1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice

Mommy in medical school or bad idea??? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by shikki79, Dec 25, 2001.

  1. shikki79

    shikki79 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Guys,
    I'm actually trying to get into medical school right now. I'm 22 but my boyfriend is ten years my senior!!! We are fine with our relationship but I appreciate his need to want to start a family while he's still young enough to relate to them/play with them etc. With this in mind four years of medical school + residency is a lot to ask him to wait for.
    This will mean that I'll be starting a family in medical school.
    I'm looking for realistic advice from spouses ( husbands whose wives have gotten pregnant while she was in medical school) or ladies in medical school and starting a family. Hec any advice from anybody is welcome because I'm confused!!!!!!!!
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Iain

    Iain Semental Blanco
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am no expert on the subject (med school or children) but from what I understand babies are a full time job.
     
  4. AnnK

    AnnK Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2001
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey -
    I think that your questions is an interesting one. Its definatly on my mind. I am an MDPhD student - 29 in my third year with a 36 yo husband.
    I certainly know that it can be done. I know of several women in my "old" class that I did my M1 and M2 years with who had babies in their 3rd and 4th year and several others that had recently had kids before med school. I even know a few single moms in med school. I think that the answer is that is is certainly possible and it is really tough and you have to have good support. I know that our school has been really accomodating to rearrange rotation schedules for pregnant med students.
    I think that the good times would be 1st or second year, 4th year or later in residency.
    So, i wouldn't worry too much about it - if you decide that thats what you want you can make it happen. Altho, I think that I would put it off as long as you both feel comfortable with. Esp since you are young.

    Good luck!!
    Ann
     
  5. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    If you decide to have a child while in med school--understand that someone else will be raising your child. You are not the artist if someone else is molding the clay. Understand that I am not attacking you or any one who has done or tried this, just asking you to think about why you want a child. Is the timing in the best interest of the child? Are your questions --"I want to be young enough? We would like? I am sorry and mean no disrespect to those already with kids, but these answers are clear and having kids when you are not ready to be the care giver is simply not in the childs best interest.
    good luck
     
  6. Zack90

    Zack90 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bandit - Do you have children? What's your background? I have to disagree with such strong tones that having a child in med school is not a good thing.... One needs balance in one's life - and med school is not the end all, be all to life that should consume 110% of one's time, at least in my opinion....
     
  7. BeeGee

    BeeGee Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a few classmates that started their family during med school. One of which has left her family in another state in order to attend our med school. Balancing children, husband, and Biochemistry can be done... but it seems to take a LOT of HARD WORK. If you want to be a physician more than any other job (like myself), if nothing can satiate you like medicine (like myself), then do NOT settle for a job that you don't really care for in order to achieve immediate happiness i.e. taking a 9 to 5 job that you don't really want, having 2.5 kids and a dog...etc. This can lead to you REGRETTING and possibly subliminally blaming your spouse later in life. Besides, you're only 22 and it's too early to start compromising your entire life already. If your relationship is as important to both of you, as it sounds, then it can endure 4 years of training (+3 to 5 years of residency... 9 if neurosurgery)I've known many to start med school in their 30's and 40's. If you want to be a physician and have a family life, be wary that your husband must support you 110%. Do not compromise your life for immediate gratification because you WILL regret it in the future. You will find that as a future doctor, many people that you come across will express the "I could have's" and the "I might still apply" about their interests in becoming a physician. Don't be one of those people. Find what you really want out of life and grad hold of it and don't let go. Also, don't ever let anyone stop YOU from your dreams. You can have it all, it just takes Sacrifice and Cooperation from your partner. (Sounds like a Motivational Seminar I should be charging $49.99 for.)Good luck and I hope you make the decision that will grant you as close to complete happiness as possible.
    --BeeGee (on the soap box for some reason today...I normally don't respond like this but this topic is REALLY important for lots of people)
     
  8. omores

    omores sleep deprived
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2000
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hullo Shikki.

    First things first: I wish you the best of luck of luck during the application process, and hope you make it to your dream school.

    As to your question: if the urge to have a baby is something you feel in the very marrow of your bones; if you simply cannot bear the idea of spending the next 8-odd years of your life without giving birth, then proceed. Clearly there's ample precedent for it. It will be exhausting, expensive, and fraught with battles, but all that can be negotiated if having a baby is something you want (need) strongly enough.

    But I'm not convinced you feel this very visceral urge for children. Your post sounds more as if you are acquiescing to your boyfriend's desires rather than your own. This is noble, but ultimately may not be the best idea for you or for the child you seek to bring into the world.

    Before you take this huge step, allow yourself a little time to be selfish. When YOU'RE truly ready for it, nothing will be able to stop you.

    :) :( :( :)
    ;) :cool: :cool: ;)
     
  9. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Zack90, "one needs to balance ones life" is just what I am talking about. It should not be about what is "right or balanced" in your life---it is about what will put the childs best interest first. Hey, if you want to noone can stop you--but simply because there is ample precedent does not mean it is the right thing to do.
    Oh, and is it not rich that your first instinc is to attack the messenger? "Do you have children? What's your background?" You might not have started that intentionally, but if you want precedent clearly those with opposing opinions have been called names or they have attempted to discredit them. Do what you will, but I still feel it is a bad idea.
     
  10. omores

    omores sleep deprived
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2000
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Bandit: You seem to be saying that a woman in medical school/residency has severe demands on her time and attention, and therefore will not be able to act within the child's best interest (please correct me if I've misinterpreted your views.)

    Why does best interest of child = mom's time? Haven't the score of working moms in the world proven that it is possible to have competing demands? Granted, medical school and residency are particularly tough demands, but there are opportunities to negotiate one's schedule/take time off/do a residency in a field with a less demanding schedule, and so on.

    Moreover, why is it only mom's time that matters? If dad's eager and able, won't that be OK? Good heavens, one full-time parent seems like luxury! I, and most of the people I know, grew up with two working parents -- perhaps not ideal, but an economic necessity for many, and I think we came out OK.

    Bandit, I've no wish to argue the ideal environment in which to raise a child. Most parents would fall short in some respects. If I waited until things approached that ideal, I'd be post-menopausal. I absolutely agree with you that mom's time is important, but I think other factors are even more important: the parents' relationship (a stable, loving union between people with some degreee of emotional maturity), a safe place to grow up, and the fact that the child is wanted, loved, and cared for.
     
  11. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    omores
    Clearly, you have made some good points. There is much evidence that childs best interest=moms time. Of that there can be no arguement (in an ideal setting - given). Your point about one full time parent is great. I would agree that a capable father full time caregiver is definetly an option (full time meaning FULL TIME-not a worker) But not for
    the first year or two at least. I can be certain that many will post with the "bandit hates women" theme that could not be further from the truth. Further, who will be the bread winner while she is in school? I am sorry and wish no disrespect, but this whole idea has "grandma and grampa " or daycare writen all over it. My original post said do what you want, just
    understand that somone else will be raising your child and I think the point has merit.
     
  12. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2000
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    i cant even take care of my dog in medical school, not to mention a baby..
     
  13. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,740
    Likes Received:
    17
    My husband and I have been wrestling with this issue for about a year. I'm 33, he's 36, we've been married for almost 8 years. I've been in school for 6, and will graduate next year. After that, hopefully medical school.

    Here's what I've concluded. Having kids shouldn't be a decision you make lightly, no matter what you do or who you are in life. You should be well aware of your own strengths and weaknesses as a person, you should communicate A LOT with your partner, you should make sure that you can care for your child no matter what happens in life (and a lot will happen!). And as someone else stated already, you should avoid having children unless you can't imagine life without one.

    If you can imagine being a happy, competent human being while being pulled in 3000 directions, go for it. Other experiences this past year have proven to me that I can be a parent and a doctor all at the same time, as long as I have patience, keep my perfectionism in check, and manage my time carefully. Hopefully, by this time next year, I'll be a first time parent, and by the next, MS1.

    Good luck,

    Nanon
     
  14. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey,

    i haven't read much of the posts, but I'd like to say Bandit has a good point! it MAY be better for the child to have a older parent if they can spend more time with them. That's for you to decide, though, shikki.

    I'm really no expert and too young to know much though. But I would like to say, my mom always worked while we were growing up. maybe not when we were very young... i have no memory of then. But by the time I was 4 to 6, my dad was always with us. It has worked out MUCH better for my brother and I that our father raised us! It may not be usual in the american society, but it certainly worked great for us! I'm very glad my parents made the descision as they did.

    I guess you should consider how much time your bf will have for the kids. And make it clear what is whose responsibility.
     
  15. shikki79

    shikki79 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys!
    Thanks for all your different viewpoints. I really appreciate it !!!!!!! More posts welcome.
     
  16. Mary Jane Watson

    Mary Jane Watson Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hey Shikki:

    Everyone has made many valid points. I am 28 and my husband in 35 and I will be entering medical school in the fall. I have decided to wait until I'm at least a 3rd year resident to begin to try to have children. I'm interested in peds right now and the third year, while demanding, is possibly the easiest time- although I may learn differently. I have two high school friends who just began their third year in med programs who have just had babies.

    I'll be out of town while in medical school, and I want to be sure my husband and I can dedicate time to our child. My husband plans to quit working after my residency to parent full time, and I am looking at residency programs with on-site day care and maternity leave in case I get pregnant during this time. With us living apart during school, raising a child will be impossible for us. We'll just be older parents if that means it is better for my child.

    Shikki - don't have a child because your boyfriend thinks he's getting older. You have a long and hard road ahead, why make it harder if you can wait? If he really wants kids now and you don't, maybe its not the right time for you to be together. This is something my husband and I talk about at length - if you're in this life together, you have to be on the same page BEFORE you make the decision to be a physician and BEFORE you decide to bring a new person into the world.

    Remember - think about what is best for you AND YOUR FUTURE CHILD. If you boyfriend is willing to make that full time commitment to child raising while you are in medical school and beyond, then you're lucky. If not, my advice would be to wait.

    Good luck in your pursuits! :)
     
  17.  
  18. EUROdocMOM

    EUROdocMOM Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2001
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am 30 years old and a mommy of 2 daughters (5 & 7 years old). I am applying to med school this year.
    I can only say that I couldn't have been pregnant in school because I was so sick with both. I have always been extremely healthy, so it was a BIG shock to be sidelined like that.
    You never know what to expect with kids and pregnancy, so be prepared.
    If you don't have family or a strong support network near school I'd wait. Childcare is VERY expensive and can be stressful, too.
    If you don't have any major health concerns, why not wait a few years?
     
  19. happylady

    happylady New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    First remember that this is a personal opinion, but an experienced one...
    As a 25 yo mother of two children (2 and 5) who has only just graduated with a BS in Bio in 2001, I know what stresses and superhuman feats are involved in being a student with a family. Considering that I have managed to have a family while attending school you would think I would be very supportive of a woman's decision to have a baby while in med school, but I have many misgivings. Suppose a mother does decide she honestly believes that "quality time" is more important than "quantity time". When, in the demanding environment of med school will she even find the time for "quality time"? I began pursuing my degree with the niave belief that quality time is what matters. But you know what? In between studying, classes, and husband there was no time for kids! My children were spending more time with a provider than with me. When they did see me my nose was buried in some textbook. I'm sorry, but you can't convince me that my 20mins of "quality time" per day was satisfying their physical and emotional needs. Children are VERY NEEDY. It is not their fault, and that is the way it should be. At one point I found myself going days at a time barely getting in 20mins. On these days my husband did all the caregiving, but surely it should not have been so! Thankfully I was able to realize that what I was doing was called NEGLECT and dropped my schedule to part-time so that class/study time was about 40hrs per week. It took me 6 years to finish my education this way, but my children are happy, secure, and actually know they are loved and wanted, not that they were scheduled in during study breaks.
    My point is that children are not pets that can be cared for on a schedule. Children do not cooperate that way. When baby wants mom, she wants mom NOW. When toddler is sick and daycare won't take him, someone must stay home (and in case you're not sure who that someone is, its YOU, the PARENT, the one who chose to give birth to this child). When child won't go to bed at 730 so you can begin studying by 8, you will be tempted to blame the child, but why? Because the kid dared act like the child he is?
    It worried me that many posts seem to say "go for it! It will be hard but you can do it!" It's true that you could do it, but why should you? You could wait a few years for more stability and more life experience, as well as a marriage that has weathered the stresses of life successfully; or you could have a BABY, a life that depends on you to nurture it, love it, and give of yourself selflessly, tirelessly. We've all been annoyed when we've felt as if someone we care about can't make time for us or is just penciling us into there schedule. Imagine what that would be like for a child to deal with. I also had two working parents, but let me tell you, I felt very neglected by them at times! I got my quality time from them, but I would have traded my 1hour/day quality time for 5 hours of quantity time :)
    I am rambling here, so my final opinion: To be a parent is to be selfless, to put another dependent person's welfare before your own. To be a parent is to be willing to SACRIFICE (yes, sacrifice time, or maybe even temporarily, goals) to meet the needs of your child. A child ought not and should not be treated as an object to allotted "quality time." My opinion is that if you are not prepared to give yourself totally to being a parent, which means putting the child before school, study time, personal time, and getting only average or below average grades, then wait to have children. If you have an option to wait before having children, then do it. Your future offspring will love you for it.
    MOM first and always!
    By the way, I am trying to enter med school Fall 2002. I would wait except that 1) I will have taken a year and a half off (absolutely no job or classes or childcare providers) by time of entry 2) my children are 2 and 5 and are at the age where they enjoy each others company 3) I am applying to a VERY family friendly school with less competition, and fewer average class hours (although longer semester), and 4)my husband or I will never be away from our children more than 40 hours/week. I wouldn't give a pet dog any less than attention than that! Good luck!
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    happylady, well put. You sound like wonderful mother.
     
  21. Olubalogun

    Olubalogun Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Shikki.

    I am currently an M1 (26 years old). I have a similar dilemma. My wife and I are expecting our first child (I hate to use the word 'accidental', so I'll just say he/she was 'unplanned').

    From what I can tell, raising a child while in medical school depends entirely on the individual doing the raising. I have plenty of classmates who have children. I have no idea how they are doing, but they came back after the first semester, so I assume they are passing.

    I am quite scared, frankly. I worry about my abilities to rear a child, with everything else in my life. I'm not a genius, so I have to study. But I use one shining example to give me confidence.

    Both my parents are doctors. When they attended med school, they had two toddlers. I was born in my father's third year. My mother, who did most of the hard parenting work (nursing, cleaning poo, feeding, diaper detail, etc.) graduated with honours, a member of AOA. My father graduated in good standing.

    Now, some might say "that was the 70s. medicine is different now". They may be right. But I feel if they could do it with three children (my father also drove taxis), even in 70s medical school, I surely can do it with one, and a spouse whose in the workforce.

    Good luck. God bless.
     
  22. happylady

    happylady New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Olubakogun,
    Congratulations on your baby! I wish you all the best. In my previous post, the main point (I hope I made) is that if you have the choice to wait, then wait. You are having a child unexpectedly while shikka is making a life changing decision. You are justifiedly proud of your parents accomplishments, but I would wonder if during med school and mommy detail if your mother was not at wits end most days. Life is hard enough without volunteering for even more stresses. The fact the your parents are likely exceptional examples of what constant juggling and hard work can accomplish should also be taken into consideration. You pointed out that your mother graduated with honors while being a mom which illustrates another thing. In an IDEAL situation, both parents participate in the childrearing equally, but 99% of couples with children would probably admit that it is MOM who does the majority of the childrearing. And lets not forget that raising a child is much much more than just keeping him or her fed and bathed. If that were the case than everyone should just go out and have a baby right now. No, it is so much more than that. I can't properly put it into words, but please please please don't make the mistake of believing that having food, shelter,and clothing is all that makes a good, involved, and loving parent. I truly wish you all the best, and hope that when it comes down to it that you are willing to be an average student if it means being a great DAD. Your relationship will be tested (even marriages w/o the added stress of baby or med school have to fight to survive these days), but you will be okay if you always remember that this is a choice you made (to have a child and continue school), that life didn't just happen to you. And don't be tempted to let your wife do all the work, you're in this together. I apologize if this sounds like a lecture, its just that I care very passionately about the welfare of children, and want people considering parenthood to understand ALL the parenting entails. Again, Shikka, you have the option to wait. It is absolutely your (and your partner's) decision to make, but I urge you to give yourself time, give your relationship time to adjust and settle to the real world (when all the fuzzy romantic feelings are sometimes overshadowed by making the rent, getting 2 hours sleep per night, or barely having time with your partner, let alone by yourself). It can be done, as Olubalogun and others have illustrated, but if you don't have to climb uphill both ways, why would you?
    P.S.--Bandit, it is very sweet of you to say so. Thankyou :)
     
  23. SunnyOne

    SunnyOne Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shikki,
    People have posted a lot of good advice and insight. You're not alone. Anyone wanting to be a good parent and hold a time-consuming job will struggle with this. One thing that jumps out at me, however, is the fact that he is you're boyfriend, not your husband. Girl, make sure you see a ring before you restructure your life around a man (assuming you want to marry him)! He knows what your life will be like if you follow your dreams, and if he commits to you, then it's give and take. But until then, you can know that you have your whole life in front of you to make these choices.

    This is a very personal subject, but if you were one of my girlfriends, that's what I would tell you :)
    -L
     
  24. Mimicat

    Mimicat Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the comments by happylady are right on in most cases.

    I am a mom to 3 kids - a five year old (just!!), one 3.5 years, and one 20 months. I am back in school this year (full time, but crunched into only 3 days/week). I am planning on applying to medschool next year. In short, I haven't found this year to be that difficult - I am a pretty disciplined student and really enjoy school. That said, it only takes one bout of the flu or something to throw a big wrench into a finely-tuned schedule.... I do find the kids missing me quite a bit though, and I'm only gone MWF... Medschool will definetely be a huge adjustment - especially 3rd year.

    I agree with the comments that if you can wait to have your kids, that would probably be a more manageable path. My dad was 45 when he had me, and we had a wonderful relationship. You've got lots of time for kids. I wish that I had pursued this dream before having kids, but now here I am, 36 years old and not feeling that I can wait any longer.

    One thing that I believe very strongly though, is that a happy mom makes happy kids. Although I love my kids dearly, I was pretty unhappy being at home with them full-time. Now I know that some people on this site will rave "well, why did you have kids then?!!!!" It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that although I really am a great and very loving mom, I am not suited to doing this "stay at home" thing. Does that make me a bad mom? I hope not. I think we all should know ourselves well enough to accept our limitations, and make the best use of our resources. Since I have returned to school, I have "found myself" again - I am much more fulfilled and tremendously happy. That, I believe, is also a benefit to my kids, because now when I am with them I am completely happy and not resentful of having put my goals on hold. Maybe some people will only view this as "selfishness" - I did at first, but now I truly see the beneficial effects of my happiness on my children. I am lucky to be in a loving and supportive marriage with a man who is as nurturing and "present" with our children as any mom I know. He is also happy and fulfilled with his career - which was what really prompted me to pursue my goals.

    So, I guess my point is - as an outsider, I think you have lots of time for a family (22 is sooooo young....), but, if having a child now is something you REALLY NEED to do now, then it will work out. If you have the support you need, and if you are disciplined, then you should be able to handle it. One last thing - don't underestimate the power of your "out of whack" hormones after having a child though, this could throw your plans off a bit by making you lose site of long term goals like medschool.

    I realize that this reply is kind of all over the place, but the issue is so complex and so personal, it is hard to give any kind of simple answer. I suggest you check out the Mommd website for some further insight into this topic:

    <a href="http://www.mommd.com" target="_blank">Mom MD</a>

    Good luck, Mich
     
  25. double elle

    double elle Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    2
    Shikki,
    When I began medical school in August, I had no desire to have a baby yet. We had waited throughout the application process and beyond out of fear a kid would ruin my progress through school. However, 2 months into school...WHAM..it's all I can think about. I can't explain it. So....I set out to talk to all the people I could, desperately searching for someone who could give me one really good reason that my desire to have a child was really crazy. I talked to student mom's, doctor mom's who had their kids in school...I really researched it a LOT. I even went to the school counselor thinking that if there were any problems I hadn't thought of...problems past pregnant students had in the past..she would know. I have found absolutely NO ONE who told me it was crazy. The common theme was this: Yes, it's hard..but it is do-able..and it's SO worth it. THAT is what I got from virtually EVERYONE I talked to, and I talked to at least 10-12 people who have been in the situation.

    I also had to deal with feelings that I felt guilty because I had already committed to medical school...and now I am wanting this other huge thing in my life, too. I found myself constantly apologizing about it. Finally, people began to ask why I was apologizing about wanting a child. I just assumed that someone would make me choose one or the other...and that wasn't the way it was. My school is very family friendly and we can bring the baby to class for the first 6 weeks.

    Another thing to think about is that when you begin medical school....your life isn't going to get easier...EVER. Your schedule will always be hectic..you will always be busy. It's the same argument people have when they say that there is no good 'financial' time to have children.

    For me, medical school isn't the most challenging thing I've ever done. I've had many accomplishments and am confident that I can balance a baby and school/career.

    Also, I think it's important to point out that it's the PARENT that makes choices about what he/she must give up in order to have children. If you aren't willing to give up some of your things (shopping or working out now and then..whatever) and your baby will CONSTANTLY be with someone else...then there really isn't any point in even being a parent.

    We chose to wait because I didn't know how I would be a mom and be in school..now, I am wishing we had one BEFORE school began, because my ONLY fear is that a complication will happen with pregnancy and I'll miss more class than I need to. Other than that...we are going for it.

    I have one brother and younger twin sisters. I can remember my mom packing us all up and taking us where-ever she went...2 hours to the zoo..Six Flags, anywhere. She didn't need my dad to go, she just took us. Yes, she was a stay-at-home mom, but I figure if she can juggle a set of infant twins, a son, and a daughter...while taking chemotherapy for brain cancer....I can juggle school and a little bundle of joy.

    It's going to kick my ass some times, I know that. But, I am prepared.

    Good luck.
    Feel free to email me if you would like to talk further about this.
     
  26. BeeGee

    BeeGee Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whatever decision you make, be sure that YOU can live with it. Best wishes --BeeGee
     
  27. Olubalogun

    Olubalogun Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  28. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
     
  29. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Mich,

    A lot of what you have written rings true for me too....I feel very isolated, frustrated and at times quite resentful..and the more I open up and talk with other moms I'm realizing that many of them feel this way...so we aren't alone.

    I also think that I was at my best as a mom when I was busier...but while I was finishing the last year of my MS I was simply too busy and stressed out...

    I desperately need to find a happy medium for myself..I simply MUST get balance in my life...I have been on the pre-med roller coaster for several years now, but having watched my husband survive residency I feel very cautious....I watched his best intentions turn to hell when he was working 80+ hour weeks and I am afraid of missing out so much on my children's lives....

    I look forward to hearing how things go for you...I think I'm trying to take my cue from other moms who get there, experience the reality and can report back on their perceptions! Please keep me posted....

    Kris
     
  30. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Ladie, I do not wish to start a fight here, just simply adding perspective -- The simple fact of the matter is that women are better at raising children, not to mention more capable, than men are. Granted, that men have come a long way in recent years, but lets be serious here -- is it just coincidence that women have breasts? I think men raising children (primary) is wonderful, but for at least the first 2 years. That is when an infant needs his/her mother the most. I know this is vague, but that whole "womens intuition" thing and the "more sensitive to others" thing is part of the evolutionary biology of women in order to be better at raising children. I think it is pretty clear to everyone that women have more stamina than men, can preform longer and under more difficult situations than men. ie. women have been proven to last longer in deep water/outer space/ without food or water/and a long list that, well I know you think this all adds up to "doing other things" but there are many that still believe that women should (and are better at) raise the children (esp. the first few years.) I can read it now "bandit forces gender roles on women!!" Not so. This whole 50% thing is simply unrealistic ( In know, some one knows of some super man that does it all). Different can be equal. Please, if you all ignore everything I said, remember this--Do not let anyone ever tell you that women raising kids is for the weak or dumb. IF done right, it is the hardest thing you should ever have to do--I do wish that society would come out and endorse this without N.O.W. making women feel like they are a waste and a betrayal to the "sisterhood" for loving and raising thier children.

    Just a quick point -- my 15 year old niece was told by a rep. of N.O.W. at a school function that todays women are too smart to have to raise children. I could not believe it. Does this imply anything short of those that do are weak/dumb/or waste? That potential is always unrealized if you dont have a "career"?

    My wife, mother and sister are arguably the most intellegent women I know ( and I have know many)I could never ever have the capabilities thay do when it comes to raising kids (among other things). Does this mean that I, my father and brither-in-law are not "pulling our wieght? No way man.
     
  31. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Bandit...

    Agreed...and now, when is the blasted US govt. going to recognize the profession of motherhood? Why are McDonald's employees paying into their retirement funds, while mine hasn't grown by a penny since I entered this profession? In other countries, the childbearing years are counted fully as years of employment when considering social security....I say if we want to really show moms that what they are doing is respectable, we need to at the very least compensate them in this way.

    BTW, Bandit, could it be that you misunderstood my post...my point was totally that men are simply not willing/able to take on the full responsibilities of parenting and that that is why mothers considering medicine need to realize that their children will still be counting on them to fulfill their needs.


    Kris
     
  32. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    That is an interesting point and one I will give much thought to. But, my knee jerk reaction is that we must separate the $ from the "respectability" aspect. Because the money is low that means noone respects it? Hmmm, not too sure. I (as a tax payer--not just payrole taxes) would not be in favor of paying women for stay-at-home mom duties (too much incentive for many to have kids they are not ready for in order to not work), but I would be very much in favor of HUGE tax credits and breaks for those that choose to stay at home.
     
  33. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    You don't have to pay for them to stay home, but McDonald's employees pay into social security and get credit for it...and the taxpayers SHOULD be responsible for that if they are of the mindset that being a mother is important enought that they expect their wives or other wives to stay home to raise the children and be there for them....or would you rather pay the cost of daycare? I think the tax increase just to pay into social security for stay-at-home moms would be modest compared to the cost of daycare....

    Sure...if you paid moms a small stipend to stay home, there would be some that would abuse that....but a few bad apples shouldn't ruin the bunch!

    Kris
     
  34. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    There would be much more than a few bad apples when another state of dependency is created.

    First -- lets say that we agree on the worth of motherhood (so there is no arguement)

    Second--it is NOT the responsibility of society to raise the children of those that have them when they are not financialyy prepared. If you cant afford them you should not have them. That being said --

    third--there is not social security trust fund! It is a total lie! All the soc. sec. money has been mixed into the general revenue. Anything being paid into it now is being used now for the people that are "retired". Soc. sec. is only supposed to be a supplement for retirement. Not a means to live, and it certainly should never be raised to the levels of other social programs (that are all out of controll) and support a level of indulgance!

    four--there is no way I would ever agree that paying for the daycare of others , by the fed gov, is a good idea--it is not. People must simply not have kids if they can not afford it. It is that clear. There are some that think having children is a right--I disagree. Just because you are capable of something does not give you the right to do it. (I will spare you exapmles)

    Now, I have not given this much thought yet, but the idea of decent tax cuts (credits) for the working parent woyuld more than make up what is lost in soc. security -- it would seem to me. Oh, hmm, this might ruffle a few fethers too, but Only for married couples that are living together too. People simply must put the value of their own family before anything else.
     
  35. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I think you misunderstood me...I am not suggesting that you pay the daycare for others...I was thinking about the cost for yourself one day. What is more expensive...paying an extra $20/month so that women at home will have the same benefits of retirement as a McDonalds employee or putting out the money yourself one day towards daycare? If your wife is "just" an underappreciated housewife/mother who does not reap the supposed social security benefits one day, is not respected enough by the rest of society to give her the basics for the supposedly "most important job of mothering" then don't expect her to stay home....I'd much rather be slinging burgers at McDonalds most days..

    I am also not in favor of paying moms a stipend...When we talk about the reasons for the breakdown of the family, the lack of time that moms spend now with their families, etc...you must ask yourself why though...from my perspective....the job of mothering, that is so undervalued that the taxpayer isn't willing to help her pay into her social security fund, or even fund some basic early childhood preschool programs so she can just catch her damned breath...is the most exhausting, demanding, unfulfilling, unrewarding thing I've ever done...and if I had it to do over again...I don't know if I would...and that is just plain honest. If I knew then what I know now....that we would be on the verge of bankruptcy after 8 years of residency and fellowship....that I would never, ever hear one compliment about a job well done as a mother...but that every person and their dog would tell me how to do the job better and be certain that they were right...well, I think I would have chosen a different route.

    Do I love my children? Yes, most definatley...but I'm exhausted, unfulfilled and completely unrespected and unappreciated. My husband is a physician and so his big wig colleagues don't even consider me worthy of a conversation over dinner...after all, I'm "just" a stay-at-home mom...forget that I have a decent education and a brain between my eyes...that I'm a person that wants to be treated with the same respect that they do....

    Life is complicated, and as to affording children...Most people do not plan to NOT have enough money to raise them...my husband and I did everything right...good schools for ourselves, solid educations...my husband did residency and fellowship...we played by the rules and worked our way up with absolutely NO help from family at all...and at the end of the day, our debt from this stupidity is 3.5 times our take-home income...and we have absolutely NOTHING to show for it...we pay more towards our debt each month than for our modest house....and we are in our 30's, with no retirement......had we known this, we might have made other choices....

    Am I bitter? Yes...unfortunatley, I see that I am..we survived so much only to come out with the short end of the stick....we wanted so much for our family...only to have nothing...I don't even WANT to stay home anymore with my children, but daycare actually costs $250/week per child here...that is $1000 I would pay $2500/week in childcare to get out of this house...and couldn't get a job to pay me that right now.....

    Sometimes...life just...sucks the life out of you.

    Kris
     
  36. Mimicat

    Mimicat Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kris,

    I read your post and just HAD to respond... I hear you and relate completely with what you are saying! I am so glad that I am not the only Mom in the world that feels that way. I love my kids to death! But staying at home has been the most degrading, thankless thing I have ever done in my life. The kids themselves have been great (although I agree - exhausting at times :rolleyes: ), but the lack of respect or recognition from society has kind of hit me over the head like a brick. I get lots of lip-service to the fact that staying at home with kids is really important and worthy etc, but when it comes right down to it, the "not worthy of a dinner conversation" remark still applies.

    Anyway, I guess we've gotten a bit off the original topic. :rolleyes: I just wanted you to know that I feel for your anguish that was so evident in your last post. It just seems so difficult to find that elusive "balance" as a mom. I have come to realize that although my current plans are sure to raise some criticism as being "selfish" or putting my needs before my children's, I KNOW without a doubt that they are better off (emotionally and psychologically) with me feeling very fulfilled and happy than with me being home more but feeling resentful and depressed much of the time. :(
     
  37. Mimicat

    Mimicat Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more thing, in terms of "will the child suffer if mom is in medschool". I agree that the first couple of years are really crucial in terms of bonding and brain development.
    But in support of busy working mom's, I have to say that my mom went back to her job only a couple of weeks after giving birth to each of her three children (there was no maternity leave at that time). She certainly wasn't working the kind of hours that a resident does or anything, but her job was fairly stressful, involved some prep at home each night, and she also completed her Master's degree at night as well while we were preschoolers.

    From a child's perspective: Did I EVER feel neglected in any way? - NEVER! Did I get homemade cookies after school? - no. Was that the end of the world? -No. Was I more independent at a young age than some of my friends? - absolutely. I was much better prepared to handle a highschool. job, doing well at university, moving across the continent for a career, etc. I have a very close and loving relationship with my Mom to this day.

    From the Mom's perspective (I asked her) would it have been easier to do all that without kids? - absolutely. Did she feel frustrated and overwhelmed at times? - yes. Did she feel guilty that she might be destroying the emotional health of her children? NO - this Mother's guilt thing has grown exponentially over the past 2 decades. I know that lots of other people think that quantity time with a parent is crucial to a child thriving, but I just want to say that there are many, many of us "latch-key kids" out there that did not grow up to be emotionally damaged serial killers. I do believe in the value of well-spent quality time - call me idealistic perhaps :rolleyes: , but I see the proof in the mirror every morning.
     
  38. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    momof3, I could barely belive my eyes when reading you last post. From what I have learned of you so far--is it not a stretch to say that maybe you did not mean some of the things you said? My teeth almost dropped out when you said motherhood was unfullfilling for you. You sound frustrated and resentful of some things (as we all do ate times) But I have to belive that perhaps you were on a role and maybe the words got away from you? I hope.

    "not respected enough by the rest of society to give her...." society owes nothing! I know it sounds harsh, but if you cant afford them (time and money) dont have them. Your future financial situation is part of the opening discussions with your husband before entertaining the idea of kids.

    I am sorry to hear that some in your husbands circles act like assholes. Once you wade thru the anger and bitterness -- you sound like a good woman.
     
  39. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Msax35,

    Thanks for your support...you know, we go through our good times and our bad times...and this is just one of the lower times....raising children truly is a wonderful thing...but it is harder than I ever, ever imagined possible. Perhaps it has been compounded by our frequent moves for residency and fellowship. It will take time for our family to settle down after the many years of my husband's q3 schedule and the moves across the country....

    anyway...thanks for letting me be honest...

    Kris
     
  40. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    As to our future financial situation guiding our decisions...In the words of John Steinbeck:
    "The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry." My husband was a resident...we thought we'd finish residency and actually make some money..instead, our college loan payments/debt payments for medical training actually exceed the cost of our small home!!!!

    This debt was accumulated slowly with the belief that the salary would at one point justify the debt....and someday, it will...but for the first 5 or so years out of training, we will continue to live without...
     
  41. double elle

    double elle Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    2
    Wow..this post has turned into quite a topic!

    The bottom line is this...when a woman has the feeling that she wants a child...it's as simple as that....she wants a child. I tried for a LONG time to ignore it and find people to talk me out of it. It still came back to the simple fact that I was ready for a child. Those of you who haven't felt this really can't comment until you do feel it. And when you do, it will be what you think about a majority of the time.

    Now, just because I am wanting a child...I have to choose that and ONLY that purpose for myself? I can agree with the posters who said that even though they were mothers, their lives were unfulfilled. I can't imagine being a stay-at-home mom. Hell, even my husband and I need time apart! Not to mention, the idea that once a couple has children, their lives are over. You all know people who think that way. "Jeez, Suzy and Mike can't go to Vegas every year now because of the baby...that must suck" Well, did it ever occur to you that Suzy and Mike are happier now than ever and wouldn't change a thing?

    To raise happy children, you must be happy parents. If being a doctor makes you happy, then that's what you should be doing. Sacrifices will be required to have children, but sacrificing your entire life isn't really necessary. There are women who do give up careers to stay at home, and if THAT MAKES THEM HAPPY...then that was right for them. It's not going to work for every woman. If you love your child, you are naturally going to give up things..not because you have to, but because you WANT to, in order to spend time with that child. You'll skip grocery shopping another night to avoid missing a softball game, or whatever.....

    Unless a mother is truly selfish, her child will grow up NOT being neglected, no matter what her profession is. As I said in an earlier post on this topic...it's the PARENTS not the PROFESSION that raise a child. And,if parents want to raise a healty, functional child....they will find a way to do just that.

    I want to stress again that when the time comes that a woman, or a man, feels ready for children. There's not a lot that will change her/his mind. Is it the scariest thing ever? Heck yeah, it is! It's also very exciting.

    I'm not quite sure about all the 'mom is a profession that is unpaid' stuff. Although I agree with that statement, I'm not sure quite what a solution to that would be.

    I really resent some of the posts that contained the "Hey, do you want a career or do you want a child?" tone. I don't think anyone has said that directly, but that's what I get out of alot of the posts. If you people respect/admire women so much for their intelligence and hard working behavior, why do you think we can't handle one of the most natural things on earth? Not to mention, there's nothing that gives a woman more ambition and drive than to make her mad because she has been told she can't handle something.
     
  42. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,740
    Likes Received:
    17
    Bandit - I gather from some of your previous posts that you're married, although it's unclear as to whether you have kids. Whether you do or not, you seem to have a pretty simplistic model of women who are mothers.

    It does suprise me though that, on the one hand, you would laud the role of mother-hood and pay lip-service to the respect you have for mothers, and then on the other, tell an actual mother how she should feel about her job, let alone do her job. I don't know for sure, but Kris could very well have been in the mom business longer than you've held any job in your life. I wonder, would you question your attending ("Surely you don't mean that - you don't like this aspect of your job?") the way you questioned her? Would you feel so free to tell your attending how to do his or her job?

    And I have another pesky question - many people on this board feel that they deserve every penny of the money they make as physicians because of the sacrifices they make to become physicians. The justification: It's a hard job, with huge responsibility. It's a never-ending learning curve, and the hours, esp. during training, are brutal. Hmmm... sounds a lot like being a mom to me... Most of the people on this board can't afford to become doctors on thier own, and so they get government subsidized loans and grants to pay their tuition, both in undergrad and med school. (At least 8 years!). And yet, for all the respect we have for moms, and given how much pressure we as a society put on them (stay home, have a natural childbirth, don't have 'em if you cant afford them, breast-feed for at least two years, don't spoil them, don't let them get hurt, keep a spotless house....) we can't set up a low interest retirement fund? We can't afford child-care so that those moms can contribute to thier communities in other meaningful ways?

    Kris is right, says this soon to be pregnant person. If you want stay-at-home moms, then give us a reason to stay there. Respect - and not lip-service, is a good place to start.

    Nanon
     
  43. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Nanon, go ahead and try to discredit me. It serves nothing to your cause. When I told momof3 that maybe she "might" not mean what she said---I was trying to be sympethetic -- like as in a friend. "Lip service??" You are way off base here. A friend dear -- not questioning her job! I am not condecending to anyone here. Hmmm, have you read the original post on this thread? I think that even though momofthree and I disagree on some things that we are in agreement that having a child (with no husband) in medical school is invariable a mistake. Can it be done?? Of course. Should it be?? I still do not think so. Should you read all the posts before chiming in?? Absolutely. Noone here has ever stated that women can not have careers. You do not need to be a stay home mom for ever or even full time. What was said is that if a single mom has children in medical school -- someone else will be raising the child. Oh, not that it really matters but-- Bandit=36 yrs old. Married 8 years. 3 kids. Hardly makes me an expert, but as I have said -- we are exchanging ideas here, where do you get off piling on in such an aggressive manner. Good luck to you dear.
     
  44. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,740
    Likes Received:
    17
    Wow, apparently I seem to have kicked a nerve with a steel-toed boot.

    First of all, I appologize if you think I'm trying to discredit you personally. This is an internet board - I can't see your face, and I have no idea what kind of relationship you and Kris have. I know, for myself, that if my husband told me, "Surely you don't mean that," in response to my honest but unpopular or uncomfortable opinion, I'd be offended. I'm a responsible grown-up, and I'm able to stand by my word. My statement to you was based on my offence.


    Second, I have read each and every post since this topic started. I have very limited time, and don't often get a chance to post, but this subject is incredibly important to me for a variety of reasons. First off, I'm planning to start my own family soon, and go to medical school in a few years. I'm still in undergrad, and I have a whole lot more than that to balance right now. I'm asking myself some of the same questions that other people have posted. Secondly, I have many friends and a sister who are NOT students who are struggling with the whole mommy guilt issue right now. How long should a mommy stay home? One year, two, eight? What if you absolutely hate it? Are you a bad mommy? Selfish and headed straight to hell? Third, I'm not ever pregnant yet, and I'm already getting a taste of how extreme the societal pressure is. "What do you mean you want an epidural? You're going back to school? Where are your priorities?" These are actual quotes from people who wouldn't comment on my taste in home decorating. These comments are really hurtful and feel kind of degrading. It baffles me that, until I considered becoming a mom, in general my judgement about my own life was never questioned in this way.

    I picked on you, and I really am sorry. But even though I don't post a lot, I lurk often. (In fact, I already posted on this topic before).

    Nanon = 33 yrs, married 8, no kids... but working on it. Pleased to meet you.
     
  45. Kimya

    Kimya Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2000
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    2
    I just wanted to add my two cents. It's true that people are full of opinions on how to run your life, especially when it comes to children. However, I think that in this area there are no absolutes. It depends more on your personality, I think, your relationship with your partner if you have one, and other support systems. Some mothers do the best staying at home for a bit, some go back to work, and some do a mixture of both. I've seen happy healthy children come from all. I think that what's going to affect a child the most is the well-being of the mother/primary provider- doing what makes you feel the best about yourself and your kids.

    I do agree that women still get most of the responsibility of this. However, I don't think that it should stay that way. And I think a lot of men would want to do more, but just as there is a lot of social stigma for the mom to do everything, there's also a lot of stigma for men that want to spend more time with their families. Men who want to do this are ostracized as well. I think our society needs to work on making wanting more quality of time with family a priority for both the men and women. It's hard enough to juggle in the rest of the workforce, medicine is a whole other story.

    A note to the original poster: I would highly recommend going to the MomMD website, <a href="http://www.mommd.com," target="_blank">www.mommd.com,</a> which is devoted almost exclusively to this topic. However, I think the bottom line is strike the balance that makes you feel right, don't do it because you feel guilty and "should" be raising your kids a certain way, and you will be a good mother.
     
  46. denise

    denise Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2000
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have not been on this link in over a year. . .I looked tonight and this caught me eye.

    Well I am a DO intern getting ready to start OB/GYN. I had my son Sept. of my 4th year in medical school! I would not change it for the world. My husband stayed home the first year. It was wonderful; I breast fed until Benjamin was 10 months. A lot of work, but worth it!!! It is tough now that he is older (28 mo)and my very busy schedule as an intern. He goes to daycare now. It really stinks sometimes, even depressing to think about the time I spend at the hospital compared to the time I spend at home. The fact is other Dr.s/Moms have a family and they make it. You have to remember that, because you can really get down on yourself. What makes me get through all the guilt we Dr./Moms put on ourself is hearing my son say "I love you Mommy. Mommy's my girl". I smile, give Benjamin a hug, and say "thank you baby, your Mommy's boy and I love you too"

    Thats all. Hope this helped

    M.Merzouk DO
     
  47. happylady

    happylady New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello again. This topic is an important one and should be discussed, though it is likely that noone?s opinion will change as a result. We all come from different places in our lives, with different experiences that shape our opinions and ideals. For every person who feels that motherhood and medschool/career can be exquisitely balanced to everyone?s satisfaction and mutual benefit, there is a person like me who feels that in reality something has got to give. In defense of this position, this doesn?t mean that a woman must give up her career or her outside interests to stay home and raise her children. I have not seen one post to that effect. However, I think those of us who hold that you can?t have it all without sacrificing something reflect that reality that no woman is SuperWoman; that there are only so many hours in a week, and with only so much time to give prioritizing is crucial for success as a professional and a mother. If you?ll bear with me a few more minutes I?d like to share something that I find very interesting with you all. It?s several selections I pulled from a collection of feminist writings. The author of the essay that these particular selections came from is Arlie Hochschild, and the book is "The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution of Home":

    Just as the archetype of the supermom-the woman who can do it all?minimizes the real needs of women, so too the archetype of the ?superkid? minimizes the real needs of children. It makes it all right to treat a young child as if he or she were older. Often uninvolved parents remarked with pride that their small children were ?self-sufficient? or ?very independent??
    ?Nowadays, a child is increasingly imagined to need time with other children, to need ?independence training,? not to need ?quantity time? with a parent but only a small amount of ?quality time??If in the earlier part of the century, middle-class children suffered from overattentive mothers, from being ?mother?s only accomplishment,? today?s children may suffer from an underestimation of their needs. Our idea of what a child needs in each case reflects what parents need. The child?s needs are thus a cultural football in an economic and marital game.
    As motherhood as a ?privacy enterprise? declines and more mothers rely on the work of lower paid specialists, the value accorded the work of mothering (not the value of children) has declined for women, making it all the harder for men to take it up.
    ?Sometimes I had the feeling that fathers were passing the childcare buck to their wives while the wives passed it to the baby-sitter. Each person passing the role wanted to feel good about it, and tended to deny the problems. Just as fathers often praised their wives as ?wonderful mothers?, so mothers often praised their baby-sitters as ?great??Sadly, not only was the role of caretaker transferred from parent to baby-sitter, but sometimes also the illusion that the child was ?in good hands.??Just as uninvolved fathers who praised their wives often said that they wouldn?t want to trade places with their wives, so wives often said they wouldn?t want to trade places with their daycare worker? [One] working mother commented: ?I love my child, but I?m not a baby person.?
    Typical of many daycare workers, Katherine Wilson, who had cared for children for 15 years remarked: One out of five parents just drop their children off and run. Another 3 will come in and talk briefly?Not to many call during the day. A lot of parents aren?t too concerned with the day-to-day activities. They just trust we know what we?re doing.
    Some daycare centers even established a policy of check-in sheets that required parents to come inside the center and sign their child in each morning, thus preventing the hurried few who might otherwise leave their children off at the sidewalk.
    When daycare workers feel sorry for the children they care for, something is wrong?What seemed wrong to me was the overly long hours, the blocked channels of communication, and the fathers who imagined their wives were ?handling it all?.

    If you managed to hang in there, I apologize for the length of this post. ..Those observations were made by Hochschild based on (his or her? I am 99% sure Hochschild is female) study of married, both parents working families. What strikes me most about this study, which I can affirm with my own true life experiences and those of other families, is ?Our idea of what a child needs in each case reflects what parents need.? Isn?t that convenient?
    I am a feminist. Proud to be one. But I think that I and many other feminists acknowledge that the ?superwoman? is a myth, a relic of the first waves of feminism in the 70s and 80s. We understand that if we try to be superwomen those we care about most--our children--will be left with the idealogical super mess we leave behind.
    Do what makes you happy. If its being a professional, so be it. If its being a home-maker, that?s great too. But be brutally honest when evaluating your situation. Are you telling yourself its okay that your child is in provider?s care 10 hours day because the sitter is great with kids? That your kid is well adjusted because he/she is getting social interaction, besides he/she has always been independent anyway? Or perhaps you are a homemaker, miserable because you gave up all dreams of a career to stay at home because of mother guilt? Neither situation is right nor healthy for a family. Search for the middle and be willing to give up a little. Spend more time with the children than the anatomy book. Don?t make the mistake of undervaluing your child?s needs to suit yourself.
    Admittedly these are extreme situations, but very possible scenarios for a mom in med school/residency/practice. I wholly support all mom?s or moms to be on their quests to achieve their dreams while having a family. It?s your right and your prerogative. In the process, please don?t forget you are a mom, because you love and want what?s best for your children.
    Again, I apologize for the length, but I had to put in my two cents. The best to all of you!
     

Share This Page