Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Guest Post: I was the nanny

She was an OB-GYN just beginning her new attending position in private practice as child #3 turned 6 months old. She left her beautiful baby girl and sons 5 and 7 in my care while she went to work. Her husband was amazing and he helped out with everything, often dropping the boys at school or coming home early to take sons to sports practice and appointments, etc. But three kids is more than one person wants to feed, dress and arrange play dates for so this is where I came in. I was not the first or last and at times I was not the only, but for a year I was the primary nanny. I didn’t live in, unless she was on-call or he was out of town but I did breakfast duty to night times stories and sometimes both depending upon the day. It was an amazing year. I learned a lot about medicine from her view and I got to play house and decide that I did want it all, a family and a career in medicine. For over a year I watched her kids grow up while she worked at a job that I knew I someday wanted. At the end of the day she would come home and all three of her children would rush to the door or call for her. First she would wash her hands (I always thought it odd that she didn’t do this before leaving the hospital or office but I suppose she wanted to get home as fast as she could.) She might miss dinner but she would almost always be home before bed time to read stories with her sons or breast feed her baby girl. Later she would tell me about her day, the hard case or difficult patient and I would tell her about homework and play dates and new milestones. She was an amazing mom yet obviously loved her work. I was a part of their lives and often wondered if/when I would fit a family into a medical career. I am now a medical student (and married to an OB-GYN resident) and haven’t yet figured this out. Currently I’m in a different country then my husband so children are not on the horizon. I not sure when/how we will start a family but I know it is possible, because I follow your blog and because once, I was the nanny.

About Me: Right now my life is all about neuroscience, physiology and immunology as I’m in my 2nd term of medical school on a little island known for its spices and beautiful beaches. I keep a blog of my adventures:
My dream is to practice pediatric neurology and hopefully I’ll figure out how to rig my biological clock so I can have a family once I finish this whole MD training thing.


  1. Great story! It's nice to know that the nannies sometimes envy us rather than feel bad for us that we don't get to spend more time with our kids.

    Regarding the handwashing: I always wash my hands before leaving the hospital AND when I get home (although I'm probably less anal about it now that my daughter is older and has a more robust immune system + daycare germs). Unless I had a sink *in my car*, it is almost guaranteed I would touch something in that two-minute interval between that last handwashing and leaving the hospital. Better safe than sorry!

  2. Fascinating story. Thanks for your perspective.

  3. With regard to the handwashing, I often find that in my glee to *actually* be done for the day, I just want to get out of the hospital as quickly as possible, so I rush out. No handwashing first (I won't even pee, even if I'm at the brink of not being able to hold it anymore -- I only live a few blocks from the hospital, though). So that definitely means handwashing as soon as I get home!

  4. As compulsive as I am about hand-washing at work, I ALWAYS wash my hands as I walk in the door - it feels like I'm washing off my work day and starting my family like.


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