I am in constant awe of my children. They have both turned out so well. Which is baffling to me. When they were kids I was pretty sure I was parenting them wrong. I was an uneducated single mom living below the poverty line. We didn’t have cable TV. We did have DVD ‘s but no video games until the year I saved and got them a Wii. Our big thing was reading books and “Family Fun Night” which was watching a DVD or two and eating snacks for dinner.

How did I not mess them up?

First, my daughter. She is so much more mature than I was at her age. I remember working and going into the bathroom to cry because a customer got mad at me. Right now my daughter works at a grocery store and a customer was angry at her for not packing enough items into one grocery bag. This is our text conversation.

I wish I would have been able to laugh at rude people when I was 19. I wish I could do that now.

And then her outlook on sexuality. When I was 19 I would have died at the thought of getting a physical, by a man no less. Here my daughter asks me about a physical. She is more concerned about how long it’s going to take.

Yeah. Way, way more maturity. I’m well past 40 and still prefer a female over a male.

And then my son. I always worry that I am overstepping and asking too many questions. Here we were talking about what he and his friend, Josh were up to. I whited out a part of a conversation that we had been discussing earlier but I love what he says at the end.

It is such a simple thing but they both have jobs. They both vote. They both have a strong sense of values, morals and ethics. They are both… functional. So weird. I am poor, anxious, depressed and uneducated and I managed to not mess these two up. Weird.

In other news, work has been exhausting. I saw 18 people on Thursday, 21 on Sunday and 14 today. I don’t know how many people I saw Friday and Saturday because I forgot to count. It was a lot. Visits were everything from quick med calls to longer calls which require full care. The problem is, no time, and I mean not even an extra 5 minutes is given for anything to happen beyond what the call is for. On Sunday I went into a home and could smell urine immediately. The poor woman was stuck at the foot of her lift chair. She could not stand up and could not move backwards. She was soaked through her adult diaper and pants. The chair was soaked. I got her to the bathroom and found her clean clothes and gave her a quick but thorough wash. I got clean clothes on her, cleaned her chair and took her back to sit down and put a load in the washing machine. Then I went and prepared her lunch, the reason for the visit in the first place. And that’s not taking into account the recognition that she is a human that needs to be acknowledged and cared for and loved. That’s the biggest problem for me in this new way of doing things. I am not given time to sit and look at the person I am caring for and simply hear or see them. I can pretend to but in my thoughts I am thinking about who I am seeing next or if I missed someone or forgot to put on Mrs. Smith’s Exelon patch.

And with that, I am going to bed. I know there are all sorts of typos but I am just going to go to sleep instead of proofread.

14 thoughts on “

  1. Why be hard on yourself? Take a bit of credit for the glorious humans you brought into the world and guided through childhood. You are a warm and giving human being, and your children reflect that.

      • What Elizabeth said! Appreciate yourself, mama!
        And as to the number of patients you’re seeing- that’s insane. And you cannot possibly give the kind of care that humans deserve with those numbers. I am sure you do your job as well and thoroughly as anyone possibly could but there’s absolutely no time for the thing which people need the most which is simple human contact. I am so sorry. For the patients AND for you because I know it hurts you to have to function in such a way.

  2. Dear sweet Birdie.
    Please cut yourself some slack. As much as you would anyone else. You loved and supported your children despite your own difficulties. And it shows.
    I am so sorry that you are being forced to see tooooooo many people. It sounds as if they want a machine – to do a very human job.

  3. The fact that you CARED and loved them is what made the difference. Trust me, there are kids out there that rarely experience either of those things.
    Isn’t it wonderful to have a relationship with your young adult kids?
    I hope when I am elderly and possibly (hopefully not) needing care, I’ll have someone like you who helps me out. -Jenn

  4. “And that’s not taking into account the recognition that she is a human that needs to be acknowledged and cared for and loved.” Oh, Birdie. I don’t know how you do it.

    Your kids are a product of you. Relish the hard work it took to get them to this point. Good job.

  5. You are obviously a fantastic mom! I think growing up without all the ‘things’ but plenty of love is the best sort of parenting there can be.

  6. Ah Birdie, your last paragraph: THAT is why your children have turned out so well. You set and example for them of humanity, kindness, care, and even when you thought you weren’t doing it right, still, they could always feel your loving intention toward them. It’s who you are. And now it is who they are.

  7. Why do you put yourself down so much. You shouldn’t. You raised two beautiful wonderful kids with a limited income and no help. They turned out great. You do so much for everyone you come into contact with but never for yourself. Really, Birdie, you matter in this crazy world. You did great! Don’t put yourself down.

  8. People would say to me all the time, “your job must be so filling…you really get to help people!” The truth is that no, as a nurse I didn’t get to help people. I ran from patient to patient like an insane monkey, just trying to keep them alive. I didn’t have time to eat or pee on a my 12 hour shifts and I certainly didn’t have time to give anyone the care they needed and deserved. It was the most depressing, most demoralizing feeling in the world. I don’t even know how healthcare can be turned around at this point. Many hugs, Birdie.

  9. It’s not whether you’re above or below the poverty line that raises good children. It’s all the good things we teach them, and all the love and support and encouragement and guidance we give. And it looks like you’ve done that just right!

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