Friendship and Babies

by Katy on January 24, 2010 · 13 comments

I had the pleasure of eight-and-a-half hours on the same nurse’s station with a passel of my long term co-workers today. These are women I’ve worked with since 1995, when we were all shiny new nursing school graduates. (Seriously, I hope to heaven that they never require us to renew our photo ID’s, as we are all super cute and skinny in our pictures.) We’ve known each other since before any of us had kids, and between the three of us, we now have eight. I consider them to be dear friends, even though we’ve never seen one another outside of work and all come from extremely different backgrounds.

This, I consider to be one of the highlights of my job.

As a labor and delivery nurse at one of busiest units on the West coast, I work with a lot of women. And these women have come to mean a lot to me. Although there’s just a few who I ever make the effort to see socially, my co-workers are a huge part of what makes my job so satisfying. Of course, the patients are the focus of what we do, but these childbearing women take their babies home to their families and then blend together in my memory.

This job has taught me that I do not have to hold the same political beliefs, religious background or even age bracket to share friendship. During the last presidential election, a non-work friend was angrily talking about how her mother’s friend was voting for a someone whose beliefs were completely different than her own. My friend’s reaction was to ask, “How can she even stay friends with her?” I remember thinking that if I could only be friends with people whose beliefs mirrored mine, then I’d be down to my mother, and maybe one of my cats.

It took me into my mid-twenties to come to the realization that people are not simply a collection of political stances and labels. To limit one’s friendships based on criteria such as liberal, conservative, Christian, Jewish, etc. makes a person miss out on the wealth of friendship and support that’s out there in the world.

So, Danette, and Darla, I really enjoyed working with you today. I would say, “Let’s get together for coffee,” but I know we’re all busy with our lives outside of work. Let’s just meet up at work instead.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Photo is of my now 14-year-old son in October of 1995, taken by my husband.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy January 24, 2010 at 3:18 am

I am with you! My work friends have shared my highest highs, lowest lows and everything in between. Looking back over 30 some odd years of work at a variety of jobs, I still remember them and their impact on me. I hope they feel the same about me. I don’t really remember anything about their religious or political point of view though. Well, except for one guy who wouldn’t speak to me again in 1988 for voting for someone he didn’t believe in. Great guy in all other respects though.


Marie-Josée January 24, 2010 at 6:33 am

Thanks for sharing the picture. What a cutie! I too really appreciate my co-workers. I began a new job last June, and work for two judges at the Criminal Court. Let’s say politely that the atmosphere is a little formal (read stuffy) and I occupy a HUGE office alone. I have just begun lunching on occasion with the other judges’ assistants and it is making a big difference on my morale. I sorely missed my co-workers from my previous job and had begun considering returning to my old position because I was simply not getting any social interaction in my new position. My judges are very nice, and will chat with me for a few minutes on occasion, but that’s it.


DebJayM January 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm

I have been in your place. I was a Judicial Sec. in California in the ’80s, and then came to Maine in the 90’s and worked for a judge for a short while (got bumped by the Chief’s Secty that wanted to stay). It can be a stifling atmosphere. I suppose what you need to do is find other contacts that don’t conflict with your responsibilities.

What was your previous job?


Marie-Josée January 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm


I worked as a legal secretary for three years in a large cabinet in Montr̩al. My lawyer specialized in commercial and banckruptcy law, which involved some litigation work. Recession obliging, the cabinet was considering matching two lawyers per secretary in the spirit of economy. They have hence implimented that. My boss had been habituated to a sole secretary for all of this time, and I knew that both lawyers would remain perfectly civilized and polite amongst themselves, and that the brunt of negotiating whose work came first when things became hectic (always!) РI would need to bear the stress of managing them. No thanks. Legal secretarial work is so stressful as is, I did not need that kind of pressure, so when I had the opportunity to become a civil servant, I jumped on the occassion. I am still recovering from the pay cut, but we have a pension plan that compensates for much of the loss. Things are stuffy, but it being the Criminal Court, much less than at the Superior Court, where you can downright cut the air, pompous waifs and all.


Shannon January 24, 2010 at 7:25 am

“…people are not simply a collection of political stances and labels.”
One of the reasons I enjoy reading this blog is that everyone here is respectful and wants to share ideas instead of argue. Thank you for a nice space to visit!!!!


Cheryl January 24, 2010 at 7:56 am

Very nice and well meaning post!


Lisa January 24, 2010 at 11:01 am

There are all types of friendships, and thankfully all kinds of people! When I became disabled, it was extremely hard to adjust to no longer having workplace friends. Over the years I’ve adjusted…made friends with neighbors, adopted more pets, began volunteering and made friends through that. It’s helped me to reach out more to others and helped me become more accepting of people who’s views differ from mine.


Hiptobeme January 24, 2010 at 11:30 am

“if I could only be friends with people whose beliefs mirrored mine, then I’d be down to my mother, and maybe one of my cats.” i posted this as my FB status, with due credit of course. Love it!


Katy January 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Happy to be your status!

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


BarbS January 27, 2010 at 8:15 am

I did that too! It’s my new favorite quote. After I posted it on FB, one of my friends reminded me of this quote as well:

If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn’t thinking. ~George S. Patton


Jennifer January 25, 2010 at 4:33 am

Great post Katy! Living in Wyoming taught me these same lessons. It would be so limiting to only be friends with those who think the same way we do.


magdalena January 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I loved this post! And I wish everyone was as open-minded and truthful as Katy. As for me, my mother is gone and I don’t have a cat…


Katy January 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm


I think you give me too much credit.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: