Jackie
Respiratory Therapist, Illinois

I’m a health care specialist for Lincare. Lincare is a company that sells home medical equipment. We offer oxygen, CPAPs, walkers, hospital beds, etc. I enter people’s homes and assess them for any respiratory issues such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, and sleep apnea. I love what I do, but occasionally struggle that I am unable to be as involved with my two daughters as I’d like to be.  I would really enjoy to do things such as: be a room mom, go on all their field trips, volunteer to read to their classes, and just be able to be home when they got out of school. When we have dinner before 7:00 and are ready for bed by 8:30 I consider it a pretty successful day!  However, that is not the norm. Normally, I get off work between 5 and 5:30, hurry to the sitter to pick up the girls, race to practice or whatever event is that evening, and finally get home around 7:30. By this time, none of us have eaten dinner, there is still homework to be done, baths to be taken, bedtime stories to be read, one exhausted mother, and two exhausted girls.

There are many nights that a “home cooked meal” is not prepared. One night in particular, we got home late and I told the girls to make something to eat if they were hungry. I buy healthy food like microwavable mac n’ cheese, corn dogs, and pizza rolls for nights like this. My youngest had math and spelling homework to complete. As we worked on the worksheets that were due for the next day, she ate yogurt and pretzels. By the time our evening routine was finished it was pushing 10 pm. I told the girls it was time to go to bed. I hadn’t even realized that my oldest daughter never made anything for herself to eat. While I was occupied with the youngest, she was playing around with her Kindle.  Now that it was time for bed, my oldest decides she is hungry. I then realized the situation and blamed her for not making herself something to eat and choosing to play her Kindle instead. I insisted she go to bed. She didn’t like that idea. I said you can go to bed now, or you can make yourself something to eat and not play your Kindle for the rest of the week. I thought surely she won’t give up her Kindle! Well, I was wrong and she must have been really hungry to choose to eat.  I felt terrible, and tried to justify it was her fault since I told them to get something to eat. I always say I need to be better at certain things such as meal planning….I guess I still haven’t mastered that!