Missing Entire Days at a Time

Thank you for all of the congrats in my last post. I received my official certificate in the mail yesterday and now need to go shopping for a frame. (And received my diploma the day before. Nice timing!)

Yesterday was my first day working with the full duties of a nurse, and I was thrilled to get my permissions to the medication cart, to administer medications, and officially perform assessments. I can’t wait until I’m ready to get fully involved in my first birth.

The biggest downside to all of this, however, is adjusting to not seeing my family everyday. I currently work 7am-7:30pm, requiring me to leave the house at 6am. I don’t get back to our home until 8:30pm. By that point, both Cordy and Mira are asleep for the night, and I leave in the morning before they wake up. If I have two or three days grouped together, that means I go days without seeing my daughters.

I know there are other moms and dads who have to do this on a regular basis. I’m not used to it yet. Honestly, it makes me cry some days. I’ve spent the last two years almost entirely at home with my kids, and I’ve grown used to our routine together. I like seeing them everyday, eating lunch together, and going to the park sometimes. I’m aware of how incredibly lucky I’ve been the last two years.

And Cordy will be starting full-day pre-K soon, so she won’t even be home for most of the day during the week. Mira will also be starting preschool two days a week. But it’s that whole not seeing them at all for 3 days a week that really bothers me.

Today I attended a training seminar, and as a result I was home by dinnertime. I walked in the door and Mira’s eyes widened as she saw me. “Mah-mi! Mah-mi!” (yes, we have “m” sounds from her now!) she screamed as she ran towards me and tackled my legs. She nuzzled her face into my legs, her voice quieter now as she repeated, “Awwwww, muh mah-mi…”

“Mama, where have you been?” Cordy asked from the other side of the room. “I missed you, mama.”

All at once I feel incredibly loved and piercingly guilt-stricken.

To add to the guilt, I’m often so exhausted lately that I can barely keep up with my two pixie sticks. No amount of caffeine can give me the energy I need to provide the attention they want from me.

I know this won’t last forever. Once my orientation is complete, I’ll switch to night shift and work 7pm-7:30am, allowing me to sleep while Cordy is in school during the day and wake around 3pm to spend time with the girls in the early evening.

Until then, I’ll continue to be jealous that Aaron gets to spend so much time with our daughters right now, and remind him to give them as much attention as possible and enjoy those moments together. Never take that time for granted.

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  1. That’s got to be really tough. I’m sorry. But how awesome that you are doing work you’re excited about. I hope your adjustment is quick. And try not to be too hard on yourself about your girls. But I know it’s hard not to.

  2. Christina, the shift work sounds awful. I get the guilt about working and missing my girls too, but my husband can’t earn what I can and providing all the other stuff is important even if not at satisfying to you. Hang in there. And even if Daddy is good at caring for them, they’ll want you most (heh-heh).

  3. Aww, that does sound hard. Not that I’m away from DB that much, but when I am I avoid the guilt trip upon return by reminding myself how much I do give him when I can.

    I know what you mean about the “not enough caffeine in the world” issue — try Coca-Cola, sometimes the sugar-caffeine combo works better, lol!

  4. Those sound like some looong days and the missing them for big chunks of time…eesh, that’s got to be hard. Hope the new routines seem more normal in time.

    You know you totally got my wheels turning after dinner that night and I found the RN program in the area that has evening/weekend hours, so it’ll be more like a 4-5 year plan for me before I can get the prereqs out of the way.

  5. I am so in awe of you, Christina. It is incredible that you’ve gone to school, studied, and now are an OFFICIAL certified RN, all while going through the various red tape and frustrations with Cordy and the energy of both girls.

    As for your working schedule, it seems really, really tough right now, and I’ve never been in that particular situation so cannot speak any advice from my own life, but it seems that when the new shift comes, you’ll be golden. I have a nurse cousin who had exactly that schedule – she worked all night, slept while her daughter was in school, and then spent the afternoon with her. She loved having that “afternoon time” and yet also having the paycheck of a full-time schedule.

    Best of luck – you’re certainly working very, very hard – it has got to pay off!

  6. It is the working mom/nurse curse. If you are going to be a working mom (like me) nursing gives you the most flexibility. Your children will benefit greatly because their mom works and helps bring new life into the world. Trust me, your kids will notice and be proud of you.

  7. I work only a few hours a week and if I make it home before bedtime, the greeting I get could explode my heart.

    After orientation it will be better. Congrats on doing something great for yourself and your family.
    p.s. the word verification is ‘marmed.’

  8. MN RN Mom says:

    Orientation is one of the toughtest times, especially when it’s not the shift you’re working. I’m working 2p-10p 7 of 14 days and I love the shift. The staffing ratios and working condition – well that’s a whole nother rant :-) Good luck and hang in there – it’s worth it!

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