Showing posts with label teenagers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teenagers. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Who Am I?

So I've been a little - scarce around here lately. My last post was in July, and that was just a link to a piece I had published on Pulse*. My last substantive post was in June, nearly nine months ago. I feel as if I don't have any material.

I still have a kid at home. Writing about her has become more challenging as she's grown older. Eve is 17 now, with her own social media presence and a keen awareness of being talked about. "Mom, you can post that on Facebook if you want to." Her story is her story, and while I have a piece of that story, it's challenging to figure out how to tell my parenting story without invading her privacy.

So I'm still a mother - but am I still "in medicine?" I left my clinical job at the end of July and since then have done a variety of different things, none of which feel much like practicing medicine. For the first time since 1986, my days are not primarily concerned with diagnosis, treatment, and notes. It's - odd. And disorienting.

I've always been determined to have an identity outside of my work, unlike some of the other docs in my family. My grandmother referred to my grandfather as The Doctor, as in "The Doctor won't be home for dinner tonight." My mother didn't do that, but she was The Doctor's Wife first and foremost, and we were The Doctor's Children. I worked fewer hours than they did, although my call still interfered with family life. I took more vacation; my dad took his first week of vacation in 1968. He started practice in 1961. I don't ask Eve's friends to call me Dr. Jay; they mostly call me by my first name. In the end, though, I still defined myself as a doctor first. Everything else is "spare time" - "In her spare time, Dr. Jay hangs out with her husband and daughter and enjoys crossword puzzles and mystery novels."

I guess now my whole life is "spare time." I'm not retired - I still need to contribute financially, and I'm figuring that out - but I know I am done with full-time clinical work. Or even significant part-time clinical work. I'm generally OK with that. I miss talking to patients, and I miss the intellectual challenge. I do not miss having to schedule my life around every third weekend call and I do not miss dragging myself out of bed after being woken up four times over night.

I hope to remain a contributor and figure out what I have to say as we prepare to help Eve launch into college, and launch ourselves into the next part of our life. Most likely, we'll all have to navigate this transition. Perhaps I can start thinking of myself as a trailblazer.

___
*I had another short piece published on Pulse during my MiM hiatus

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Marching with my middle schooler

Wasn't going to make her go, but was thinking it might be the experience of a lifetime.  I wasn't sure how safe it would be, but I decided I'd ask her to think about whether she wanted to go along with me and a few of my out-of-town friends who would be coming to DC for the Woman's March on Washington.  My middle school daughter thought about it for less time than it takes to eat a spoonful of mac and cheese and said, "YES, I'm definitely coming!"

So we reviewed over the next few days a few key concepts.  
  • We learned some words.  Words for body parts.  Words of pride, and words of power.
  • We learned in one night to knit, as we readied ourselves to join in the pink parade, and we discussed the rationale for the name and shape of the hats.
  • We reviewed what choice over one's body means.
  • We discussed the notorious RBG.
  • We packed and shared assorted protein bars and water.
  • We went to stand among many of all shapes, colors, sizes to "march" and to rally (without peeing) for about 8 hours.
  • We read the cleverest signs!  And saw lots of versions of the uterus.  Having already reached the Mother in Medicine with a middle schooler milestone of syncing up our menstrual cycles (has happened once thus far in our household) and having made it through all matters of pubertal hormones thus far, we joined so many many many other women and supportive men in solidarity. 

Oh, and later that night, she said, her exact words, "It was the experience of a lifetime." 

Indeed, I hope she (and all) have a lifetime of equality and choice and freedom and diversity and democracy.

*though we eventually got separated, was wonderful to take an "MiM Metro" to the March with Gizabeth and KC!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Conversations With My Daughter

A keeps telling me what to do. She's so mean. It's like she's my mother.

Hey. I'm not mean.

True. It's like she's the mean mother I never had. Why is she so mean, anyway?

Well, honey, you know her better than I do. It sounds to me as if she's really insecure and also pretty envious of you and C.

Why?

You both have a lot more money than A and her family. You two get to travel and buy pretty much anything you want. A doesn't.

I know. And I don't know why she's so mean to her mom. Her mom works really hard. I think she's nice.

She is nice, and she is working really hard. I can't imagine how painful it must be to have to tell your kids you can't afford things they need. And, at the same time, she seems to tolerate B being mean to her. You said once that you knew I'd never let you talk that way, and you're right. I wouldn't.

It would never even occur to me to talk you like that. Or to yell at you that way.

I know. And a lot of that is just the way you are - the way you're wired. Some of it, though, is that Daddy and I have been clear about what the limits are. And we've also treated you like a human being. We've listened to you and explained why we make our decisions and we respect you and your point of view, so you trust us to be reasonable.

Yeah. And then I expect everybody to be like that, and they're not! Other people are NOT reasonable. Like, I keep thinking people will apologize when they've done something wrong, the way you and Daddy do. And they don't!