Friday, May 30, 2008

Taking my kids to work

Ok, obviously with a 3 year old girl and 4 year old boy, I do not take my kids to work for the entire day. However, when granted the opportunity for a brief run-in, I will snatch it up, whether it means 30 minutes in the morning for breakfast in the cafeteria or an hour over lunch. I can't help it--I love having my kids in my hospital workplace!

Truthfully, things never go as I anticipate. I always have this vision of my daughter showcasing her adorable made-up songs and my son making hilarious (though appropriate) jokes, thus bringing all my anecdotes and imitations into a stark and incontrovertible reality for my co-workers. In actuality, my kids have, over the course of several visits, managed to: 1) sit in a corner and pout, 2) scream at each other about who gets to push the wagon, 3) scream at me for not letting them eat a donut they dropped on the MRSA-ridden hospital floor, 4) pull my shirt down so that my bra is fully visible to a half-dozen people, and 5) inform my boss that he (my son) didn't want to be at this "stupid (retirement) party" (okay, maybe that last one was an avoidable error on my part, but they had food there).

Am I crazy? Why do I let myself in for this recurrent exercise in mortification? One thing I underestimated was the fun of seeing the hospital through my kids' eyes. My son's "favorite place" is the...cafeteria. Think about it - donuts, soft serve ice cream, juice, cookies, french fries. How cool is that to a 4 year old?! It's like working at a Luby's. They also think my microscope is one of the neatest things on this earth, and I have essentially no one else in my life who agrees with me on that.

Also, I have this irrepressible desire to merge my work life and family life. I want the people I work with to know my kids, and my kids to know them. I guess the folks at work are getting to know them in a certain way, which at the very least, should garner me sympathy for going home to a veritable nuthouse (or on the flipside, garner criticism for being a mom of two out-of-control hellions). But I don't care. Sooner or later they'll see the whole package, and until they do, they will just have to settle for my imitation of my daughter singing Rihanna:
My umbwelluh - elluh - elluh - eh - eh - eenee my umbwelluh!!


  1. My mom was a single parent and a lab tech when my brother and I were growing up. We spent a lot of time there for various reasons and we loved it. Staff always made a big deal out of us, someone always had candy and the cafeteria was a marvel, just as you described. My brother is now an MD and I am an RN, so I guess you could say it had a profound influence on us.

  2. I've always thought about bringing in my daughter at some point, but it never seems to work out logistically. On the one hand- I'd like to see the hospital through her eyes too and for her to know what her mother does "at work", on the other hand, while I don't hide the fact that I'm a mother to my supervisors and coworkers, I also don't go out of way to show it.

    Maybe it's because I feel the need to prove myself as equivalent in productivity to those without children and reinforce that my two worlds are separate. Even if they're not.

  3. My kids like to come to work, but only to go in to the dark room. They were really dissapointed when we finally got rid of it to make way for the vitrea for CT.

    Now the cafeteria is the only fun place. Well that and the candy drawer, and the ED sticker collection....

  4. How did I miss this??

    My son comes with me to work on every weekend call day. It is usually just for breakfast or lunch. Sometimes there is a code in the middle and I have to run off. Often many of my attendings see us as I stroll him through the hospital in my white coat. It might be seen as unprofessional, but it is the highlight of my day. I dream about a day when I can have a room in my office set aside as a playroom staffed with a babysitter... kind of a daycare coop. I know it might be a pipedream, but having my family near me is pretty darn important. Another thought of mine (since I have to take call), is to live very near the hospital as an attending and take call from home.


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