Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to be a resident with a baby (and not lose your mind)

Having a baby during residency is a scary thought. Residency is scary in itself and adding a whole person you're responsible for into the mix makes it even scarier. But I survived it without losing my mind. Here are some tips:

1) Be in a cushy residency.
It's easy to act like a big hero juggling a residency and a baby when you're in a residency that's probably less work than most attending physician jobs. I can't imagine a better residency to have a baby in than my PM&R residency. I took call from home, worked only a handful of weekends each year, and even had several rotations with built in mornings or afternoons free. Sure, it would have been nice to work parttime or not take call at all. But for a resident, I think I had an easier time obtaining the work-home balance than most.

2) Have a husband who's Awesome.
Well, we all have husbands who are awesome, right? My husband was a student when my daughter was an infant and he was able to stay home with her a lot, which was great bonding time for the two of them. My mother is still amused by the delicate care and knowledge with which he prepared her bottles. I can't say it was a perfect situation though, because childcare sometimes got in the way of his studies. Our situation is different now in that he has a full time job, and I'm curious to see how it will affect his relationship with our next child. (He's really close with our daughter.)

3) Have a nanny who used to be a cleaning woman.
When I came home from work every day, the dishes and laundry were done and the house was spotless. That helped a lot.

4) Learn to type with baby balanced on chest.
Probably my first several work presentations were composed in such a way. Very efficient.

So I guess in summary I don't really have any super secret Jedi tricks in order to survive being a resident with a baby. I survived mostly through a combination of luck and making the easiest choices.


  1. You forgot -- Have fistfuls of money.

    And what's this "next child" business? Do you have something you want to share?

  2. Heh... perhaps :)

    Having fistfuls of money would have been a great tip, but not one I was able to follow.

  3. Any advice for typing while baby is on nipple? A momma can only wish!

  4. Hopefully, I'll never have to tackle this...I think all my baby days are behind me!

  5. Fizzy - Old MD girl read your post more carefully than I! Next child indeed :) How very possibly exciting.

    JC - I never got that proficient at breastfeeding. Wasn't not for trying!

  6. Since I can only use the mouse with my right hand, I preferentially nursed my son on my left breast while using the computer. This resulted in a noticeable and highly embarrassing disparity in breast sizes.


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