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Lives of Doctor Wives: ...and Anna needs a lot of prayer...

Monday, January 6, 2014

...and Anna needs a lot of prayer...

My mother-in-law is June Cleaver incarnate. 

There is never a speck out of place in her house. She is in her 50's, but still wears a size 2 with perfectly styled long blond hair. She is beyond perky. Everything is like a Norman Rockwell painting in their family, including her "Night Before Christmas" rhyming Christmas letter that describes, in detail, the perfection of my sister-in-law and her husband, and my husband, whom she says "aced the MCAT". 

He got a 37.

After several stanzas of beaming wonder, there is one line that rhymes the fact that I lost my job and need a lot of prayer. 


She didn't mean anything by it. I know she loves me like she birthed me (which would be weird), but I was kinda in shock. When I brought it up, in a laughing manner, I was told that I am just included in DH's success. 

Several friends at church received the letter, and came up and said a family that prays together stays together, and that with all that perfection going on, it shows I am a vital part of the family as the prayer project. 

This made me laugh and see that I was not losing my mind or being too sensitive, as well as appreciate those in our church (pastored by my father-in-law) who care enough to be sarcastic with me.

This letter made something clear to me though; My husband's success will never be enough to fulfill me entirely. 

He did awesome on his MCAT, and I supported him through it by working two jobs and cooking and laundry etc, but I couldn't have gotten a 2 on that test. That was our success, but it was mostly his. I supported his success. This is a vital role, and one that I do find satisfaction in, but I can not fool myself into thinking that that is enough for me. 

I personally had a rough 2013. I almost felt a bit of relief when it struck midnight and I got a kiss from my dog to usher in 2014 while DH was at work in the ER. It was over. It had been a pretty good year for us, but all good came from him, and all bad came from me. 

DH at first also tried to get me to accept his accomplishments as my own. I asked him that if I had gotten a great job, but he had not been accepted to med school, would that have been enough to make him not feel like a failure. He couldn't argue. 

Sometimes, I want to be successful for my abilities, not just in my support of his. 

I believe that all spouses need to remember, it is ok not to be 100% about their spouses success. I am in a 100% support, but that doesn't mean it is bad to have success, dreams, and goals of your own. Our spouses, as they go through training, are going to be pulling all-nighters, moving us all over the place, racking up debt, and causing us to live in near-poverty. Children may come and, at times, we will feel like single parents. Don't forget to have something that makes you feel like more than a live-in nanny/cook/housekeeper. 

It isn't selfish, it is survival. It's healthy. It's life giving. 

Hopefully, 2014 will be a much better year for me and I can have my own paragraph of perceived perfection.

I mean, I can't be the family prayer project forever... can I?!


Blogger From A Doctors Wife said...

You handled the situation better than I would have. It is hard to feel like your successes can't ever compare to your spouses. And that is exactly why we shouldn't compare. My successes are different because I am different and my focus is different. My success may not seem like successes to anyone else but at least I know the truth:-)

January 8, 2014 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger thehappyredhead said...

Great post, Anna! I wholeheartedly agree. This process is so consuming that it has the potential to swallow us whole...if we let it. My goal is to find my identity within this lifestyle we have chosen. A doctor's wife is not enough for me. I want to be a professional, a writer, a musician, an interior designer... Once I allowed myself the freedom to really think about who I want to be, the list got pretty long. Ha! Cheers to you in 2014! Good things are coming your way.

January 10, 2014 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger liebersgc@gmail.com said...

Please consider joining the Alliance with the Medical Society in your counties, to meet others who walk in your shoes and those who have the identities they have chosen, besides that of doctor's spouse. You will find the support you need, and some great friendships along the way. Please email me with any questions liebersgc@aol.com

Bonnie Liebers
State Co-President
Alliance with the Medical Society NY (alliancehq.org)

January 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Sarah Vaca said...

I'm pretty sure we may have the same mother in law! She writes awful little poems in her Christmas letter that always compliment her children's endless successes... and belittle me. But I too laugh it off because it is no use arguing with someone who is perfect! A also adore your message about his success being not enough. I have a hard time figuring out waht exactly it would take to make me feel successful, but this inspires me to try and figure it out!

January 31, 2014 at 2:36 PM  

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