Saturday, November 17, 2012

Working 9 to 5

I got a job. It's only part-time, and I'm so not sure how long I want to do this. Orientation was a bear and I've committed to giving myself until first of the year before I decide if I like it or not.

I really enjoy my job when I'm actually working. We work a lot with chronic and terminal patients, providing them with medication administration that makes them feel better. I can see I am making a difference to them. I know that my clinical skills allow for them to be treated gently and that I make a huge difference in their day when they come to see me.

I had asked the director of Hospice if I could work for them. She felt I would make an amazing Hospice nurse but she only hires Bachelor prepared nurses. Having my Bachelors in Sociology didn't compensate for lacking my Bachelor's in Nursing. So, hospice was not an option at this point in time.

I then experienced a health crisis and brought L back to homeschooling and really thought I would just not job seek afterall. However, I made a committment this spring that when Micah died I would need to go back to work for awhile. I am highly introverted and I know I can hole up in my grief and shut the world out. I knew I would need to have something consistent like a job to force me to step out of my hermitage.

Then, I saw a position that fit with my last several years of experience perfectly, and I had a direct connection to the department, so I knew I could get them to see beyond my not earning a paycheck and recognize I have been nursing all of these years. So, on a whim I applied. Three weeks later, I got the job and this month I began working again.

I am only working part-time. For now, I have three days per week, now that I'm out of orientation. In the upcoming year, I will likely drop to 2 days per week when we go to 12 hour shifts for all of us in the department. I had to work more than that for orientation and it was pure torture for me and the kids, but it's just part-time now.

After the last experience with a nanny, finding safe and reliable childcare was vital to whether I could take the job. When at-home, I never had to account for needing childcare for my babies. In college, II and I balanced our classes so we didn't need full-time childcare. I had a good friend that the babies LOVED who watched them for the one gap in the week we had, and in exchange I watched her kids once a week. She was awesome for my kids and they still love and miss her dearly since we have moved. However, she was not my lesson in childcare balancing acts.

Our current provider is wonderful with the kids. Like their part-time caregiver before the nanny disaster she gushes constantly about how wonderful they are. However, she had an emergency right as I was starting back to work and thus I got to learn in a trial by fire how you balance work and childcare.

For all of the working mothers out there, let me say this is exhausting! KUDOS to you for working at finding that balance and not throwing your hands up in frustration. My patience in this arena is still a work in progress. Mostly I am grateful our caregiver is back to work and I only have one conflict in my schedule before the end of the year now.

So, now I am working, part-time, and homeschooling two children, and in the spare time I don't really have I balance the needs of the rest of this large family. Then to make sure life stays VERY interesting, I will return to academics in January. Fortunately, my classroom time will be done online for my BSN. However, my clinical work will need to be yet another day I step out of the house and leave my babies. I am hopeful I will have transitioned to 12 hour shifts before I begin those clinicals so I will simply remain at 3 days out of the home and still spend the rest of my time here and available for my family.

I don't know if this is a career path for me or not. When I am at work, I love what I am doing. I am quickly gaining confidence and less dazed about the normal functions of my department. However, I miss my babies like crazy--the big ones AND the little ones. I miss being home and seeing all of their steps and being 100 percent available for them. I just do not know if I will continue this for long or if I will give this six months, consider it an honest effort made and come back home. I figure only time will determine that answer.

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