Well I feel much better after ranting in my last post. I threw a fit yesterday (in my head at least) when my scheduler at work informed me she scheduled me for a 7th weekend in a row, six days straight and more than 50 hrs in seven days. My son has been pointing at my picture and saying "Ma Ma Ma Ma" just before his 7:00pm bedtime which most days I barely make it home for. This saddens me because just pointing at my picture and attempting to say my name takes incredible effort for him and he only does things like this when he is desperate for something. Its not that I feel I am neglecting him in any way. I spend every ounce of attention on him that I can when we are together, its just I feel we are not together as much as we would both like to be. Then I began thinking I am one of the lucky people who in this economy are sought out for more work rather than less and my patients and their families request more time with me than other staff for the same reason my son does, they enjoy my care. I should be thankful.
I think its harder though for a mother to go off to work and be the primary breadwinner of the family than it is for a father. I am not saying that there are not some fathers who are drawn to being home with the family and deeply miss their children while they are at work. I do think though that overall mothers feel more torn than fathers. My fiance happily stays home to care for the children but he says he does miss working outside of the home at times and he would not feel badly about going off to work if it meant providing for us. Whereas I feel torn between providing financially and emotionally for them. Both my fiance and I came from homes where our mother's worked. We grew up in the same era, same town, same circle of friends and yet we see this differently. He sees his mother as a strong, capable woman who choose to provide for their family and does not feel he missed time with her. I remember missing my mother deeply when she also worked as a nurse and her shifts were long, and weekend work was frequent. I also remember her handling the juggling of it very well. I simply never want my children to feel that deep sense of longing to have more time with my mother that I experienced and it is clear by my son's communication attempts that he feels this way.
But my pity party has ended. The situation is what it is. I can only learn from my mother's example to do the best I can with what I have and attempt to set some limits with my employer and hope that my children are not discouraged when we miss a few hours with one another.