By Gabriella legall @mommaandsquishx
I think it’s universally accepted that being a working mom is tough (understatement) and nursing shifts are no exception we flit from one job to another where it’s our role to care for everyone in our vicinity.
Personally, working all night and doing the mum thing by day can be daunting and I think I start every sentence with “ 2minutes” trying to fit everything in to the point my little one has started to question if I can tell the time. I found that since I qualified this year I have increased my use of my favourite “2 -minutes- but- it-will-probably-be-20” phrase. I finish work and just need a little
more down time.. I sit in the car a little longer and hide in the toilet just catching my breath (hiding from the boy that just has to show me one last Pokemon card before bed). Yet, I still feel a like elastic girl being pulled every which way. I probably sigh (and occasionally-always mutter profanities under my breath) whilst rushing around which instantly fills me with guilt because
surely I’m meant to love every moment? The other day I asked my son how he’s found things lately ( what with quarantine and mums new job it’s been a rollercoaster) and braced myself for the reply- he’s 9 and really quite brutal!
BUT he replied “it’s been great” shocked I gingerly asked why and he replied “because we have spent lots of time together this year and had lots of lazy days”.
To me, and many other nursing mamas I’m sure, there’s been plenty of days this year were I just can not be bothered to bake another cake, paint another picture or (not so) patiently work my way through another days homework.
Specifically after 12.5 minimum of working through a pandemic. There was no furlough or time off as such and this continues as there are days when my sons sent home as he has the sniffles and I’m in work caring for other people – Mum guilt sucks!
There are days where I’ve blankly nodded along half asleep as he babbles about the latest game on his iPad. Days when clean pyjamas have been our attire cause mum has been on nights and quite frankly cant be bothered.
However, I do digress, his reply highlighted the most important thing! We mums are doing great but we just can’t do it all. Sometimes I’m the mum who plans activities and prepares fresh home cooked meals then on the flip-side sometimes it’s oven food/takeaways and snuggles on the sofa. Some days I leave work on time laughing and chatting and others I leave that little bit later
after handover and don’t make it home for bedtime stories!
As a nurse-mum I know that I have two vocations in life so I always joke that being a mother prepared me for at the very least a quarter of my nursing role.
I get that at times sh*t, quite literally, does hit the fan but to take it in my stride.
I have yet to wince when bodily fluids splash on me in work (or at home). I learnt that tired people are VERY very grizzly- myself included. Ive learnt that you NEVER use the word quiet in the house or at work- because silence is rarely a good thing! I’ve learnt that we don’t go to the doctors for common colds and my son can never pull a fake sick day – I will do a set of observations and he’ll be on his way.
I understand organisation is preferred and trust me I envy the mums that make the smiley face sandwiches with fruit cut like stars but I balance this with “ 1 fun breakfast day if I remember” each week. So , although preferred, regimental style organisation is NOT essential- plans change. The dishes can sometimes wait , the toys can be picked up tomorrow ( or you can wait til infinity, and beyond, until your child tidies up). I suppose the most important message is that going to work and providing for your family should NEVER be a source of guilt. Having a profession is definitely not neglect? I realise that I will always go to work and wonder if I signed a school permission slip and I will forever leave work then ring back to double-triple check stuff but I know that everyone, myself and Mini included, are so proud of the profession I have chosen! Wherever I am I’m trying my best to be the best version of myself..
We all are! To all the nursing mums you’ve got this we are doing two very challenging jobs yet they are also super rewarding so hang in there and just remember Mama knows best!