A day in the life of Dr. Mom!

6:30a- alarm goes off to get ready before the kids get up and all the mayhem begins.
7:30a- get kids up, brushed, dressed, fed, and out the door for school.
8:30a- drop off Ava (my 5 yo)
9:00a- drop off AJ (my 3yo)
9:15- back home to pick up Ashley (my 21 yo) to go to the gym
9:45a- gym
11:00a- pick up AJ
11:30a- lunch and hang with AJ
12:30p- sitter comes to stay with AJ so I can run errands
12:45p- run errands (groceries, bank, returns, lunch with a friend, mani/pedi {if I’m lucky!})
3p- pick up Ava
4p- take Ava to swimming
5:30p- home to make dinner for kids
7p- bath
8:30p- bedtime (thank God!!)
9:30p- go for a quick date night drink with the hubs
10:30p- home and in bed!!

Did I mention this is my day “off”? I am usually much busier on the days I don’t work than when I do. It’s exhausting, but I love my life and the craziness within it.

I am the proud mother of a wonderful 21 year old young woman (who I had when I was 16, but that’s another article I guess!), a very spunky and super smart 5 year old girl, and an incredibly handsome and smart 3 year old boy. I have been married for 10 years to my med school sweetheart and I am an attending anesthesiologist in private practice in Queens, NY.
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I am a physician and a mother. I am more one or the other depending on the day and/or the situation. I have always wanted to be a physician and I have always wanted to be a mother. One doesn’t lessen the other, in fact, I strongly believe that these two roles are ,for the most part, symbiotic in a strange and beautiful way. I know I am a better physician because I am a mother. I can see and understand things in a different way, in a way only one with a mother’s eyes and heart can. I take patients stories with a grain of salt at times, thinking of my own children’s fables! I have compassion and empathy that only a mother can have. I know the way I interact with my patients and the parents of my patients is directly influenced by my life experience as a mother.

On the flip side, does being a physician make me a better mother? I preface this answer by making it clear than when I say better, I am only comparing me to myself. If that makes any sense. I am my own toughest critic. Please do not think that I am saying that those who are not mothers or in other professions are not as good at doctoring or mothering. Not at all. I am just relaying what I think about myself.

Back to being Dr.Mom. How can choosing to be away from my children for countless hours make me a good mother? How can being on call, going to conferences, and studying be justified when my children are in the care of others and sometimes cry for me to be with them? Because, as cliche as it may sound, it’s the quality not the quantity of the time I spend with them that counts. Because I have fulfilled my lifelong desire and goal to become a successful (and damn good, might I add!) physician and I am happy with myself because I did this. A happy mother, a mother who is satisfied with her personal, professional, and overall life choices, will always be a better mother. Because studies have shown (Harvard Business School study) that daughters of working mothers excel later in life and their sons are more compassionate and better spouses. Because my children know they come first, however, they also know that if mommy has to stay late to take care of a patient and cannot fulfill a commitment, that I will be back soon and I will make it up to them.

I have been through high school, college, med school and residency with a child. I had my second and third children as an attending. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve cried because my babies cried and begged me to stay home. I even have a card my eldest wrote me when I was a third year med student saying, “I wish every weekend was a golden weekend so you could be home.” Heart breaking! She was only 8 years old!

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I’ve had to leave sick babies. I’ve had to scramble for sitters. I’ve also had to tell my boss/colleagues that I’m not coming in because of a sick child or no sitter. It happens. It’s life. It’s being Dr.Mom and I really wouldn’t have it any other way!!

-AJA

 

Special thanks to my fellow anesthesiologist and friend, Alizabeth Acevedo, for this contribution. She continues to inspire many Mavens to be superwoman and makes it look so good!