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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mommy time/ whenever I can get it

How do you fit your "mommy time" in?

I love residency. I love what I do, love my work colleagues, and am so thankful for my attendings and program director. I could not have imagined a more supportive community. 

One thing I'm grappling with right now is keeping any sort of structure for my kids when I am at home. When I am at work, the house runs like clockwork. My husband gets them to school on time, the nanny has them fed, brushed, bathed, and in bed by 7:30. No fuss, no problem. 

But when I'm around, it's chaos. And not the controlled choreographed chaos of the ED. It's pure, unpredictable, chaos. For example, this morning, all before getting to school by 845 (very late- they start 745), my daughter "ran away" from home down the block, the kids put on a puppet show, everyone ate pancakes, and only then did we start getting ready for school. 

As an EM resident, my schedule is varied. I work a lot of later day shifts (10-10) or mid shifts (2-2) and at least 2 full weekends a month. I usually average about 1 dinner/bedtime/bathtime home a week. During that night, we try to fit in all the homework for the week, I try to hear all the stories about their friends, cuddle time, book time, story time, song time, just-be-with-mommy time. Needlessly to say, bedtime gets substantially pushed off. On the mornings when I'm home before shift, I'm usually exhausted, but, as I have not seen them for 2 or 3 nights already, we morning cuddle, make pancakes, read books, play dress up, etc. Trying to fit all this "mommy" time into the 1 hour or so between wake up and school is impossible. So we are late. Consistently. 

I know that once they are older, getting to school on time will be more important, but it's been a challenge to balance between maximizing every second I get to be home with them with sticking to a routine. Some days are better than others, but I'd love any tips! 

How do you maximize quality time when you don't have the quantity time to give? How do you balance discipline/structure with just enjoying their company?

2 comments:

  1. How old are they? Sounds like they're pretty young. If they're elementary school or younger, I wouldn't spend any of your time with them on homework. There is no value to homework before high school, and it's their work, not yours. I don't think there's any real harm in kids being late to school if they're younger than third grade - they're not likely to miss anything academically important. The school might get bent out of shape, though.

    Can you create a routine for the times you're home? A routine of the fun stuff you do? Cuddling and pancakes and books are lovely and they are still valuable even if not open-ended. You can also let them choose and still set time limits - "We have half an hour! What shall we do?"

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  2. Awww, we went through the same thing when I was a resident! One of the most valuable pieces of advice that I received was from a Lady Attending who said that parent/caregiver with the best schedule gets to be the Time Keeper/ Schedule Setter. Therefore, YOU have to stick to the schedule that the kids father and nanny have them on. Have them write it out and post it for you and it's okay for them to help you with it! Don't expect to be able to do it on your own when you aren't there as much as they are. JUST LET GO OF THE GUILT RIGHT NOW! IT'S NOT WORTH YOUR TIME OR ENERGY! It's okay to deviate some from the schedule every now and then but for the most part the kids really need their set schedule. Just remember training is only temporary but it'll be better for everyone if the kids are kept on their schedule. Every now and then I would pick Zo up early from daycare and take him to the park, but in general if I got off of work early I would go home and take a nap or clean up. Zo loved daycare, we paid for it, and honestly he did better when his daycare day ended at his usual time because they had him on a great little schedule. I fit in where I could - I sometimes would volunteer at daycare to read stories on my off days. Zo would stay at daycare and I would pick him up at the usual time. He would cry sometimes but he mostly would just hug and kiss me and go on about his day with his little homies.

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