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Parenting during 3rd year -- advice?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by velouria, Apr 21, 2006.

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  1. velouria

    velouria Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    So for the first two years, my schedule was pretty much under my control and I could function as a "normal" parent -- making breakfast, driving kids to school, making dinner, tucking kids in bed, etc.
    Now with 3rd year looming I'm starting to get nervous about the hours required and time away from home.
    Does anybody who has been a parent through 3rd year have any advice about how to balance the new demands?
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  3. Sugar72

    Sugar72 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2001
    There is a lot of variation in 3rd year schedules between different rotations and between different places you rotate. I did about 50% ambulatory rotations and 50% hospital based. Depending on what I was doing - I would either need my husband, mother-in-law or mom/dad pick my daughter up at daycare or maybe drop her off. For the most part though I did not have the kind of 3rd year and 4th year schedule that made me a stranger to my daughter. Some schools are brutal with their requirements for 3rd and 4th year students you should talk to people from your school. I am not afraid to say that I never had to take an overnight call and worked probably a handfull of weekends during my clinical years. By the same token, I know people who had call q3 all ms3 year. I may have a steeper learning curve in 2 months when I start my intern year, but intern year sucks for everyone!
  4. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2002
    I don't want to sound like a naysayer to the OP, but I wouldn't take this type of schedule as typical. At my school, you will work weekends a least half the year, all rotations are hospital based except for family medicine, and you will take overnight call on surgery and ob/gyn. I think that's fairly typical and not brutal compared to most schools. Just be aware that you will need to arrangements for your child/children many times to have someone else pick them up or drop them off. I have had many days when I'm out quite early--you just can't count on it when you start the day.
  5. wook

    wook Just a hairy situation 10+ Year Member


  6. cavaor

    cavaor Member 10+ Year Member

    May 14, 2001
    We have a 6 yo at home. Here is my take...I was able to have a normal life with Psych, but not with medicine or peds or surgery. 75% has been hospital based if not more. Q3 call for the last 3. No longer able to pick up or drop off at school given pre-rounds or afternoon/evening obligations. Even without overnight call, I was often home after bedtime. I was able to negotiate around big events like christmas plays and such, but regular day to day stuff turned to daddy (and he still cant do a ponytail). I made sure she got phone calls when possible and even if call, the occassional lunch, etc when able. When I did have a day off, we made a big deal and had girls night out, etc. Using the child as a reason to get out of something (even if its switching schedules around) was VERY looked down upon in general. I agree that talking to other students at your specific school will help alot. Either way, good luck.

  7. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    I was able to negotiate around big events like christmas plays and such, but regular day to day stuff turned to daddy (and he still cant do a ponytail). :laugh:

    I so agree with this!!! My husband still makes the ponytails and pigtails so lumpy and crooked! I'm currently close to finishing 3rd year with 2 kids. A lot has fallen on my husband this year. He does the getting ready in the morning. We have a sitter that picks up the kids afterschool and stays until my husband gets home. Surgery was the worst as far as the schedule, with late days and overnight q 5. Our ob/gyn actually had a pretty good schedule, with only 1 24 hour shift the whole rotation and scheduled days off after each night shift. I was able to pick up the kids at least twice a week for most of the rotation. Psych - we got there at 8 and left around 3-4 most days, with about 4 shifts in evening/overnight in psych er. Medicine surprised me - my inpatient rotations rarely lasted beyond 4:30 or 5, with the last one getting free around 1:30 several days. My outpatient rotation wasn't bad, but because of where the clinics are (downtown), I had at least 30-45 minutes driving home in 5 pm traffic. Peds is currently going, but it hasn't been bad - finished by 4-5 every day so far.
    Some things we've done to make things easier: found this meal assembly business where you go for about 2 hours, assemble 24 3 serving meals for the month, take'em home and put them in the freezer. Pull one out the night before to fridge to thaw, and husband can have a nice, healthy dinner cooking when I get home without all the chaos of recipes (which really has improved the menu :D ) Getting lunches ready the night before helps alot. Getting the kids on routine helps too, so that dad can get them out the door without near the trouble they were giving me!
    Make your plans early. We have an arrangement with our sitter so that I can call her off as early as 30 minutes before pick up time without penalty (since we pay in 4 hour blocks and she's usually only there 2 hours). Also, something that came up at my school was out of town rotations. We have some rotations that required out of town spots to be filled (down in the valley in not so desirable spots) - so find out if your school does this, and your rotation group should decide if students with kids could be forced to go out of town for rotations. Our group decided at the beginning that those with kids wouldn't be forced, otherwise your ranking of picks in rotations may be drastically different.
    Sorry for the long post, I'm wordy when I'm tired. :) Hope it helps.
  8. Pinki

    Pinki Sassy Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2001
    I go to a school not quite as cush as SugarLand72, but not nearly as brutal as the other posters. I chose my school, in large part, because of its reputation for being so family friendly. Obviously, each parent's experience will be different, based upon family dynamics, the school's attitude toward children, rotation at the time etc.

    The key for me is to have 1) a husband NOT in medical school - he's an architect and thus can afford a funky, flexible schedue - he doesn't go to work until 9:30 am, does all morning duty (and also BITES at ponytails, too, TiredMom!) and is available should our 18 mo old daughter get sick, preschool is closed, etc 2) have really good dependable childcare - we do 1/2 day of preschool, our nanny picks her up after lunch and we pay her to be here until 7, although most days we're home early, there is reassurance that we've got our butt covered in case either of us needs to stay late. All this childcare is expensive - close to $1600/month. Financial aid covers childcare expenses and I decided the 3% interest was worth the peace of mind.

    I wake/leave early - before my daughter wakes up and often get to the hospitals or clinic early to study - usually in the conference room. That way I don't have to sacrifice afternoon playtime, dinner time, to study. Also, it's just plain easier getting ready in the morning not having a toddler teething on your pager, coloring in your Maxwells, and smearing YoBaby on your scrubs, IYKWIM!

    Like TiredMom says, it's all in the planning, we make lunch at night, lay out clothes the night before - we grill up chicken breast, kabobs, etc on Sunday afternoon in the backyard and eat on those for a good part of the week. Thursday night is leftover night. Every Friday night is Pizza (woot!) night. We sucked up and hired a housekeeper - $70 every other week so that, once again, we don't sacrificed playtime for toilet scrubbing.

    All "activities" are on weekends. Period. Swim lessons, zoo trips, playdates with our friends. I usually study both Saturday and Sunday afternoon during her naptime - that, plus about an hour every morning, does the trick for me. If I have to do any extra reading/presentations, I do those at night after she goes to sleep - though getting up as early as I do (4ish) means I'm not far behind her when it comes to night-night.

    As far as the day to day mommy things, it's totally rotation dependent. But with every rotation thusfar, I've been able to be home by 7 pm on NONCALL nights. We do have to take overnight call and work several weekend days a month. Again, on weekend days I get in early, get my work done well and fast, and then am usually told to "gettoutofhere - go enjoy your weekend" by housestaff and am home by lunch.

    I can't imagine parenting any other way - this just works so well for us, my hubby and daughter are both thriving - I think we'll probably shoot to have #2 next year!
  9. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2005
  10. fomites

    fomites Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2006


    then, birth control.

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