Dear Staff Nurse – A Letter to the One I spoke to Tonight…
20th December 2015
Dear Staff Nurse,
You just asked if I could come in more… Dedicate more time to my daughter who hasn’t left the ward for 6 weeks. You tried to explain that it’s hard when you’re busy to give her the attention she needs. But your question, to a broken Mummy, sounded more like an accusation.
I am broken. Broken through trying to be everything to everyone. Broken because I feel so guilty. Broken to the point where I always feel tired, my hair is falling out and I can’t control my mood.
My baby has been under your care for 6 weeks; 6 weeks I’ve been driving a 50 mile round trip on a daily basis.
My husband works shifts; he needs to work these shifts to pay for the daily 50 mile round trips; the car I travel in; the fuel I use; I’m sure you are aware how much it all costs.
I have 3 other children; oh, how I wish I didn’t at the moment. I have a 10 year old and a 6 year old who need to be taken to school and picked up; I have a toddler who has a snotty cold (and by bringing him in I’d not only be putting my own baby at risk but the other cardiac and renal patients on the ward); I have a home to keep ticking over (making sure there is food in the cupboards to eat and clean clothes to wear.
I understand that you didn’t mean it; but I already feel like I am failing. My head is barely above water as it is. Being on the end of the phone made it more impersonal and more of a criticism. I don’t want to be down the hospital anymore.
I want to be there for my baby. But I’m trying to cope in whichever way I can. You were on the receiving end of my anger tonight. You hit a raw nerve… You caused my guilt to surface.
I appreciate everything you do for my baby on a daily basis… but please understand it isn’t that I don’t want to be there, I’m just trying to keep my head above the water.
Beth is a 30-something, self-employed Mum rediscovering her connection to British History and nature. Her loves include the discovery of knowledge, walking in the woods, and writing, among others. Beth is a Virtual Assistant at The Happy VA.