“Mommy, Why Do You Have to Go?”

“Mommy why do you have to go?”

That sentence comes out of my 3 year olds pouty lips as he’s gently tugging on my black scrub bottoms.

He cries when I put on my scrubs. He knows I’m leaving again. He doesn’t understand why.

He doesn’t understand there are patients who don’t even know they will become a patient today who need me.

He doesn’t understand that there are people waking up this morning who are going about their morning routine as if they aren’t going to get tboned and airlifted on their way to work.

He doesn’t understand that a mother is waking up to find her teenage son on the brink of death from an overdose in an attempt to take his own life.

He doesn’t understand a woman is unknowingly about to become a widow today and right now she’s having coffee with her husband.

He doesn’t understand that they need me.

To hold their emesis bag and hold their hands
To give life saving medications and hand out band aids
To give compressions until I’m out of breath and wait with a patient as they take their last

They need me. And he needs me. And he doesn’t understand.

“With loyalty will I devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care”

“One more night and I’ll be home with you” my voice quivers through choked down tears.

I want so badly to be the mom he needs me to be.
I give him a hug and a kiss.

Despite his protest I’ll take my coffee and head to work.

And I’ll spend my shift wondering who really needs me more.



  1. Phyllis
    October 7, 2019 / 12:52 pm

    ?It is tough being a working Mom. I have been there

  2. Linda in NE
    October 7, 2019 / 2:13 pm

    I had a little taste of that last night & this morning. My 6 yr old granddaughter went to sleep in tears because Mommy & Daddy were leaving on vacation. She REALLY didn’t want them to go. She woke up in tears again this morning. We had a nice talk and I assured her that they would be coming back and in the meantime I would be here until Wed. , then her other grandparents would be here until Sun. and then her favorite aunt would be in charge until Mommy & Daddy got home. Assured her there would always be somebody to look after her & her brother. Strangely enough her brother didn’t fuss at all. Once the tears were done getting them up, dressed, fed & off to kindergarten went surprisingly smoothly.

    Carver’s only three, he will do better as time goes on. I’m sorry it has to be so hard for both of you in the meantime.

  3. Donna
    October 7, 2019 / 5:36 pm

    My daughter had to work full time for many years and had a hard time leaving her kids. It’s not easy, is it? Blessings and prayers for you as you go about your day. One day, he’ll understand.

  4. Jean
    October 7, 2019 / 7:00 pm

    Oh Sweetie, it is so hard when you are a young working Mom. Just know you are teaching him ‘much to be valued’ by following through on your responsibilities. It’s hard to see the positives that you are imparting, as there are many tears flowing with having to leave him…his and yours. You are giving him a good future.

  5. Missy Reynolds
    October 11, 2019 / 5:52 pm

    I’ve worked as a peds nurse for 40 years and a nurse manager for 35 of those years. At a recent nursing conference, the keynote speaker apologized to her children for missing so much due to her job responsibilities. Her words overwhelmed me because I often felt that way. I texted my two adult children to tell them they are the best thing in my life and how sorry I am that I, too, let them down. Here is my son’s response: You did what you needed to do to give us anything we ever needed.  Because of you, I never worked a day in high school, I learned the value of hard work and to be responsible for myself.  Because of you, I am inherently a good parent.  I’m about to teach values and rules with patience and a level head.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
    My daughter’s response was similar. I will treasure their words as the most precious gift I’ve ever been given other than the two of them!
    Your wee one may miss you in the moment now, but the lessons you will teach him as a result
    Of your work will make him love you all the more as he grows into a young man. Bless you!

  6. Diane Bucknill
    October 13, 2019 / 5:01 am

    I too worked as a nurse in ER when my children were young. My son had asthma & I never knew if he would have a flair that day. I never put my clothes on til sitter came as he also thought he might be going to hospital or doctors. He did survive but I was always wondering what was happening at home while trying to care very sick patients. Thankfully he also had his sister 2 yrs older to comfort him. They will survive too!

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