkie. Right now I am writing this quickly, since she just went to bed and I need to do the same. I cannot bring myself to set my alarm clock for any earlier than 5am, so I have one alarm set for 5am and another "no really, wake up now" alarm set for 5:15am. Hopefully by the time I come home tomorrow, I will still be functioning enough to make Saturday a wonderful together time day. Each day home has to count, has to make up for those days that the time spent together is only moments, if any.
These few and far between times together, along with racing out the door leaving a crying child behind and not being able to provide more than a bowl of cold, dry cereal, does not make me feel like a good mother at all. I don't know how other mothers do it. I just don't.