There is a huge difference in attitude of "seasoned" nurses and the younger generations. I fall in the seasoned group, but completely understand and agree with the younger generation thought process. Nursing is NOT a calling. Ministry is a calling, whereas the Lord "calls" you to preach. If nursing were truly a calling, we'd be willing to do it without pay; just for the satisfaction of answering the call. I love my little patients, but I'd much rather spend the day with my family, so a calling it is not. It's a job, period.
I worked *only* weekends when my children were small. It was nice for a few months and then it got old and tiring quickly. To suggest the OP should be on call (without pay) simply because she *only* works weekends is ridiculous. She was hired to work weekends and that is her *only* responsibility..to the facility and to the patient.
Many nights, I left a sick toddler/infant to go to work. Those nights would be filled with misery and distraction; I gave very little to my patients. One night I realized I was insane. It was impossible to truly care for another while my very own flesh and blood was at home needing me. Is that wrong? No, it's a mother.
As a charge nurse, I am not bothered by those who don't answer the phone. I take it as a, "no." No need to keep calling back, vm works just fine. Nor do I feel obligated to answer during my off time. I normally do though, and have no problem saying, "No, but thanks for calling." I don't feel the need to offer a reason, afterall I am off.
So, if you want to answer, answer. If you don't, don't. It's your choice. I don't see either as wrong.
First and foremost, I am a mother. Secondly, a wife, then daughter, sister, friend, etc. Nurse is way down the line. When I'm working, I give 110% to my patients and facility. When I'm home, I give 110% to family/friends; that leaves no room for me to give to work when I'm off. I like it this way and it will stay this way. If my desire to raise my own kids (rather than a babysitter doing so) and perverse my marriage causes the fall of nursing, then it was very unstable prior to my arrival in the profession.
Name me ONE other profession where call is taken during off time (not during "call time"). There are none. It is the belief that nursing is a calling that has held back our profession, not the new belief that it is a career that allows you to care for others.
Hold your position, you owe them nothing beyond the weekends.