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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two Places at Once

Warning: Vent ahead!

I wish that I could be two places at once. I'm not talking about vacationing in two totally different locations at the same time or even standing on either side of a state line (ahhh...A Walk to Remember). Since the middle of this year, my heart has been constantly pulled in opposite directions and, unfortunately, there's not much that I can do about. it.

My two places are work and home. I am sure that many of you working moms out there know exactly how I have felt for the past four months. When I am at work, my head (and heart) are with my little man and when I am at home, my head (and heart) are at work. I only work three days a week but, when I went back it was two six hour days that soon turned into two eight hour days and on-call weekends, and now has turned into three eight hour days (but no more on-call, thank God).

Let me start by saying that since I was a little girl, I knew that all I wanted was to be a mom. A stay-at-home, making crafts, taking my kid to play group, volunteering in the class room, mom.

When my husband and I were first dating, I explained this to him. He said that there was no way. I was working too hard in school to just throw it all away. I felt differently and thought that, when the time came, I'd be able to convince him that the best place for me to be was at home, raising our kids. (My mistake, I know. But, I was still naive and under the impression that I could change a man. I stand corrected.)

Let me also say that I love, no, adore my job (the one that pays me in dollars, not smiles). I have worked very hard to be where I am in my career. I am a hospice nurse and I feel that the work that I do is very important. I love my coworkers and I have never dreaded going to work or looked at the clock to see if I was close to being done. I love my patients and their families and I care for them as if they were my own family.

At home, my son needs me to care for him, wipe his tears away and give him hugs when he is feeling down. At work, my patients and their families need me to care for them, wipe their tears away, and give them hugs when they are feeling down.

If I just had some job where I clocked in and out, dreaded going in and didn't feel like my work was meaningful, I would say that staying at home would win. Hands down! But, I have a job in which families invite me into one of the most precious times of their lives to get them all through it. Because the work I do is so meaningful, I would find it impossible to walk away (if I could).

Today, I had a breakdown. I broke a promise and I felt like I was forced to choose my work over my son. 'The Boy's' cousin had a Halloween party today and last week I told him the Mommy would switch days so that we could go. I couldn't switch. I have a meeting tomorrow that I had to prepare for and a company depending on me. Although I have a son (who doesn't understand) who is depending on me, work came first. I felt like the worst mom in the history of mom's

I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. And apologized. And sobbed some more. Even as I write this, I am teary eyed. Of course my patients and their families don't hold a torch to my son. I love him to the moon and back. I only love my patent's and their families to the moon. If I could choose, 'The Boy' would, of course, win.

But I can't choose. My husband is a civil engineer and due to our failing economy, lost 20% of his salary four months ago. In order to maintain our lifestyle and provide our son with all we want to, I had to work more. I know it is only three days, but it's three days that I miss my son terribly.

I often wonder how other families make it happen and stare at our budget searching for ways to cut back. We cannot. So it is what it is and I will continue to be torn.

Vent: Over.

5 comments:

Leslie said...

What a difficult and painful dilemma. I don't envy your position in anyway, but am certain that you're handling it the best way possible. Hope it gets a little bit easier for you soon!!

Pinks the new Blue said...

you are a great mom and are looking out the your son and thats what important dont forget that! :)

PB∧Janelle-e said...

You are doing ALL you can for your family. That is what's important! Work comes before play and although stay at home moms get to be home they have differnt struggles. I know both worlds believe me I know how you feel, and be oh so grateful you have a good paying proffesion you love! I know how hard it is to miss out, I have for Calli's christmas eves serving tables not for something I love!! U have tomorrow and Tyler LOVES you, even if you couldn't make it to my lame halloween party!! :)

Anonymous said...

Megan.

You have made me cry. I certainly wasn't expecting this. It hurts me so much to see my little girl in such a dilemma. I know I was lucky and was able to stay at home. Believe me, even though I loved it more than life itself, I always wondered what it would be like if I had had a career. You worked hard to become who you are and you can have it all! You are a wonderful, loving, valuable, and adoring Mom. Don't you forget it! I am so proud of you in every way! Even though you are still my little girl you have showed me what a strong and wonderful woman you have become. I admire you Megan. Let's put this in God's hands. He will provide. I love you!

umusbkraz said...

Meegs,

I am so proud of you. You are a great mom and a great nurse. I remember that you had nightmares in high school because you did not want the "picket fence". Now I guess you know the "picket fence" is far from perfect, but is still a great place to be.

I guess the lesson here is 1) don't make promises you might not be able to keep, and 2) when you do have to break one, which we all have and you will in the future, just apologize, move on, and don't beat yourself up. - Stevedad