I know I am imperfect all the time, but I felt particularly so during my recent two weeks on the wards. Although I enjoy teaching the team of residents and students and doing some intensive patient care, it is also very hard. And this was my first time on the wards since maternity leave, which was even harder.
One Saturday night, I was getting ready to leave the hospital at 8 pm. My team had been admitting during the day and dealing with some other complicated issues, so I had stayed late. I could have stayed even longer, but it was getting to be Baby’s bedtime. I wanted to be at home for that and the team was under control. Guilt-about-staying-at-work was slightly stronger than guilt-about-going-home, so it was time to go home.
I called my husband to come pick me up. On weekend nights, there is no parking near where we live and we’re better off walking rather than moving the car. We are within a 30-minute walk from the hospital. We decided on the phone that Daddy would bring Baby in the stroller and we would all walk home together. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Baby usually likes walks in the stroller, but not this time. He cried almost the whole way home. And so did I. He was hungry and tired and wanted his mama. I was hungry and tired too and could not stand the sound of his distress. Of course, it also started raining on us. Not our finest hour.
He forgot about all this as soon as we got home and put him to bed, but I continue to feel bad about being torn between work and home. I have to remind myself to focus on the positive though. Despite having a very busy service, I managed to sneak over to the OB floor to pump every 4 hours or so and sustain Baby’s feeding. I am glad that my difficult weeks are interspersed with some easier ones, when I can spend more time with him. And I am thankful that Baby has a wonderful Daddy to help take care of him. All we can do is our best, even when it doesn’t always feel like enough.
TaborF blogs at Tea with Dr. Tabor.