7AM this morning.
I just finished one of the more challenging call weeks I have had in a long while. The volume of calls was one issue it was not the problem so much as the timing of the calls.
Two calls came back to back as I was packing up to go get my kids from school, already pushing the envelope where if I don’t pick them in the next ten minutes they were going to be given away to some other family.
Another came when I was getting the kids buckled into their seats in the school parking lot.
Several came during the 30 minute drive home, requiring me to pull over and address them.
While trying to get dinner ready for two very hungry kiddos. Several while eating dinner.
In the midst of homework, piano, readers.
Several nights as I was getting the kids ready for bed.
All day long on Saturday…
Don’t get me wrong, taking call is part of my job. I get paid for people to have access to me at all hours, to miss out on the things I want to do instead like catching up on Game of Thrones. It is what it is.
My kids, however, do not understand that there are times mommy has to be a doctor first and a mommy second. Typically when I get a call they act out.
Screaming, crying, fighting, begging…
“Please, don’t go, mommy! Stay and hold my hand just one more minute.”
I understand why they do it, why that is the exact time that they desire my attention most. Jealousy. Someone else gets mamma’s attention and that is not cool. But understanding does not make it any easier.
The whole thing is exhausting and I hate it with every fiber of my being.
This week, though, they both seemed more at peace. They wanted to “help” but they didn’t fight it. They did not throw screaming fits. They sat quietly, snuggled up next to me, and waited. It was almost pleasant.
So much less stressful.
That helped me tremendously.
Maybe they are finally old enough to understand?
I picked them up early from school the Thursday before my call week started and told them that I had informed all the sick people they would just have to figure something else out because I was taking my kids to go get hot chocolate instead. My son and daughter repeated this to me over and over again, laughing gleefully, as we sat on the porch of the coffee shop sipping away.
“Tell us again what you told those sick people, mommy!”
It made an impression.
Maybe they just needed to know that they could be more important sometimes, too…