To Be A Nurse

I think that so many people take for granted the nurses that go into work at all hours of the day and night.  It seems like an easy job, because well, so many people do it.  The hours aren't your typical 9-5 and it's rewarding to boot.  Well, I just want to explain a little what being a nurse and a mom means, because I'm just tired of people saying how lucky I am to have such a flexible schedule when they don't truly understand what that "flexible" schedule means. 

Being a pediatric nurse (or any healthcare worker) and a mom means.....
  • Feeding a baby while thinking about how someone else is providing the meals for your own child.
  • Crawling into bed after a long shift- alone, because you're going to bed too early or going to bed after everyone else has woken up.
  • Sleeping with light blocking curtains covering your windows.
  • Having to take Vitamin D supplements because you don't see the light of day enough.
  • Singing the ABCs to a patient meanwhile thinking of how another person is teaching your child their ABCs.
  • Knowing that cancer is in your future because working nights is a known carcinogen and praying that God will give you "enough" time with your family.
  • Not being able to join anything because you have never have a regular schedule, no exercise classes, no story time, etc.
  • Your child cries out at night for Daddy because Mommy isn't home enough to be reliable for nightmare comfort.
  • When you say "Do you know what time it is" your child hangs their head and says in a sad tone "time for Mommy to go to work" even if it's not a day you have to work.
  • Your child spends more time with another person than they do with you so that you can spend time "cuddling" with another child.
  • You understand that schedules are an essential comfort to children, but just can't physically provide a normal schedule for your child.
  • You literally don't remember the last time that you weren't exhausted, or that you actually got a reasonable amount of sleep for a week.
  • With each patient you care for you send up a prayer of thanks for your own child, who isn't in the hospital.
  • Wondering what it would be like to eat normal meals.
  • Falling asleep in the middle of something when you have things to do and laying in bed awake for hours when you really want to sleep.
  • Answering that last call bell to comfort a stressed out parent when what you really want to do is run away to be with your family.
  • Changing another child's diaper and wondering what excuse will work for you to get out of diaper duty at home.
  • Leaving your home before anyone is awake in the morning, and arriving home in just enough time to say goodnight.
  •  Watching your daughter write the first letter of her name and realizing that someone saw her do this first.
  • Not truly understanding what TGIF means because quite a few Fridays are the start of a stretch of shifts to work.
  • Understanding that you don't have to leave your child every day of the week, but also knowing that your days off are recovering and preparing for your next day on.
  • Trying to potty train your child while wishing that you were able to empty your own bladder on a regular schedule.
  • You tell your active child that they better stop jumping on the bed because Mommy will not be going into work on her day off.
  • You miss every other holiday with your family and pretend that it's just as exciting on another day. Or you take a quick nap and drink a lot of coffee so you can be a part of the holiday, wearing scrubs.
  • Your child asks every day if you will be able to come to their birthday, because they know you can't make it to most fun things they do.

1 comment:

  1. I hate this Amanda! I am about to go back to work after 14 weeks off and am completely sick over it. However, I do have a 9-5ish job right now my kids still spend the majority of their time with the sitter. Ryder asks every day, you have to work mommy and when he sees my scrubs will cry! To working moms everywhere I do not know how we do it.