I love weekends. Especially lazy summer weekends spent soaking up the sun and enjoying time with my family.
I also love my job. I am grateful to be able to work as a pediatric nurse and to do so part-time and with no on-call hours.
Yet...Sunday nights, even starting as early as Sunday morning, I always get the same anxiety. I want another day, another week, another month of weekend days. I don't want to wake in the morning to face my work voicemail and e-mail full of crisis. I don't want to leave my kids with Grandma- I want to be home with them.
I don't usually speak much about my Sunday anxiety. I feel terribly guilty about it. After all, I am blessed to have a job at all- let alone one that I am passionate about and I am also lucky to work part-time and have a Mom and Mother-in-law who take turns taking care of my children. There are so many blessings. I know this. Yet, the anxiety- sometimes mild, sometimes sickeningly strong- persists.
Recently I tentatively broached the topic with some friends and co-workers and found that they also struggle with the Sunday Night Blues. It felt sadly freeing to know that I'm not alone.
I don't remember having these feelings before I had children, but I imagine that I sometimes did. I think what brought my anxiety to a whole new level was the myth of work/life balance for working Mamas. I call it a myth because it is- there is no possible way to balance both working a high-stress job and being a Mama, although we each do the very best that we can. So, I spend my weekends trying to conquer everything that couldn't get done during the work week- housework, errands, bill paying, etc. all while trying to pack in as much precious time with my children as I can. When Sunday evening comes, I am often exhausted and feeling every bit of a failure as a mother because it never seems to be enough and work is looming in the morning.
This Working Mama(and stay-at-home Mama) business is rough. Rougher than I could express verbally to someone who isn't deep inside the grind themselves.
However, I'm ready to turn the Sunday Night Blues on it's head. I'm going to do my damnedest to be the best nurse and the best Mama that I can be and I'm also going to do my damnedest to let go of the chorus of "not enoughs" that are always running through my head. These years, hard as they are, are quickly passing and I am tired of spending one night every week in misery. I am determined to push aside the worries as much as I can and be present with my ever-growing children. They deserve for me to be present with them and I deserve a break from worry and self-flagellation.
Beyond the worry and persistent "not enoughs" that run through my mind is an opportunity to tap into the present moment and mine every bit of gold out of the precious seconds of the here and now. I am ready.