All of my kids…

Ames, you already know you have to share me with your two older brothers, Lucas & Avery.
But did you know you share me with an unlimited number of kids at Momma’s work? 
I work with 3-11 year-olds at a behavioral health hospital. 
The patients’ problems span a vast range, but all of them are in need of love. 
I do my best to give it to them. 
I entered a CottonBabies contest for Mother’s Day. The prompt was to write a letter to a little person…
“I’m so glad you were born.” For some reason, I kept thinking about my kids at work.
Here’s what your momma wrote:
To my patients on 2-East (children’s locked unit @ a behavioral health hospital),
All of you are broken and hurting. Most of you live day to day, bed to bed, meal to meal. Some of you will never see your mothers again. And a few of you have never known a mother’s love at all. Though I have two children by marriage and my own new baby at home, I come to work each day in order to mother you the best I know how. And to think – I went all the way through nursing school, clueless to the fact that I’d wind up a psychiatric nurse, taking care of you kids. I can’t explain any other way than to say it just feels so right. You are where I belong.
I loved you, even before you walked through the front doors of the hospital. When I met you, my heart broke all over again. I think about you when I leave work, and I try my hardest to make you smile each time I see you. You have given a whole new meaning to the word, “patience.” I know it’s hard for you up on the unit. Nobody’s ever cared for you the way we do. Nobody’s ever followed your every move, keeping you safe and teaching you how to function in society.
When I see you grow frustrated with tasks you’re not used to doing. I know it’s coming – that familiar rage you’ve grown so used to feeling. When I see your jaws tighten and your fists clench, when I ask you to take a time out, and even when I’m holding you as you swing and kick and battle those demons within, I want you to know that I’m loving you the whole time.
I’m praying for you, and I’m cheering for you. I want the world for you kids. Each time I escort one of you off the unit upon your discharge, I say a quick prayer that I’ll never have to take care of you in these circumstances again…that I’ll only run into you in the community, you with big grins on your faces and me with a heart full of pride. You are not mistakes. You are not forgotten. You are the future, and I am so thankful to be a part of it. I am so glad you were born.
I only wish I could include a picture (arghh, HIPAA) of one of my patients.
 I’ve had some really cute ones.
Anyway, baby boy… thanks for sharing your mother. 
Thanks for making me a mother. 
Happy  Mother’s Day, boy.

3 thoughts on “All of my kids…”

  1. Thanks for this post, I was curiously discovering your blog more. Ironically that I ran into this. I am in my last year of nursing school, getting my bachelor of science in nursing. In a few weeks I will be having a short rotation on a locked mental health unit. This encourages me to not be so nervous and really embrace everything these people have to offer as well. It’s nice to hear words from a person who is passionate about nursing and encourages me to do the same.

    If you have any hints for my mental health unit I would love to hear!

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