Thursday, June 11, 2009

talk about a guilt trip...

... When I told my son I was taking this summer's classes online and that I would be home in the evenings he hugged me tight around my neck and said "that is what I've been praying for!".

Turns out, I am having to devote more time to these 2 classes then anticipated and last night my son again hugged me tight around the neck and "mommy, I miss you."

One time he asked if I become a nurse will I still be his mommy. Other times he has wondered why I want to be a nurse. Try explaining job security and financial stability to a six year old.

All he understands is that mom has less time with him, less time to read to him before bed, less time at the dinner table and less time to sleep with translates into a stressed and distracted mom. I am not "there", in every sense of the word.

He is a bright and intuitive boy. He has a chance at a wonderful future with his 145 IQ and gifted placement in school. I dare say there is more hope for him then me. I feel selfish devoting so much time to my own studies and pursuits and less time helping him with homework and school projects. He needs me to be there. To be a his mom, not be some one elses nurse.

I keep asking myself, what am I doing? I am taking such a big risk... a risk I don't think I have the luxury to take when my child is my duty and should be my #1 priority.

Eventually in the next year I will have to quit my job as my studies intensify. Nursing school is a full time job in itself. How will I support us being unemployed. I have a meager savings but it would run out after a year. Then there's always the possibility I fail out of the program. Let's face it, I do not have my son's IQ. Learning does not come without much great effort for me. So I fail out and have no job to return to, then what happens to us?!? Now, I wonder, if this is a time to take such financial risks.

Today, everything feels wrong. Today I feel like I am abandoning my duties as a parent and not fulfilling my vocation as a mother. Today I feel selfish.

In my mind I rationalized that pursuit of my career goals and education was so I could better myself and provide a better life for my son... one unlike my child hood, which was filled with instability and uncertainty. I never want to make my son have to get a job while he is in school flipping burgers because his mom can't pay the bills. I have been working since I was 13. I am so very tired of scraping by. This seems like my one chance to escape the cycle of poverty... and I am so close. Hungrily I can taste it. Determined I move forward careful not to let anything side track me or slow me down.

Sadly, my success will be total failure if the result's my son suffering the loss of his mom.

Damn. I feel so selfish today. Today I just ask that God help me sort it out.


Angela M. said...

I was going to type out my story but it's too depressing - just know you are in my prayers. This is a hard decision. And it doesn't get easier when they are teens. It seems they need you available even more than when they were little.

Donna said...

Oh dear Cannonball,
It's such a shame that you feel so guilty. Selfish? Absolutely not. You're trying to make a living for you and your son. What can possibly be selfish about that? I sense that your job that you now have does not adequately provide for the two of you. What is wrong with wanting to escape poverty--and show your son that hard work pays? Fail out of nursing school? I seriously doubt it. I'm around students all the time. Your blog, alone, shows your keen intelligence. Nursing is a good and honorable profession, one that pays a decent salary. Children do say things that pull at our heartstrings. Don't let the emotion that tugs at you grind at your resolve to do what is right. Your son will rise and call you blessed one day. No doubt about it.

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Sometimes to truly do what's good for our family, we need to sacrifice a little. My Little Girl will be 8 this summer, and I've been working for the last year + (from home, but still...) to pay off our debts as quickly as possible. I just blogged today about my struggles to homeschool amidst my busy work schedule, even if it's only 20 hours/week. There's been guilt, but I'm working on adjusting things to make life easier.

One thing we did when we started on the Dave Ramsey plan (Total Money Makeover) was actually explain to the girls (then 9 and 6) that we had to take care of the money situation or we'd be in big trouble. They've sacrificed a lot - we sold our minivan, Mommy works from home, we miss out on a lot of co op field trips, etc. - but they know that we are trying to make things more secure. The biggest thing about my working, which causes the biggest hardships on them as my children and students, was explaining that it was temporary. Eventually, that grueling schedule would end, and I'd be Mommy-only again.

He might seem young, but if you explain - in children's terms, naturally - that you are trying to make sure that your family is more secure in the future, I'm willing to bet he'd understand enough.

And nursing is a really, really good field to go into right now. Hospitals can't find enough good nurses, and I can tell you that you can make BIG money as a nurse. My sister is part-time at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, and I nearly fell down when she told me what she's paid.

Mind you, I won't make a good nurse. Not being able to watch a needle poke someone makes it kind of difficult to do it right, if you know what I mean.

Oh, one last thing about the are most certainly capable, if your blog is any indication. Flashcards, study-buddies, etc. They all help. Plus, I doubt you're lacking in brains. Your son got it from someone, right? And you're half-responsible, scientifically speaking, for his makeup. ;)

God bless, and I'll pray for you.

Anonymous said...


Today I was too lazy to attend class, so I slept in and listened to The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis (I was also too lazy to read). It was only a few hours long, but filled with gems.

One was of Screwtape advising Wormtongue to torment his victim with worries of the future. He said that while the past is fixed and unchangeable (like eternity), and God desires us to focus on the troubles of the present with his help, the future is filled with terrifying uncertainties. The last is easiest used by our tempters because while we are perfectly capable of imagining the frightening possibilities of the future, we are neither able to foresee what actually lies ahead, nor directly affect it.

In short, the troubles of the future are in some ways a diabolical distraction which overwhelms us, and prevents us from seeking the grace we need for the troubles of today.

Reading what you have gone through all these long years reminds me not only of how much I take the Lord's grace for granted (I was much like your son, 18 years ago), but also how so many people around the world suffer through more and yet are so much further along the road to perfection than I.

You are definitely in my prayers tonight and into the future. Saints defend you!

Anthony OPL

Smiley said...

First thing a big HUG for you. Second thing listen to Anthony OPL he is 100% correct. Worry is designed to rob you of the Peace that God himself gives you. Your son at this point misies his mommy, but as he grows older he will realize why you did what you did, you yourself say he is intelligent. pray for him as well

Kelseigh said...

Make that TWO big hugs for you!

You're simply amazing, even if you don't feel like it.

One of my mom's dearest friends is a single parent, too. She put herself through nursing school when her two daughters were young, and then managed to work full time nights/weekends at the local hospital AND homeschool both kids all the way through high school.

Your son loves you. He may not understand right now, but looking back he will be so proud and honored by the dedication that you are putting in right now to ensure that he has a stable life.

And on a diet, too. Dang.

kired said...

Dear CC

You prayed about your vocation. You know this is what God wants for you. Go for it. There will be numerous obstacles in the way. Trust the Divine Providence. That will be a lesson for your son.

Giving priority #1 to your son is OK, doing it with a carefully planned, long-term strategy is better.

You are in my daily prayers

Piscator said...

Well, I ain't God, but I'll do what I can.

Just said a Salve Regina for you.

Take care and Godspeed.

Fr. Daren J. Zehnle said...

I, too, shall keep you in prayer this evening.

Lola said...

As Angela said, "And it doesn't get easier when they are teens. It seems they need you available even more than when they were little."

Lavish the love. Write notes for his lunch box. Snuggle as you can.

Trust me, if you were a stay at home mommy, you might find that there isn't enough you to go around then either. (I speak from experience, I can barely go to the bathroom without a chattering attendant. God help you if you take a phone call.)

And, if you intend on staying the course for nursing, know that you will most likely have a more stable life with those teen years ahead. And, you will need it even if the Boy is going to be a priest.

I too will say a prayer for you. One mommy for another!
I hope you have a good and peaceful sleep.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

You're a good Mom, without a doubt. I know what it means to love your child sometimes so fiercely that it can consume you.

Prayers for you tonight.

TCN said...

Prayers for you. Be strong. All kids feel abandoned at one time or another, whether mom is there all of the time or not. All kids can understand mom needing to take care of business, at least somewhat. My son wants daddy home all of the time, asks me constantly when daddy is coming home and where is he. I explain that daddy is at work so we can earn money to buy food. He still wants daddy home. Such is the mind of every kid.

If God has directed you on this path, then He will give you the grace to follow it, and will watch over your son and shower down all the blessings from heaven. Remind you son about Our Lady, His Mother and his, too. And remind yourself about that as well.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us.

Our Lady of Good Remedy, pray for us.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

P said...

To paraphrase St. Ignatius of Loyola's rules for discernment, whenever we feel "desolation" than we cannot come to any good or useful resolution, but should instead stick to whatever decision we made when we were under the influence of consolation.

So what I would ask is, when you weren't wracked with guilt, and feelings of selfishness, etc. did nursing school seem like a good idea? If so, St. Ignatius says keep going to nursing school, and make no change to your path in life until you are once again in peace of soul.

Hope that helps.

The Heresy Hunter said...

Your'e doing just fine, Crescat. Keep going. That fact that you said what you said, shows that you are an unselfish mom. You are in my prayers.

Terry Nelson said...

Wow - Your little son is so good - what a wonderful thing to be hugged and told I love you and miss you... to be needed - what a wonderful vocation. I pray for both of you - good mommy and good little boy. May the Divine Infant Jesus and his sorrowful Mother Mary keep you close and protect you from all evil, harm and want.


Lynne said...

I just wanted to add my 2 cents... I know it's rough for the two of you right now but it is a short duration in the great scheme of things. Please stay the course. It *will* get better...

And you are loved...