It's been a long day on ICU, and I'm patiently waiting for the night float resident to relieve me of my duties so I can go home, sneak into my kids bedrooms and kiss them goodnight. Although they won't see me with their smiling faces for another 2 days. I am a second-year family medicine resident in the southwest, and am at this point officially burned out and miss my kids terribly. I had my second child (a girl) 8 months ago. My son is 2 1/2. Dad works full-time as well, but carries the brunt of the duties when I'm on challenging inpatient rotations. "Guilty" does not go far enough in describing the perpetual feelings I harbor about leaving home every day to take care of others, when all I really want is to be taking care of my family. Don't get me wrong, I love being a doc, and have worked years and years to achieve this goal. But I can't help but wonder whether I will regret this all when my kids ask "Mom, did you stay at home with us?" or "Mom, who did you leave us with when you were at work?" They are cared for by a very good friend of mine who cares for a few other kids together in her home. She is the mother we all want and want to be for our children. And they LOVE her. But I can't get past the fear that they will somehow resent me being gone when they are older, and realize just how much I have been absentee. Thus, I carry a heavy heart, nearly every day that I am away. I've never felt like this about anything. It's always been about me, about my goals, about my plans. Now it's about them, and I want to give them the best of everything. Can I still do that even when I'm away?