I heard his little footsteps at 4:30 a.m. “Mama, the stockings are full. Can we open presents?” I had finally collapsed into bed at 4 a.m. after staying up wrapping, cooking, and stuffing the stockings to make Christmas morning as Norman Rockwell as I possibly could. I told him to hold his horses until 7 a.m. and rolled over for a few hours of exhausted slumber.
I was thankful I wasn’t working overnight Christmas Eve like I had the previous year. There is nothing worse than getting slammed and stuck working late when I have two little boys waiting impatiently for me to get home Christmas morning. Yet even Christmases I’m not working, I somehow never manage to be the happy, excited, picture-perfect Christmas mom. I’m usually the haggard, exhausted, don’t-point-a-camera-at-me mom on Christmas morning. Such is the trouble with trying to juggle a full-time compliment of ER shifts and motherhood during the holidays.
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Sandra Scott Simons is an emergency physician. This article originally appeared in Emergency Medicine News.
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