So, I’ve been dealing with this for a while now. And it’s just a part of a bigger thing but it deserves its own entry so I’ll just focus on this first.
I was a pediatric nurse where I came from. I worked long hours (O.T.Y. most of the time-over time/thank you a.k.a. No overtime pay) at a government hospital (where we take an oath every Monday to serve all those in need, even beyond our hours,etc).
Please understand that I honestly do not want to make such a big deal out of what I do. That’s my job. But i just felt, I’m really at loss for words for this, there must be a proper word for this or at least let me find the right one. Can i say, judged? Misunderstood? Help me out with the words. I missed A LOT of family time, birthdays of friends, families, heck-even my own birthday! Anniversaries, Christmas, labor day, you name it!
But you know what’s worse? Taking care of strangers when you can’t take care of your own family when they’re sick. From where i worked, it’s not that easy to file for a sick leave. I was suffering from my own disease and when i called in sick, i was asked to still try to report for duty! I ended up getting confined at a nearby hospital when i almost collapsed at home. Needless to say, i didn’t make it to work.
There was a time when my husband, then my boyfriend was sick and he is RARELY sick. I got home from my night shift at around 10 a.m. (it’s a really ling commute), took a nap and bought him a late lunch. I got to his house (he lives nearby) at 3:30 p.m., just as I arrived, I got a call saying they’re short on staff and had to report at 6 p.m. sharp. I travel 2-3 hours depending on traffic so I left immediately. No, I didn’t get to eat with him ( I wasn’t able to eat at all). Yes, he was pissed but also understood that it’s my job.
If I were to recall the number of times my mom got sick, my grandpa got sick, my brother got sick, my sister was sick, my father was sick, my nephew was sick, my boyfriend was sick, (hey-I was sick) and didn’t get to take care of them(or even myself), I can’t because I’ve already lost count. And to know that i am caring for strangers; And to know that these people I know are counting on me-and I am repeatedly disappointing them, neglecting them by not being there for them. Even if they know that I have a job to attend to, that I have to leave them for others who need me more, nothing could change the fact that I WAS NOT there for them when they needed me. And there would always be that phone call, that look on their faces, imprinted on my memory when they need me to be there and all I can say is, “I have work” or “I’m on duty”. And that silence before they say, “I understand. I just wish you could be here,you know. But it’s ok. I understand.” And my heart breaks a hundred tiny pieces and I try to find and put them back together, taking care of people i didn’t know. And there-the reality that despite my best efforts to balance my time, my life revolved around my career.
Here I am, exactly 2 years and 4 1/2 months later after I resigned. I have a very happy 6-month old baby boy who I would not trade for anything or anyone else. I devote all my time and energy so I would not miss anything with my little one. And here yet again, I hear people saying, “don’t you ever get bored?”, “what do you do all day?”, “what a waste of a bachelor’s degree”, “Don’t you have any plans to work again?”, And I wonder, why does “job/career” give out such a power that those who do not have it somehow lose a part of their dignity?
I mustn’t care what they say and somehow, I do. I am hurt when people look at me, unemployed, a stay at home mom who depends on her husband for money, useless to them. I don’t want this to be a rant for appreciation but there it is, the world who hates.
It judges the Diane who worked and hates the Diane who chose to be there for her child. It judges the Diane who had financial independence but never seem to have enough time and the Diane who depends on her husband but is always there for her family. The world who doesn’t know what I go through, how I felt, how I feel, what I do, what I went through.
The world who has no right to speak to me as cruelly as it does for it is never contented. It just eats up what it can and I can’t let it eat me up. I have to be strong for my son. He needs me more than anyone in this world. And that just put things in perspective. Molding him to be the man the Lord wants him to be, raising a human being, being there for my son, that’s what matters most for me now.
I have reached a point where being there is more important. I will never get this day–or ANY day back. Family first. Quality time. Ah! There it is–what I never seem to have enough of before-time! I have it and I will spend it all on my loved ones. No more missed birthdays, Christmas is with my loved ones and not a 3 a.m. lonely dinner after a post mortem care. My pride can drown itself where I cannot see it for all I care! My husband’s providing for us AND the rest of the world can shut up- Because it’s not contributing to me other than my misery. So to you who listened to my rantings, cheers!