Monday, August 3, 2015

Every little bit

2 weeks into attendingdom, I am starting to realize how life has changed fundamentally. Gone are the days of working 75 hours a week. Gone are the days of calculating TPN and anion gap. Gone are the days of being questioned about details that you struggle to remember and know you’ll never need again outside of residency. I now work 4 days a week and can pick up a weekend day if I want to. We haven’t had an office emergency that I have managed yet, but I’ve got emergent management for the 15 or so minutes until EMS arrives down. I’ve got that!

In spite of my nice schedule and awesome colleagues, I realize that it will take a while to let go of my resident mindset. During residency, a resident-mommy-friend and I would chat and comment about how guilty we felt missing out on things. Not being able to care for a sick child. Not being able to make it to bedtime. Missing out on weekend fun. And I realize now that although I won’t be able to always take off to care for my sick child, I have more flexibility to. I now can make it to bedtime every day of the week. And other than my one Saturday a month, I’ll be around for the weekend fun.

Last week on my off day (every Friday), I attended Zo’s first summer camp performance and the joy on his face when he saw me cheering in the front row was priceless. It’s taking my breath away now to remember it. I took him home early, we played at the playground and then went home for family dinner time. I am at a coffee shop now writing this post before restarting a timed section of the 2014 Prep pediatric board questions. This week, I got to attend his second performance and it was just as cute. This week I was strong enough to let him stay for a few more hours while I study (last week I just couldn’t - since in the old days I very rarely could pick him up early).

I want to be able to enjoy every little bit. I want to be a present parent. I want to be a present provider. And I am (for the most part, I was kind of late for his performance today, but I just had to do 5 more questions and get that samosa from the local shop)! After so many years of waiting to “get there”, it’s here and it’s mine and I’m committed. Next time they ask who wants to work overtime I think I’ll pass and stay at home to snuggle with my family. Here’s to enjoying the little bits, the fundamental shifts, and this new phase in life. Question 151 here I come.


  1. Congratulations on your new attending status, Mommabee! Thanks for giving us this glimpse into life for you and your family right now. It's certainly encouraging to read about options for work and life after residency.

  2. This post is incredibly encouraging to read. I am an MS4 and have a 3-month-old daughter. As application season looms, I have been so, so sad about applying to residency. I look at the call schedules posted on training websites and want to cry. I hate the thought of being away from my little girl during the hours and days of training that are to come. I am trying to focus on how life for my family will be in the future, after training, and this has helped.

  3. Congrats mommabee!!!! I love this post!!!! I agree it takes time to adjust to the post-residency mind set. Having most weekends off, being there for bedtime..... You can relish in it in a way that you couldn't have imagined before. Lots of empathy to the medical student above - you will get there, too.
    I'm 2.5 years post residency but also a military doc for whom being home is always a short-term engagement; at least, it feels that way. I'm always in waiting mode for the next assignment, so I've yet to lose that feeling of relishing every moment at home.
    Enjoy this so much mommabee. You've earned it!!!!!!!!


Comments on posts older than 14 days are moderated as a spam precaution. So.Much.Spam.