Mother’s Day started at 1AM with a panicked cry for mommy from my daughter’s room.
Sob! “Mommy, I puked!” I picked up her poor little vomit encrusted body (it must have started while she was asleep and not aware of it) and proceeded to try to bathe the dried chunks out of her hair. A lot of good that did…
Puke continued to rain down upon us for the next 4-5 hours.
Now she is awake, bouncing off the walls, happy as a lark and back to her normal self.
I, however, have had virtually no sleep.
And this is why I stopped doing inpatient medicine. This, on top of hospital call…dang near impossible. Illness in your kids rarely coincides with call in my experience. Invariably they will be on unrelated days, which fortunately means limited conflict over who gets my attention first (that ICU admit or my own sick kid lying in her own vomit) but on the down side does mean twice the amount of sleep deprivation. Working on an inpatient team when that is all you do is more manageable (though far from easy). There is a fair amount of down time between. But when also working full time in an outpatient setting…this is very, very tough. Work hours laws only apply to residency as it turns out.
Believe me, doing it without kids at the volume we were required to handle was exhausting by itself. I am certain there are women all over the world still doing just that with kids…these women are much stronger than me.
So today, I am blessed. I am blessed to be a mommy, to get to be a physician, and to keep my sanity most days. My hat is off to all women everywhere, working or not, with kids or not. Being who we are is not easy, but you do it every day. YOU are amazing!