It’s been a while.
Before I had my baby, you might be surprised to learn I never cared a bit about ‘working moms’ and ‘stay-at-home-moms’. The ‘working moms’ always seemed frazzled and the ‘stay-at-home-moms’ always seemed to be complaining. Frankly, at the time, I was just so glad that I wasn’t a mom, and that I didn’t have to deal with any of that nonsense.
I was free to do whatever the hell I wanted to do: yoga, tennis, bike riding, working-out. I was free. I will admit, I was also pretty stressed, overwhelmed and drained by my job and the significant demands placed on me. Okay, so I guess I complained, too.
I have a baby now (actually, a toddler: she is 2 1/2)
I am a working mom.
I am frazzled.
I love my job, despite its stresses and demands.
I love with all my heart and soul my sweet daughter.
But sometimes, I admit I feel like something’s got to give.
Last week I met a new patient who’d had urinary incontinence for more than twenty years, since she’d had children.
“Wow!” I thought. “That stinks!”
I walk into the room, introduce myself, and she immediately says, “I made this appointment in April. I’ve waited over 4 months to see you.”
I thought to myself, what does she mean by that? Is she complaining that she had to wait 4 months?
Am I too sensitive? I thought to myself, ‘It’s not that I twiddle my thumbs all day. I operate 2 days / week and see patients 3 days / week in 3 different satellite offices.’
I love what I do but I cannot do anymore than I’m already doing. I am at my maximum, and then-some. I barely have time to pee.
Inside, sometimes I wonder– what more do people want from me?’
I said nothing, though. I just continued taking her history and then proceeded with the physical exam.
I left the office at 5:45 to pick up Amalia at daycare. Before I had her, I rarely left the office before 7:30 pm, so this is a good thing!
There is a lovely field with tall trees, a park bench and a pretend ‘stage’ outside of the daycare center. I was so glad to see my sweet daughter with messy hair, stained clothes and various different colors of paint and crayon underneath her fingernails. She wanted to climb the trees. She wanted to pick up the acorns that had fallen (and were falling still) from the trees. She wanted to sit on the bench, and jump up and down on the stage.
I wanted to go home.
I wanted to put my feet up and relax.
I didn’t want to think about that patient’s comment that bugged me so much.
I wanted to just be alone.
I felt so damn guilty that I cried. Amalia said, “mommy, are you sad?”
I just gave her a big giant hug and said, “mommy loves you!”
I felt okay. I had a moment, but it passed.
I helped Amalia climb the tree. I jumped up and down and bounced on the pretend stage with some loose planks. We pulled the ‘hats’ off the top of the acorns and giggled. Other moms and dads had picked up their kids, got them into their cars without much of a hassle, and drove home.
We waved to them.
For a few seconds I stood there and I vividly remembered my past thinking about how glad I was that I didn’t have to deal with this nonsense. Those days are far away now.
I was okay. I am okay. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else or do anything different.
All is good.