I have been a RN for almost fifteen years. I worked in a teaching hospital for almost the first half of my career. During that time I mainly worked in cardiac areas bedside floor nursing, ICU and circulated in the CVOR for a minute. The ER was always my dream job. Straight out of nursing school I didn’t have the confidence to dive into an Emergency Room setting, so 8 years later, this wonderful journey began. The ER is the best of all parts of nursing!!! It’s absolutely my dream job, even on my worst nights.
My boyfriend and I have four beautiful children together 11, 5, 4 and 2. He works a traditional Monday thru Friday job. He’s also a head high school football coach and picks up extra evening sports jobs throughout the school year. Altough his schedule is more set than mine, it doesn’t leave him with tons of free time in the evenings, at least not during football season. My schedule is three 12 hour shifts 7p-7a. We have a 3 week rotating schedule, that provides some structure, but lacks the consistent stability of a solid work schedule.
I love every moment I get to spend with my babies. I’d like to think if I could be solely a stay at home mom, I would absolutely. But on the other hand I love what I do so much that I think I like the chaos of work and home, it just fits me. I choose to work nights for a few reasons. One, the cost of day care for 3 babies is outrageous. Second, I feel like I would miss all four of them way to much if I was at work all day until 7:30/8:00pm. And lastly I get the perks of being a stay at home mom with them all day, we get to snuggle, play, go to the park, go to the library, etc. So many things we wouldn’t get to do if I worked a traditional Mon-Fri gig. There are many days/nights I’m dreaming about sleeping though. Counting down the hours until I can lay in my bed and actually sleep.
For example, this is Tuesday night at almost 4am. I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. I woke up at 7 am this morning got my 11 year old and 4 year old to school. Back home, at 0825. Breakfast for the two littles, which I think was…donuts and apples, I mean they have ravioli’s for breakfast sometimes, don’t judge :-). Milani, the baby has dance class at 10, so we were out the door by 0930. This is the one time during the week that Stevo and I have “just us” time. Dance class is from 10-11, so Stevo and I usually walk to the gas station and get a snack. Today we hung out right outside of the dance school on a bench, chatted and ate our snack. Back home in time to get Emorej from the bus, which arrives by 12:15. We walk her back to the house, she tells me about her day. Today she got a treasure out of the treasure box, that she was super excited about. She’s been begging me to decorate for Halloween, so we got some of our fall décor out and she decorated a little. But tomorrow we’ll have to “get more Halloween decorations, so our house can be spooktacular” lol. Leftovers for lunch. Cleaned the kitchen up a little. We managed to get a nap in from about 1:30 to 3. Woke up to Gabriella’s beautiful face. Showered. Picked clothes out for them for tomorrow, and time to go again. Everyone in the car by 4:45: take G to one of her teammates house, so she can ride to practice with them. Take Emorej to dance/gym. The littles are just along for the ride, drop them off with dad hug on him for a brief second and off to work I came.
Three nights in a row is my favorite and probably most exhausting weeks of my schedule. Tomorrow I’ll get the two oldest girls off to school and then breakfast for the littles. I’ll nap on an off on the floor in the living room in the middle of whatever toys, or non-toys they want to play with . I usually nap/lounge until about 11. Then it’s lunch and playing, trying to clean the house, going to story time at the library. Only basketball practice tomorrow, but Big Steven has to work late and won’t be able to pick her up so I think we’re skipping practice and he’ll get in some skills work with her at his school gym. And…back to work for the next two nights.
I’ve always thought if I had to work a traditional 9-5 I would make it work or not work, as my whole check would go to childcare. Nursing is it’s own evil, there are so many options for hours, specialty areas, shifts:days, nights, weekends. I have so many options to choose from. I feel like this gives me the most time with my kiddos. I’m sure it’s not ideal for my partner because he doesn’t always get the “best me”…he get’s the exhausted cranky me sometimes. Of course he feels like I put everyone and everything before him, which isn’t the case but I can see that viewpoint.
The struggle is well worth it
Our house is a hott ass mess many days, my beauty or smell sometimes is not at it’s full potential some days. But… I love my babies, my boyfriend and my nursing career as much as one can love. I am blessed with the diversity of options I have to provide for my family. I am grateful for these opportunities on a daily.