There is no question if medical school is a sacrifice - to your time, your sanity, your relationships and especially for close relationships who happen to be a small toddler or two.
There isn’t a MDmom with young children who hasn’t had to question her decision to choose medicine as a career at some point. Is it worth the sacrifice? Am I ruining my children? The long hours and copious amounts of studying required is doable, but am I hurting the kids?
Making the decision to follow your dream as a doctor to save lives and heal, is not a bad decision. But looking at it from a childcare standpoint, things are going to get tricky.
1. Motivation is everything
There is no way out of the heavy responsibility and the incredible joys that go along with being a mom. A mom in med school has to make twice the effort than others might need to make. They lose more sleep on account of needing to study while the children are sleeping. What a mom will do for her children and what she is capable of is extraordinary – she strikes the right balance in med school when she remembers her children are the reason and motivation to everything she does.
2. Support network
Extended family is key during medical school and residency. Grandma, Grandpa, sister in laws, aunts, dad - all contribute to the dream of mom becoming a doctor. The family and friends community rally around the children while mom is working, and when she isn’t studying or working, mom gives it her all with her children.
3. The right kind of sitter
Finding around the clock childcare is complicated. Doctors often need childcare last second on their way to the hospital for one emergency or another. This takes out the daycare option while nannies often have other family around and so their time is called for on weekends, evenings and night shifts. Au Pairs live with you and can cover some pretty complicated shifts. MD schedules often mean a complicated mix of a lot of different sitters, but Au Pairs are consistent and are like a built in older sister from another country.
Medical school, residency and then the long shifts as a doctor are not for the weary, but neither is being a mom. It takes an extra capable individual to fill both big shoes. Well worth the while and definitely possible with the right motivation, support and babysitter.