I really don't like change. I was super excited about moving to Colorado, but that was about enough change in one year to keep me satisfied for the next decade. #2 on the list of things I hate is being sleep-deprived. You can ask anyone in my family how pleasant I am to be around when I've only had 4 or 5 hours of sleep. I am also a terribly light sleeper and struggle occasionally with bouts of insomnia. So why would I willingly enter into a situation that involves some of my least favorite things? Why would I apply for a part-time night nurse position with benefits?
I'll give you a little background. When I started searching for a job in Colorado, I applied for a night position at St. Francis Medical Center NICU. I submitted all the necessary documents, passed the HR screening and then waited for the interview from the nurse manager which I was assured would happen that week. I waited... and waited... and called HR... and waited and waited some more until after three weeks, no phone call, no interview. They apologized, but no one could explain to me why there was such a long delay. We waited until the 11th hour before I had to have a job offer so we could get our mortgage and finally HR offered me a position with the regional float pool. I was paid a higher hourly rate, but no benefits. I pick my schedule and work whenever I want, at least four shifts a month.
Initially we didn't think that would be a problem, we would just pay for insurance out-of-pocket privately and I already knew of a few companies with affordable plans. Unfortunately we discovered insurance companies won't touch a pregnant woman or her family with a ten-foot pole. We ended up paying an astronomical amount for COBRA until Caroline was born and then signed up for a more affordable monthly plan. In this plan, all child-wellness visits are covered 100% and Rylan had been a super healthy boy, so we thought it was worth the risk of paying nearly the full price for a sick visit. Then we were exposed to the H1N1 in October, Caroline had two ear infections in a row, they both got the croup, I think Caroline has another ear infection now and.... you get the idea. The stress of worrying whether I should take my child to the doctor or wait and see if we could avoid paying the $100+ for the office visit was wearing me down. Plus it is hard to budget when both of our incomes vary widely from week to week.
I think having excellent health insurance and the reliability of at least one income is worth the extra sleep deprivation. I love my job and the people I work with. I never dread going to work.
But my heart is so torn and that is why I have resisted this change for a long time. I don't want to feel like an exhausted and impatient zombie one more day a week. I want to have the energy to love my family well. I hate to miss fun outings with the kids. There are some activities/commitments I enjoy that I would have to give up. I have truly loved being a mostly stay-at-home mom. I am disappointed that God's plan hasn't included a full-time job with benefits for my husband so I can stay home with my young children. In my mind, that would be the perfect scenario. Charlton works very hard and desires to completely provide for our family, but most counselors have to be self-employed.
While I was writing, God reminded me of Philippians 4:6. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God." I have been anxious, about even being offered the position, about all the changes that would happen when I work 24 hours a week at night. I haven't trusted God's goodness and the knowledge that I can do all things with His strength. I want to be thankful I have the type of job where I can contribute financially while working a minimum of hours. We can arrange our schedules so when I am sleeping, the kids get to spend time with their dad instead of going to day care. I think about some things in the past that I worried about and dreaded in advance and they were never as terrible as I expected when they actually happened. I have a feeling God might be doing the same thing here as well and there could be some unexpected blessings.
I know one thing for sure, as soon as our new insurance kicks in, I'm calling my doctor to beg for some Ambien! :-)