Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Sanity

I feel like I’m cheating to write for this site. I have a secret. Much like I used to feel a little guilty when my gynecology patients would say “I’m so glad you’re a woman because you understand how I feel.” Truth is while I do, in fact have a vagina and need pap smears, I’ve never had cramps, contractions or even *gasp* a yeast infection. I also haven’t had a period in the 2 years (thank you Mirena). Until I had a baby I felt very little connection with my patients. I tried to distract you, but alas my secret. My life’s not that crazy. My husband’s a Super hero. He’s a stay at home dad and that makes our lives sane.

We met in high school, dated in college and married before I started med school. Our dreams we’re simple. I’d be a family practitioner; he’d be a history teacher. We’d move to a ski town have 2.5 ski bunny kids and live happily ever after. Needless to say, 2 weeks into my first FP rotation and I knew that wasn’t for me (same goes for his student teaching). I went on to be an OB resident and he became computer network administrator extraordinaire. We ended up about 3 states away from Colorado. When I became pregnant with our Boy Genius during my 3rd year we ran the numbers. It just made more since for him to stay home, and he genuinely wanted to. I have to admit, to be honest, I was a little skeptical. I wasn’t sure how he would handle it, how it would affect the dynamic of our relationship or even, I hate to admit this, what people would think.

The transition went fairly smoothly. He worked until I was done with maternity leave then he accepted a new position of full time dad. He quickly realized that it wasn’t all Sci-Fi channel and bon-bons. Also he learned it’s a bad idea to take a 7 week old to see Lord of the Rings (sorry honey, I’ll never let you live that one down), but over time I grew amazed at his patience and the way he became the most amazing father I’d ever seen. It was hard at times when our son preferred him to me or when our overly picky son would only eat when he fed him. I remember being horrified in the airport when I tried to feed him and he wouldn’t eat for me. I had to have my husband do it and I felt like a fraud of a mom. I soon learned that that was just part of our arrangement.

I feel more connected to him than I ever have before. I hold him with even greater respect. To be honest after working 10 hours and delivering a million babies, when I don’t also worry about cooking, cleaning and picking up laundry, it leaves a lot more time to focus on our relationship.

When our son was about 6 months old my 2 best friends came for the weekend. They had never been huge fans of my husband. During girl talk, later in the weekend, I began to slightly complain about him. They gave me THE LOOK. “Stop it right there” they said “you’re never allowed to complain about your husband EVER AGAIN.” After seeing his super dad skills, my stay at home mom friends had changed alliances forever. Occasionally we’ll get an odd look at a party when we get introduced to new people, but at this point it bothers neither of us in the least.

He was a little lonely at first while I was a resident, but once in practice we moved (yet further away from skiing). Here he’s involved with a dad’s playgroup and has stayed well connected to society. Also he seems to get volunteered often in the neighborhood and at church, so his social schedule stays quite full. This arrangement has worked amazingly well for us.

Currently life is smooth and fairly peaceful. We are unpatiently waiting to adopt baby #2, so we’ll see how our sanity holds up when we add another to the mix.

Thanks for letting me join the club.

RH+

5 comments:

  1. Welcome aboard! Glad you could join us!

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  2. I hear often about female doctors adopting. Is this generally because the adoption process "interferes" less than pregnancy? I know pregnancy during a residency is immensely difficult, and frequently puts the baby in harm's way, and I imagine choosing to adopt would cut down on the stress. I'm curious because I want to go into surgery, but as a woman, I am concerned about being able to create and raise a family.

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  3. My Studly Hubby was a househusband for 10 years, from the time our children were 5-yrs and 2-yrs-old. Three years ago we decided to reverse roles again. Since they did not remember, each of our children took me aside and asked me privately whether I knew how to cook.

    From the beginning of our marriage in '86 we were not enamored of the lifestyles of families with two full-time employed parents. These families appeared stressed and less than happy.

    One 'primary parent at home' has worked for us. Thanks for 'coming out' with one full-time parent at home. Sometimes I think people don't even give themselves the choice - it's so 'normal' to prove oneself by a career. I'm just sayin'...

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  4. Shirah,

    Adopting is the hard/ stressful process. I've been "pregnant" for more than 18 months now.
    Our reason is medical and we just feel its something we should do.

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  5. RH+,

    First of all, let me assure you I am as jealous as jealous can be.

    Husband, who told me when we got engaged that he would stay home with the children, changed his mind before Son was born. I beg. I plead. He won't do it.

    Could I send my husband to yours for a play date? Maybe if he sees that it isn't an "easy job" he'd feel more manly about adopting that role.

    Speaking of adoption, Husband and I are in the process, too, and if I hear "why don't you just have another one" one more time I'll scream. How we choose to expand our family (for us it is a health reason, too) is nobody else's business.

    Peace, sister, and welcome to the blog. :)

    ReplyDelete

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