Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guest post: When imperfect feels perfect

I’m writing this with my laptop perched on a giant stack of review notes and printed lecture slides and I am purposefully ignoring the multiple powerpoint slideshows and files open on my desktop begging/demanding to be memorized. The worst part? My baby is at daycare, where she’ll be for another half hour to complete her 10 hour day. This is just so hard and sucky sometimes.

I’m a med student with a baby. I get asked all the time how I “do” it. Some weeks, it’s no big deal, it’s not that bad, and I feel the balance works well for our little family. But when she is brings me her favorite book to read, pulls the charger out of the computer, and screams until I read to her, I think to myself that I don’t know if I can “do” this, or even if I want to.

I have friends who have babies, too. One is a full time SAHM. Her instagram pictures of nature walks, arts and crafts, and “Sunday/Monday/EVERYDAY Funday” kill me a little bit inside. Another friend works from home and her pictures of “lunch with the little prince!” make me sigh/roll my eyes/shake my head (depending on the day, the most recent Histology quiz, or whether I got to see my baby before heading out in the morning).

I picked priorities. She was drinking formula at 3 months (end of summer vacation) but I made all my own baby food. Her grandma takes her to music class once a week since I can’t, but I put her to sleep every night. We read books and play all day Saturday, but Sunday mornings I go out to study.

My husband is awesome and supportive and doesn’t understand how I can love the field of medicine, love school (nerd, I know) and still feel so conflicted. I guess that’s the imperfect side of living your dream- other dreams sometimes get put to the side for a bit.

But as imperfect as the balancing act seems, when my baby is teething and only wants her mommy- and, since it is 3am, I am home (and awake), or when I get that HUGE smile and kiss when I come home, it feels so perfect. I’m sure some researcher somewhere has proven that listing bones, ligaments, and muscle attachments as a bedtime story, and speaking in mnemonics for disease presentations helps kids go really far in life. And keeps them happy. Here’s to hoping.



  1. Hey Boxes - great post. I did not have babies until residency - tough on its own but can't imagine what you must be going through! Having said that, one of my smartest mentors had her kids in med school and she still managed a wonderful career in academics, having been near the top of her class and now an international leading researcher in her field. Having kids at that time gives you drive and efficiency and perspective that many of your childless classmates cannot get.

    We cannot help but compare - I compare to my SAHM friends all the time. And my daughter, as she has gotten older and sees the difference in my job demands and those of my SAHM friends - brings it to the forefront of conversation occasionally. But when it is all laid out on the table I think she still respects me, ultimately, even though I am not as available on a day to day basis.

    Sounds like you are doing a great job. Keep it up and keep us posted:)

  2. Thanks, Gizabeth! I love reading your posts, too! C and J sound wonderful!


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