Monday, July 14, 2008

Guest Post: The Life of Doctor Mom

ok, so maybe i am crazy. i have never blogged before, but am willing to give it a shot.

i am a pediatrician, mother of 7 children, ages 1 to 18 years and a full time faculty member of an academic university. is that redundant? i really don't have time for this, but feel drawn to speak up on this life of ours. the life of Doctor Mom.

My father told me it would be too hard for me, that I shouldn't sacrifice so much or work so hard. i don't think he meant to be discouraging, he was just scared. still, if my brothers wanted to be the doctor of the family, they would've gotten hi fives and pats on the back too. luckily they are both lawyers, that leaves me, the official black sheep.

my kids are gems, i love every single one of them. my husband and i are like that, we just look at them and smile or sneak a shared giggle behind their backs when they act up, which is frequently enough. they aren't angels, but they are good.

what really breaks my heart is all the patients in my practice. they struggle with so much; poverty, singleness, young parents, joblessness. working in a large urban practice i see more than i'd like of child abuse, mental illness, addictions. i love all these families too, but my husband says i'm not allowed to bring any more children home. he can't take the stress.

i feel the biggest problem we women physicians face is lack of time. if i could only survive on 4 hours of sleep a night, i would be on top of everything. maybe? my bills are stacked sky high in my dining room, my living room is a mess again, the kids watch too much T.V. and we don't eat home cooked meals (unless my husband makes them!) well, i cried when i read the blog from the daughter of an OB/GYN, it made my decision to be a doctor ok too. I also have an 18 year old daughter going off to college, and i'm so proud of her.

p.s. - my baby just crawled on the dining room table to get my attention and kissed my left hand. never forget, doctor moms, what life is really about!

peace, drmamamaria7

3 comments:

  1. One time at a wedding I met the grown son of a female FP. I was enchanted by this young man because he seemed so normal and well-adjusted. I kept asking him questions about what it was like to grow up with his mom the doc. It's easy to buy into the train of thought that goes something like this "If you were home more..." because it comes from all sides like parents, neighbors, occasional teachers,Oprah even parents of patients. Funny how I get the guilt-trip about being home more from some parents of patients/acquaintances who are the first to call me on the weekend from Puerto Rico for antibiotics(didn't/couldn't do it), an inhaler while I'm on vacation (did call this one in) or just showing up on Sunday morning at my door with a daughter with ahead full of lice. (Sorry if I don't invite you in while I am pulling on my sports bra)

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  2. I love this blog and I am eager to hear more about how moms in medicine manage their time (and shed the guilt--not that you SHOULD have guilt, but hell, I'm not a mom yet and I am already anticipating it).

    I am a medical student trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. So far I have loved surgery and not really taken a liking to much else on my clinical rotations. I am struggling to find some female surgeons at my university who aren't divorced or with children who resent them. It's not worth it to me to risk that...I guess I want to find proof that surgery is a career that I could do while still keeping a family intact.

    Keep it coming, ladies!

    Liz

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  3. At the university where I spent some time on staff, one of the most accomplished female faculty members was an orthopedic surgeon specializing in bone and soft tissue tumors. She was scheduled to give a lecture on time management for working mothers. I ran into her the week prior to her lecture and apologized that I would be out of town and couldn't hear her lecture. She said "oh yeah, I still have to figure out what I'm going to say. I haven't had a chance to work on that talk yet!"

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