Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for Change

For almost two years I have been a pediatric trauma social worker in an emergency department of a Level 1 Trauma Center Hospital. It's been a job that certainly has had its frustrations (see the whole Cubicle Chronicles series for proof of that).

It's also been a job that had challenged me in many of the best ways possible. I've grown. I've learned. I've challenged my own beliefs and stereotypes. I've sat with families who are acutely grieving their children. I have seen some of the horrific things people do to each other and found that I have the strength to see it through. I have been embraced and taught by nurses, techs, doctors, other social workers, and all the other people it takes to run this kind of joint.  I've learned which kinds of antibiotics you should use for which kinds of STD's (pharmacists talk about that crap a lot. Also, I didn't say everything I'd learned has been helpful). I can now even stomach the site of blood and not cry when I see a needle (that's huge for me, people!). There is no doubt that I have become a much better social worker. And I don't know that there has ever been a job that has suited me better.


There is also no doubt that while working this job, I have become a worse mother, a worse friend, a worse wife. While I've loved being at this job, when I'm here, I'm missing out on my children's lives. My children no longer complain when I leave to go to work. E simply says, "you go to work again, Momma?", sighs and walks away; it's become their normal. And that's not okay. Heck, I'm missing out on my own life. So, try as I might to make the professional fulfillment I've found here mesh with my other roles in life, I've not been able to do it. My husband, our marriage, my children, and many others, they've all suffered.

And so, on this Thanksgiving, I am so very thankful for the growth and opportunities my ED job as provided me and equally thankful for my new job. One that will allow me to be more present for my children and my husband. One that doesn't involve working nights, weekends, or holidays. One that will hopefully help me continue to grow. I don't know that it will give me the same kind of professional fulfillment that I've had in this one. But I'm okay with that. Because what I need more than professional fulfillment right now, is my kids. And what they need is me.

Also, this new job, well, it even comes with an actual office, y'all, with a door and everything. Goodbye, tiny 4ft x 6ft cubicle shared with two other women. You, I am thrilled to walk away from.

So, as I walk out of the ED for the last time just over an hour from now, a place and job that has meant so much to me for the last 2 years, I am so thankful for what I've learned and accomplished. And so very grateful for what's to come.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

3 years, 1 month, and 3 weeks

Hey, so remember that? You know when I went on and on and got all weepy and snotty because E was done nursing? Oh, you probably couldn't see the weepy and snotty part. Lucky you. It wasn't pretty. At any rate. How about we say "just kidding" or "never mind" or "pretend that didn't happen". Because, well, it lasted about another day after I posted that.

He waltzed into the room at bed time and sweetly asked, "Momma, I have some mulp-mease?". And I said, "hell yeah!". And, yes, I actually said that. To my 3yo. Don't judge. And, actually, he screamed it at me and was tired and cranky. And it wasn't all that cute. But I so didn't care. Hubby was all, "are you really going to give in to him?". And I was all, "hell yeah!". Still in front of the 3yo. But he hasn't repeated that phrase yet, so I'm going with it was fine. And then I did give in to him. And I gave into me.

And I learned a few things.

First, neither E nor I are quite ready to give up nursing.

Second, I'm totally okay with that.

Third, holy moly, momma needs that daily (or at least every other day) shot of oxytocin. Seriously, y'all, it made a huge difference in my mood. When we are finally ready to wean, I'm going to be forced to find an alternate source of oxytocin. Or another baby. One of those two things.

Fourth, and last, there is nothing sweeter than your baby (even when he's three) climbing into your lap, gently patting your cheek, and settling in to nurse. It is a contentment like no other. For both of us.

My baby is 3 years, 1 month, and 3 weeks old. And he is still nursing. It may not be over just yet, but I know the time is coming soon. And I will treasure this time while I have it.

Today's Lesson: Decisions aren't permanent. Just because something is the right thing to do at a particular moment, that doesn't mean it will be the next moment. It's okay to make a different decision the next time 'round. Sometimes it's what we all need.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Merry Halloween

Sometimes we get confused about our holidays around here. So Happy Halloween. Or Merry Christmas. One of those two.

E's tree costume came from a friend. The Kid wore it several years ago and I just had to have E wear it, too. And, I just had to have the boys coordinate this year. Even though all the kid wanted was to be Superman. Again. At any rate, my awesome friend, JE, made the kid's costume and then loaned us her beautiful baby in her own fabulous themed costume to complete the adorableness. 

And, yes, E's tree does light up. And, yes, the kid does have on tights. So, really, it's just about the same thing as Superman. Right? Right.

Today's Lesson:  Some things are just cute, like in the best way possible. This is one of them.