Happy Nurses Week! I could get all snarky here about how they are rewarding us at work with carts of M&Ms & pringles (take only one please!) while having us worked understaffed, but I will set that aside. Actually, the president of the hospital walked around our unit on Sunday morning at 9:30 am and I think he went around generally unrecognized (a coworker was wondering why is this unfamiliar doctor walking around wishing everyone Happy Nurses Week!?) but since I’d been to orientation recently, I recognized him and gave a hearty hello and he thanked me for my work and he asked if there was anything he could do for me and I made some quip about having him take care of my patients today and he said he’d be ready to do that if I take over the admin of the hospital and we laughed. I told this story to Jeremy when I got home and he said – you didn’t say something about being paid more or working understaffed or having predictable schedules or any labor issues? I sighed and I said I was not ready to take that on at 9:30 on a Sunday morning. I’m lame, I know. The main thing I want to say about Happy Nurses Week is that I’m going part time at the end of the month and will essentially control my schedule from here on out – I made it 10 months full time with a huge logistical strain to the family and my own other interests – though nursing is a big interest of mine, so it was front and center for the whole family for 10 months. I’m still learning so much every day at the hospital, I find it challenging in all the ways I expected to to challenge me and I do find it rewarding even though it involves a lot of poop. I also often feel like I should quit because it overwhelming all the time. I thought when I started and knew I wanted to go part time, I’d drop to a day a week, but now I’m loyal to my unit (I have a good, kind boss and very good charge nurses) and I know that I’d need to practice more than that to keep it up and anyways, you need to kind of work two days a week to see how patient care is resolved or not resolved. We’ll see how it meshes with the family’s schedule. I am always baseline tired, I feel like I’m never fully recovered from work, but I’m happy (generally).
There was this article in the NYTimes about how husbands think that they are stepping up to do half the family work, but they really aren’t doing half of the work, but I want to say that Jeremy did so much work to make this whole thing possible for me. Almost all the logistics with child care and coordination for the kids, so much cooking and packing lunches and switching out pee stained clothes from Edda’s backpack and making sure school had diapers and all the things. Jeremy packs my lunch for me so when I need to leave the house at 6 am, it is possible for me to sleep until 5:45 am. And he usually cooks dinner and cleans up the whole kitchen afterwards. He did this all while managing his own tough situations at his work which at times were bad enough that he wasn’t sleeping well at night. I also am grateful to myself to care less about things. They mention in the article about women caring more about things like laundry or homework or whatever and I gave up caring a long time ago. First of all, Jeremy cares about laundry as much as I do. I will tell you I’ve left Vince’s laundry unwashed for six months when I thought he was old enough to do it himself. I stopped caring (it’s not actually that I stopped caring) so much about Vince’s homework. I did not sign up to access his grades. I do not know how he is doing moment by moment in his classes. I actually thought long and hard about his homework and college stuff and various other things like getting permission slips done in time or whatever and I decided that it was his job to do all that and if he needed anything that he’d have to find me. He’s old enough, it’s his job to figure that stuff out. And I forced myself to do that by being away from the house more. I thought it was more important to show him how I was pursuing the things I wanted to do and how the family (mostly Jeremy) accommodated that pursuit and less important for him to be forced to master all the details of AP physics which is what I would have made him to do if I had even one moment of spare time his whole junior year. No SAT boot camps, no college counselors which are rampant in the neighborhood. I want to say, I was only willing to do this because I know in the depths of my heart that Vince is a good kid and will be fine. I can’t say I would have parented a different child the same way. I can’t say I did it the best way, because who knows how it all will turn out. And it’s not to say I don’t get periodically anxious about it and fret about imaginged lost opportunities. He’s not doing school the way I would do school, but he also knows that I’m not parenting the way lots of other parents are parenting. He has friends that run the whole gamut from the ones gunning for Stanford/Harvard to the ones that are failing out and their parents are threatening them with boarding school. He can see how much they work and he can see how much their parents are or are not pushing them. Ah Vince! You are making it through your junior year, I’m so happy for you. Just a few AP tests and finals to go. And I’m also at peace with Edda and her own school situation. Could I be more involved? Insist on more things? Take on more of her care? I suppose so. I did very, very little of the hands-on-care for Edda this past year. I’m ok with that for now. I like the school and mainly I know what I wish for the most I can’t have.
May brings not only May Day (International Worker’s Day) and May 4th (Star Wars Day) but also Bike to Work Month. OMG it’s like May 6th and Jeremy’s already ridden something like 185 miles to work. I asked if it was included in the rules that you could take the “long way” to work and he said that the rules explicitly states that you can take the long way as long as you start from the house and end at work and then start your work day. This has resulted in a 75 mile ride to work last week. He has figured out that he has ridden about 18,000 miles on his bikes and this means that he has ridden a bike from here to Singapore and back. My husband is crazy.