Stuck at Work for the Holidays

Have to work on a holiday

 

“Oh there’s noooooo place like wooooorrrrrrrk for the holidays…”

Wait.  That’s not how the song goes…

It can be difficult enough as a working mom to occasionally (or always!) deal with feelings of guilt and disappointment when dropping a child off at daycare or missing out on a poetry recitation at school, but these heart-wrenching emotions only intensify when that mom finds she is scheduled to work on a holiday or Holy Day.

Over the course of my working adult life, I’ve spent time in the retail and healthcare industries. Both are notorious for scheduling staff ’round the holiday clock. Granted, I think we all want there to be docs and nurses available if we have to rush a sick child to the ER on Christmas Day, but I’d be willing to bet a few of those folks are somewhat preoccupied by their waiting families at home – and with good reason. As for retail, REI made headlines this year when they announced they’d be closed on Black Friday. I’m not going to lie, this is a trend I hope will gather some major steam in the coming years. In the meantime, here are a few techniques I’ve picked up through working through the most special times of year – like that Good Friday four years ago where I spent the day at work fuming about missing the 3pm Veneration of the Cross. (I really identified that day with Christ’s lament, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do [by making me work today.]” I mayormaynot be paraphrasing.) Continue reading