Haha, while nausea is still going strong, my appetite has really picked up. Now, I am eating so much, it is scaring me a little.
Big news is that tomorrow is the first day I am taking off to spend with my baby. The plan is to take off one day a week for as long as we can afford it. And despite my total financial paranoia, I am doing it! And I went ahead and even took one of next weeks off. Yikes! First thing we are doing tomorrow is to go over our finances and budget item by item. I feel so financially reckless...
I am an anesthesiologist practicing in an non-academic center. Full time is about 65+ hours a week, but now I am taking about 10 hours off per week, so I am working 55+. I have a husband with a very flexible schedule who is willing to pretty much do everything domestic. We hire help to ease the burden off my husband. My mother in law takes care of the baby while we work. She had never wanted to be paid because she said she is not hired help. We gift her monthly just because we felt like we needed to show her our appreciation somehow, but the amount is meager. I am a rock climber. I would say next to medicine, that is my second passion. I have a wonderful 18 month boy and expecting another one in March. I have achieved financial security.
The question is, why do I feel like my life is still not balanced???!!!
Before I had the baby, I said there is no way that something as little as having children would affect my career. Right. Having my son changed my life. And my career. I stopped taking on more responsibilities of running the group. I declined to be in any more leadership postions. It is clear to everyone that becoming a leader in our physician group is no longer a priority for me. While my other male collegues with small children take on more responsibilities and step up to take over as leaders, I am shrinking away from additional responsibilities. In fact, I just couldn't handle not spending enough time with my baby and have decided to start taking one day off per week. I may even consider taking more time off if we figure out that it is financially possible.
Even with one day off per week, I still feel like I simply don't have enough time for myself, my husband, or my son. With my son, I feel like taking one day off per week is just scratching at the surface of what I need with him.
I have not really spent alone time with my husband since my son was born. We go to the opera and that is it. I have decided to spend at least 2 hours a week alone with my husband. But even just 2 hours a week feels like time I should be spending with my son. My husband and I have talked about spending a weekend a quarter alone, but I am just not sure if I am ready.
I take 30 minutes each day at night to get on the exercise bike. I try to go to the rock gym and hang out with my friends once a week, but many times I can't tear myself away from my baby. I am slowly losing my friends (who are all climbers) because I am not really available to climb much). I have gone climbing with my baby and had a great time, but that is so much work, and finding partners who will be happy with a baby is pretty hard. When I spend time away from my son, I feel guilty and regret what I am missing out with my son. So I end up with work, baby, work, baby, work, baby until I feel totally burnt out where I don't spend quality time with my son because I am not all there. I think finding mom friends would be helpful, but so far, I have a hard time relating to other moms and people who are not very outdoorsy or active. And I don't even have time to spend with established friends and feel like seeking new ones out is really not that realistic.
I feel like I have a pretty great situation. Why do I feel like I am not balance at all? I feel like I am short changing my career, my son, my husband, and myself. Is this how parents who work many hours feel? What more can I do?
The night started so promising. I thought I would be back home with my son by 7:30 at the latest. At 10:23 I am still here. I barely had 10 minutes for dinner at 10 PM where I ate whatever I could find at the doctor's lounge: a piece of wheat toast, Campbell's chicken noodle soup, and some kind of berry smoothie with protein that tasted like drinking chalk. I feel guilty because I was starving my unborn child without dinner. And when I did manage to eat, I ate so badly. It is like I am already a bad mother, and he is not even born yet!
I have started my internal debate over whether I should go home when I am done here. I am thinking I will be here until 1 AM or so. It would be logical to stay at the hospital and sleep, but my son wakes up asking for me every morning. And majority of mornings I am not there.
I called my husband, and I could hear my son keep saying "mama." I had no idea that working and having kids would be so difficult. Why is it that other people seem OK, but it kills me?
Well, I decided to drive home and got in at 3:30 in the morning. It was worth my son excitedly yelling 'mama' this morning. I didn't get to spend as much time with my son as I normally do on a post call day because I slept a lot. But I have tomorrow off! I don't know why I didn't start taking time off sooner. Since I knew I have a whole day to spend with him tomorrow, I didn't feel aweful about sleeping in and taking a nap. I was refreshed after a long nap and spent quality time with my son tonight. He is so cute! I can't believe I had strongly considered not having kids! And now I'm on my exercise bike with only a little guilt.
My husband does bring my son to work when I am just hanging out. Sometimes he hangs out near my work all day in hopes I can get away for a few minutes epecially for weekend call.
I have found that the local YMCA has toddler classes. I am signing up for a few. My son goes to Music Together with me, and he seems really shy. I think some socialization with other kids will do him some good. I was excited to seethere were some evening and weekend classes. And so far I have been able to take wednesdays off so I will sign up for some M/W classes. May be I'll meet some cool moms.
I must confess that I have a hard time befriending SAHM's. Is it my imagination or do they tend tobecome super uncomfortable when they find out I am not SAHM but work as a doctor? And they meet during work hours.
Well gotta go. My obligatory 30 min bike session is over. I hear my son. He's still up!
So I was sick again this weekend. I think I may have had the flu. I was in bed for the entire weekend. Being that I was brought up by vegan granola parents, I believe that when I am repeatedly sick, the balance is off in my life. Well, I am working less. I exercise everyday. I eat local organic food, mostly vegetarian, and only eat out twice a week. So the only thing I can come up with was that I am putting myself under a lot of stress for no reason.
I have been stressed out about work (not the clinical stuff but all the BS that goes with being a physician). I have been really stressing because I have been under a lot of mommie guilt.
So I have decided that I am not going to stress out.
First, I am a damn good anesthesiologist. I am efficient, hard working, and with good outcome. I keep a cool head in crisis. I never cut corners when it comes to working hard (as we are a 'socialist' group, some people cut corners to work less).
Second, my son is well adjusted and thriving. Any guilt I feel is my demon not his.
I must take care of myself and be happy and healthy to be a good mother and a good anesthesiologist. So no more stress!
Also, I am going to try to find balance in my life.
1. I am going to be fully present when I am with my son. Find fun activities and such. Already I signed up for a few classes at the Y and will find out which ones I got this week.
2. Seems that some super moms can give up social life and still remain happy, but unfortunately that is not me. So, I am going to try to work out with my climbing buddies once a week. When I feel the need, I will climb with them on weekends. I will try to attend some of mommy meetups and see if I can meet some cool moms. Hell, cool moms who are not turn off by doctor moms have to be out there, right?
3. Continue eating well and exercising.
4. Start spending alone time once a week with my husband. We were supposed to start this week, but I got the flu so and bed bound...