They often say it takes a village to raise a child.
As your typical OCD, type A personality, I was not one to ask for help. Before motherhood, I would say my life was quite simple. My innate desire to excel at everything I do was never challenged. I was born into a typical Korean family in America. My parents immigrated to America shortly after getting married to provide a better future for their children. I was my parent's pride and joy. I did well academically. I got accepted into a combined BS MD program in high school. My life was planned out. I would go to college followed by medical school and become a doctor.
Who knew I would meet the love of my life and get married by the end of medical school? And better yet, who knew I would get pregnant during my intern year?
I certainly did not. I lived in denial throughout my entire pregnancy that I got this. I was so wrong. My whole world turned upside down. I loved my baby girl more than life itself but for a control freak like me, having a child was the ultimate test in learning how to let go.
Fast forward 2 years and 10 months later, here I am. I cannot be more grateful. My life is a lot more complicated but I wouldn't change anything. Everything truly happens for a reason. It wasn't medical school or residency that proved to be my biggest challenge. It was the combination with motherhood.
I'm thankful that the challenges of motherhood and residency has taught me how to ask for help. It has made me a better person. Life isn't a competition. And I am constantly grateful to the people in my village that help me raise my child and pursue my career.
So here is my thank you.
Thank you to the others moms I've met during this journey whether it be a simple look of camaraderie when little C is throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the supermarket to those who have reached out to let me know that I am not alone in this process.
Thank you to my daughter's teachers. Thank you so much for being so understanding. Thank you for making little C love pre-school. Thank you for providing a safe environment for my daughter while I go to work. Thank you for answering all my paranoid questions.
Thank you to my pediatrician friends for answering this radiology resident's questions (whose entire medical knowledge seems to go out the window when the mommy cap is on!) from how to dose tylenol, to answer questions about little C's rash and even regarding her intense stranger anxiety (thank goodness that phase is over!)
Thank you to all my friends that stuck around. As a resident and as a mom, it doesn't leave much for a social life. Times like this has made me realize that true friends are few. Thank you to those that have been understanding and we can pick up where we left off despite the times we talk and get to see each other are few and far apart. To those who didn't want to stick around, that's okay too. Thank you for once being a part of my life but I understand that I may not be the friend you need or want. Thank you for teaching me that as we grow older, it is not possible to be friends with everyone and that it is also okay to not be liked by everybody.
Thank you to this blog for providing a sense of community. I feel grateful that I get to share my stories with other women just like me.
Thank you to my attendings. I've had my share of attendings who seem to forget how hard it is to be a resident let alone a resident and mom. However, I've also had my share my attendings that do remember and this is my thank you to the ones that tell me to go pick my little C early when things start to slow down at the end of the day.
Thank you to my husband for always listening to me and making the best out of the situation. Despite the entire country between us, you try your best to make sure I don't feel alone this year.
Thank you to my in laws for being understanding and patient. Thank you for not complaining about not being able to see little C or us that often. Thank you for supporting our careers and our journey to parenthood.
Thank you to my dad and brother for sharing your wife and mother with me. I know me and little C have taken her away from you two during the past 3 years. But neither one of you ever complain and love little C just as much as I do.
And my biggest thank you goes to my mom. Thank you for raising little C for 2 and a half years as her primary caregiver and now that she's in pre-school, thank you for spending your weekends with us, thank you for always packing us food for the week, thank you for watching little C when I'm on call and thank you for always being available when little C is sick and can't go to pre-school. You are the main reason I've made it this year.
Thank you, my wonderful village. I couldn't and can't do it without you all. Here's to 38 more weeks of long distance and to 30 more weeks of residency! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Dear beautiful people in my village, my success is just as much yours as mine.