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HK Bar Life Today

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It was a beautiful sunrise on the HK Bar this morning. After working a swing shift (nurse) last night and then getting up with the girls this morning, I was tired before I even started. But I just couldn’t miss seeing the start of a new day.

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We started our day the usual way baths, dressing, fixing four different hairstyles, and breakfast. The girls and I have been on an oatmeal kick. I better enjoy the easy prepared breakfast while they are still enthusiastic about it, because I know soon enough I’ll be back to cooking fried eggs, potaotes, pancakes or some such other breakfast.

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After we got Captain Boo off to school Bunny, Owl, and I did our morning chores and then went for a walk with the dogs. Even though I was tired it felt great to be out in the fresh cold air. The girls were full of giggles and energy. Much like the pack of dogs!

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The rest of the am was spent baking bread, me prepping two meals for the family today while I’m gone at work. If I don’t cook, I know hubby will take them to McDonalds. Cleaning, laundry, reading and doing lessons with the littles took up the rest of the time. Eli and I managed to sneak in a thirty minutes nap when the girls went down for thiers.

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So now its off to the shower and another swing shift for me! Can’t stop or I’ll just drop!

Until next time!

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Sharing A Small World

It’s been a little over two years now that my world became smaller in so many ways. My journey from full time nurse to stay at home mom has narrowed my world immensely. Mind you, I don’t mean this negatively,  but realistically. Being a stay at home mom has been one of the greatest joys of my life. But it was a drastic change indeed.

I used to read four different newspapers before a 6 a.m. nursing shift, devour a dozen novels in a week, spend hours riding my horses, decide to pick up for the weekend on a whim; I did all these things and more with no abandon.

And then I became a mother.

And my world became smaller.

My reality went from career driven nurse by day, and horse adventurist by night to the mom wearing three day old clothes with spit up crusted in my hair comparing diapers in the baby department after being sleep deprived for weeks on end.

Sitting here tonight with my cat, Eli, on my lap I was reminded about these changes over my recent past. I couldn’t help but think how small his world seems to me, and how much alike we truly are. After all he is a house cat and a little over 2,000 square feet is his/our whole world, my husband, Boo, Owl, and Bunny are often the only human interactions we have for days on end, we are both ridiculously excited by food, and anything bright and shiny, and we always seem to seek each other out.

I’m so thankful to have a companion to share my small world with me. He’s an unwavering testament that happiness doesn’t require a BIG world.

My Eli looks out the window at the birds and the trees and the big world that lies beyond his small world. He knows there is a big world out there, and he knows that someday he can venture out once again into this big world via his small world. But until then, much like me he  is content to soak up the laughter of the girls, to bask in the warmth of my husband, to feel these fleeting moments till they are engrained on our bones…..because he, like I, know that this small world won’t last forevor and one day all too soon we will be shoved back into a bigger world.

I’ve found my “smaller world” holds so much more happiness and profoundness than my “big world” ever did. And I thank my boy Eli for reminding me of this.

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Eli

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Life is Juggling

I look at my life like I am a juggler. I juggle different balls, the first ball is “Mother”. I feel like this ball is often my heaviest. I put huge weight into being a good mom to my three girls. Everything from basic needs, feeding, clothing bathing to more complex ideas like social, spiritual, and intellectual growth are all jam packed into this one heavy ball. It may be a heavy ball, but its one I love dearly.

The second ball is ” wife”. A somewhat less intimidating ball of medium weight but still of great importance. This medium weight ball demands nurturing and continuing to grow a relationship. It demands faith and attention and trust among other things.

The third ball is what I call me the “divine” ball. This one represents my faith and spiritual journey through God. Its a ball that I drop often when the other balls seem to get heavier. Instead I need to value and cherish this one more. It gives strength where some others cannot.

The fourth ball is “career and household”. This is the ball I drop and neglect the most. Laundry goes undone, bills go unpaid, dishes stay unwashed, etc. I don’t take as many shifts at work, or I don’t put as much time into Little Horse Company.

The fifth ball is ” animals”. I love my animals dearly and they are never put on the back burner. They demand care needs like people do, emotional and physical well being. They require a great amount of time and effort.

This juggling act that is my life really runs pretty well. Sure Some balls get heavier than others at times, I drop balls, my timing gets off, and sometimes I throw them all down and pick them back up adding them back in one by one  into my juggling act.

Sometimes this juggling act goes smoothly, sometimes not. But I realize it sure is amazing I have been blessed with so many balls. (Theoretically speaking).

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Losing People Skills?

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a number of things. I used to be a full time nurse until I had my last two daughters 10.5 months apart and my husband and I felt I was called to be home raising our girls. I am also a horseman and very enthusiastic entrepreneur of anything equine, except track racing. ( I think the horses bred in so many great numbers just to be thrown away just because they don’t run fast is shameful.) I am also a lapsed Catholic whom recently rejoined the church. I am a wife to an amazing man who is tough, loving, and a bona fide workaholic.

So for the past 16 months I have been a sahm (stay at home mom) to our three daughters Boo, 5 ,Owl, 2 , and Bunny 1. I work occasionally as a nurse to keep up my liscence and skills. But my day to day interactions have been with slobbering, chest beating, little humans that often speak in one word conversations. Some days the only adult interaction I have is with the bank teller at the drive thru bank. Am I complaining? No, just stating facts. I love being home with my girls.

That being said, sometimes I feel like I am losing my interpersonal and communication skills. The past two months I have been picking up an average of four nursing shifts a week. I’ve been finding it necessary to have articulate adult conversations that don’t involve me explaining why the sky is blue, or why you should not stick peas up your nose, or why you shouldn’t put a chair on top of the fridge and then attempt to stand on it. (Yes, I’m serious. Story for another day).

I find myself stumbling over words and not being very eloquent in my speaking. I find myself wondering if the age old saying if you don’t use it you lose it is ringing true!? Have I been around little people too long? Have I lost the ability to carry on a normal sensible conversation that doesn’t require pointing and grunting?

Well, another nursing shift is calling so I better end this thought here. Cheers to being amongst people, finding my eloquence, and once again finding my voice.

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Giving Life the Finger

Sometimes I just want to flip life in general the bird. I want to fly my middle finger to all the crap going wrong. Have you ever wanted to?

Here’s my advice…

Don’t waste your time…

You’ll end up with more going wrong than right..

How do I know?

You see, today I gave life the proverbial middle finger, I literally stood in my kitchen flipping my bills on my desk off.

Crazy, ummmm, yes probably.

Then my five year old daughter Boo walks in and sees my fit of craziness. She says,
“Mom, what are you doing? Have you lost your mind? Daddy says we aren’t supposed to make that gesture…..it means fu#* off….and that’s not something nice cowgirls say. Straighten up and put that finger to use, go work or something.”

Really Boo? I think my five year old is secretly a super hero. So much knowledge and understanding of the world around her.

In all my frustration, I lost sight of focusing my energy toward fixing and planning. Instead I lost my mind in front of my five year old and commenced to making rude gestures at my desk full of paperwork.

And then Boo told her dad, “Dad you really need to have a talk with mom about her hand gestures…..you know like the one we had about not flipping people or things off.”

So point being…..if you ever feel like giving life the bird….

Don’t….

Because you’ll end up showing your five year old your nutcase side, and then you’ll get a lesson in edicate, and then you’ll get to find a way to explain it all to your husband without sounding even more crazy…

Do as my daughter said, put your hands to better use.     

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Surviving the work week

I have survived so far! Its hard getting  out of bed in the morning after four or five hours of sleep, but it will be worth it. For those of you just now reading; I volunteered to pick up some prn hours at the facility I work at as a nurse. I’m usually stay at home mom to our three girls but the chance came up to make some money so husband and I figured out our schedules so he can be home with our girls while I’m at work in the evenings.

There has been good and bad from the new schedule. I find myself more motivated to get my household chores done in a more timely manner. Knowing I don’t have time in the evenings since I’m at work, I get it done right away instead of the “Ill do it later” attitude I am famous for adopting. I cook all three meals early in the morning before the kids wake up. Other positive is we should be able to get in a little bit better financial situation. We aren’t in the red, but we toe the line closely. 🙂

The bad is obviously been not seeing my girls in the evenings. No tucking them into bed and telling them my wild, made up bedtime horse stories. Although I think they are liking cartoon time with daddy. I say 30 minutes a day and he leaves the TV run even if no one is watching it. Also other drawback has been less sleep. Bit what mom isn’t used to lack of sleep?

Just thought I’d check in. Yes, I’m surviving, yes I am loving getting to work and contribute financially to the household, and its great being a nurse. I love my people.

Post to follow about the easy meals I’ve prepared so my family still has a home cooked meal.

Peace to you on this Epiphany Day!

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Even Great Nurses Get Burnt Out

I know many a great nurse that has gotten burnt out. Nurses give and give and give and then they run out of all they have to give and then they keep giving what they don’t have.

How do I know?

Because I have been that nurse. I have been the nurse that wants to threaten the sweet little old lady in room 2 that keeps pushing her call light every five minutes. Nurses, you know the one I’m talking about (sometimes a sweet man). The one that should test call light buttons for durability like crash dummies test car crashes. I have been the nurse that robotically reads MARS and dispenses medicine. I have been the nurse that cries because I have to clock in for a shift.
I have been the nurse that has nothing left to give.
I have been the burnt out nurse.

I know an exceptional nurse that was once struggling with burn out. I remember her telling me she found work monotonous. Sure she cared for her patients and did her job, but she was just empty. She had given till she had nothing left to give.

This same nurse also told me something ill never forget, she said,

I wish I could go slap labels on cans for a couple months and then come back. That’d fix me.”

I had to chuckle when she told me this because I remember a time when I myself was so burnt out and tired. I was working swing shift with a small child and a husband that worked an opposite shift. It was a scheduling nightmare. I never saw my husband or child in the same hours and  I got little to no sleep. I reached a point that I turned in my notice as a nurse because I had gotten a job washing dogs. Yes, I was that burnt out. Then I realized at midnight that there was no way I could support my small family on the income of a dog washer. Then I called my boss sobbing because I wanted to revoke my notice. Yes, at midnight, yes, I was that burnt out.

My point in writing this? I guess if I had to pick a reason, I’d say its to make people aware that even good great exceptional nurses sometimes get burnt out . We are hard wired to give until there is nothing left to give. Its a trait that makes us good great exceptional nurses, this inborn need to give our all.

But know at some point all your giving will leave you empty. The good news? You can be filled back up.

How do I know?

Because I was once that nurse.

To all my nurse friends, burn out only happens to the best of us. Because we give and give and give….until we have nothing left to give.