Here I am, in the middle of everything, feeling like everything is still so unknown. I think I will start this blog to help me organize myself and to see how it all turns out... I know no one will read it but me, but maybe it will be therapeutic?
So, I am at a strange in-between point in my life right now. I am finished with my 1st two years of medical school (really? when did that happen??) and I have transferred to DC where my husband has started his OBGYN residency with the army. I am taking this whole year off, though to be with my little man, 19 months old and to have time with new baby, due in February.
The past two years have been HARD. Understatement. They have been gut-wrenching at times. I never pictured myself missing out on things with my child. I never got used to that, was never comfortable with it. I would cut corners at school, cut corners at home, and wound up feeling way out of balance.
So, now I have the chance to spend a whole year with my baby love (soon to be babies!) Why does it still feel so hard? Well, for one, we have moved to a new place where I know NO ONE and in spite of my extraversion am having a hard time meeting people. My husband is, quite literally, never here. His program is so demanding (and malignant). He falls asleep or has to read if he is home. This means I spend all day trying to take care of all of the laundry/dishes/cleaning/dinners. With no one to talk to but a 19 month old, some days I feel like I am going crazy! If DH came home at a reasonable hour...5 or 6, it would be so different. Plus, being pregnant makes me a little unstable.
Most of all, I see his horrific lifestyle and think, am I going back to that this July?? The thought makes me go cold. However, I feel like I have something to contribute to people besides my immediate family. So much has been given to me, I feel a responsibility to use it. I used to LOVE clinic days at the hospital and getting "pimped" and using what I had learned. But, why do I have to do it for so many hours that I miss my son's life? I am so torn. My two biggest are passions medicine and motherhood; I feel like I have to choose one or the other.
Until next July, this will be a blog about my brief stint as a SAHM and the surprises I am finding. Who knew I would still feel like I have no free time?? Why are all of the moms in my neighborhood over 10 years older than me?? Why do I feel like my husband has already been deployed to Iraq? It is mostly good times, it is just that the negatives have blind-sided me. I suppose I expected a constant state of bliss!
I know I've talked with you privately. I agree with you, it is very isolating staying at home. I just graduated and was busy and interacting with people 24-7. When I was finished in February, my best friend (across the continent) was a SAHM and we texted each other throughout my baby's naps daily. Now, she's working, all of my friends moved to residency and I'm alone. But I love spending time with my baby and son so its a double-edged sword!
Another thing you could look into is a shared residency. I've seen them in some places where 2 residents take the work of 1 position meaning they work 1/2 the amount of time. Of course it takes them longer to finish but. . .
The other thing to consider is something like Family Medicine, which still gives you all of the pediatric exposure but way better hours. Of all of the residencies I've seen, there is the best opportunities in Family Medicine to have a life outside the hospital.
You have only one year of misery left - 3rd year - and then the next year is pretty darned easy. It sounds like motherhood is as important to you as it was to me and I too cut corners. I don't regret it. My application is a little bit barren but I was able to include the fact that I had 2 beautiful babies in medical school, something that seems to surprise and impress virtually every attending I've told. Don't feel bad about cutting corners. When you start back again, tell them you have to leave at 5 and then do it. Learn the material, answer their questions but get home in time to see your babies. Its worth it. I went to a very competitive, not family friendly school and managed to get by with great letters of recommendation and very little doubt I'll get into residency.
Something else (sorry, I'm kind of rambling, my brain still isn't super focused with my baby not sleeping through the night), your husband will be done in 4 years? And you'll graduate in 3 years? Then will he be deployed? If so, can you choose a more family-oriented location?
My thoughts, having been through the miserable trenches that face you!
AAhhhh. The end of the day, 10:40. The place is cleaned, bills paid, coffee and lunches prepped, and my 2 men are asleep. I love this time of night when it is just me and my kicking fetus.
BTW, I realized I didn't say much about myself in my first entry. I am 25, I get married and pregnant at 23. I grew up in southern california and went to a small Christian college majoring in Biology and religion. I was all set to go to USC school of med when hubby proposed, that's how I ended up out here on this adventure!
Obviously, that leaves a lot out. Throw in a severe preoccupation with perfection and achievement, rebellion from that self-imposed pressure by self-destructive partying, an eating disorder, working my A** off to overcome that disease, a very strict Christian upbringing, again rebellion, lots of travel, mountains of student loans, and that is a more realistic view of my earlier years... if you can say "earlier years" at 25
I would say, compared to that turbulent time, now is a time of balance and peace. Maybe that is why is feels so strange. I've been in a frenzy for so many years, either of my own making, or because of school. Its almost as if I am scared of what would be there if the dust were to settle.
OK, enough of that talk. I had a pretty nice weekend, DH had TWO DAYS off in a ROW!!! A first. Spending so much time apart does strain a relationship though. For some reason, at the beginning of his time off, I am super awkward with him- standoffish and argumentative. I don't know why I do it!! All I want is to finally have some good family time together and I make it start off weird. I think I get this rosy image of how the Day Off will go, and if it is anything less, I am disappointed. What a child! Perfectionism can ruin everything and rob you of enjoying what is real. I also joined MOPS this week (moms of preschoolers) About that..moms my age? Yes. Super churchy and conservative women that ring all of my childhood bells? Yes. I am going to give it a fair shot though, I need to!
HAM, thanks for that input. I can do one more hard year for sure. My husband is thinking about doing a fellowship after residency which would give him 3 more non-deployable years here. Family med is a really good thought- everyone says don't choose a field unless you are passionate about it...but I never knew a person to be more passionate about a field than DH is about obgyn, and that passion is being drained out of him! Tonight, after another 15 hour day, he stayed awake just long enough to eat the meatballs I had made, tell me he hated his job, and fall asleep. So sad! I will not do that! Our son kept looking for him today all over the house.
Gosh, this is negative so far, yuk! I need to focus more on the huge amounts of goodness in my life.
Teething toddler is letting me know that he needs motrin and milk, time to go!
Book club day at the church I have been going to! A chance to feel my brain in action again, to talk with some pretty cool people, to put on something besides go-to-the-park clothes.
However, that effing tooth is driving my sweet boy insane and I was only there for 10 minutes before the nursery came to ask me to take him home. Bummer. It was such an ordeal to get out the door too. I am prophylaxing the heck out of him next week.
Also, DH usually gets home around 8, but was told that he is required to go to a drug rep dinner about a chemo drug. What? He is an obgyn. Is it their goal to ensure that he never see his family ever?? So weird.
However, it is a beautiful day, fall is in the air, kids are at the park, and I am going to make the most of it!
thinks to look forward to:
BFF from college who just got out of the peace corps is coming to visit next week!!!! I have not seen her since my wedding, I can't wait.
I find out if it is a boy or a girl in exactly one week! Then, I can stop referring to this little person as "it" like he or she is our new pet.
I don't see how medicine could ever fit into my life again. GREAT. I am having such a sweet day with baby boy today. Throughout the day, there are so many formative moments between us. I am acutely aware that I am forming his concepts of how we treat others, how to overcome what we are scared of, faith... what a responsibility! I can't stop obsessing over the fact that when I go back to school, it will be someone else doing all these things. Yesterday, he worked up the nerve to go down the slide all by himself for the first time. He was so proud of himself and did it again and again with this huge ridiculous grin. I told DH about it and he thought it was cute... would I be ok with just hearing stories like that?? I am MUCH happier now than I was being away to study all day. I need to figure out why I am continuing.
These thoughts come at the same time as a new road block to finishing my training. DH is done with residency in 3 years, I will be done with med school in 2. After he is done, he will be sent *somewhere* in the US for 4 years to pay back his military commitment. There will also be (at least) a year of deployment at some point. This whole time, I was thinking that he was going to do a fellowship here after residency so that we would not be moved, I could do a residency, and we could all be together.
However, the other day, he said, "I don't want to be a specialist." Just like that. Like it affects no one but him. Mind you, I went to a sub-par school to marry him, transferred in the middle of it, paused my education... and he has had to make no adjustments thus far. Granted, he has never had the freedom to adjust, but this time he did. And he is acting as if his career is the only thing worth considering.
If I stayed behind to finish a residency, that would be 2 years of living apart. Fine if you are single, but we have 2 kids (3 by then?) That is NOT ok. So it is up to me to make it work? The only way it could is if I take 2 MORE years off between now and starting residency so that I could apply wherever he got sent. Or, I could do one year off and then a transitional year somewhere then apply where he is. What if I don't want to stretch 4 years into seven?? What if I do that and then he gets sent somewhere else?
The worst part is that I don't even feel convinced that I want to go back at all. Yes, I adore medicine. But it tears me up to be away from baby. I think about my debt... already 300 grand and only halfway though. I think about myself when my kids need me less, what would I be then? I think about how people would see me, just another woman who gave up her dreams. It seems sad, but the truth is I am sad when I am away.
I wish I could finish med school, get my MD and then wait 5 years to do a residency. Is that absolutely impossible?? DH would be out of military, babies would be bigger, ah.