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Lives of Doctor Wives: March 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Premed Perspective: The Baby Debate

We’re not in med school yet and we have a 11 month old.

This means that Jake and I are awesome at compromising.
Or I won.
Squeaky wheel and all that.

Back story
Jake and I got married knowing that we wanted to be parents.
For me, it was a no brainer. I wanted children as soon as we were hitched. The only thing holding me back was the impending deployment.
I was all about being a young mother, so I could pop out more kids. I’m in no way career driven, so my dream job is staying home with my children.

Well, let me take that back.
The things that I am interested in doing as a career are impractical and not really applicable to family and adult life.

Staying home with my children seems to be awesome enough to dream about now too.
It''s more important now, and possibly a gateway to volunteering in the direction of my childhood dreams.

Jake had a little longer timeline in mind for us. He wanted to be settled and established.
This meant getting into Med school and possibly even into Residency before having children.

Did I mention that we got married in 2009?
Can you feel my deadpan stare?

After Jake got home from deployment in 2012, I was fairly hysterical for a shorter timeline for babies.
It did not help that my sister and all of my sisters-in-law were pregnant or had babies within a 9 month span.
Except me.

There were a few times when I flat out cried at him.
I’m not proud of that fact, because I tend to think of myself as a pretty emotionally stable person.

We did, finally, compromise.
We were blessed that Jaxon was on his way the very month we agreed to start trying for a baby.

Now we are more than over the moon in love and happy as a family of 3 starting this journey together.

Jake and I know that it will not always be easy, raising children while Jake is pursuing his dream.
There are many long years of school and hard work in Jake’s future.
Jaxon and I, along with any other future children, will be more than ready to be his completely adorable and awesome cheerleaders.

How many of you are entering this adventure with child?
How many are planning on having kids during the process of med school or residency?
Was it a big discussion with your spouse?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Survivor Stories: True Friends

Reading through the posts of the LDW Facebook group recently, I saw an especially strong theme of friendship.  Some were looking for extra support, some had received help and love and wanted to express gratitude, some were sharing good news.  I smile to think of the friends I have made through this group, even though I may never meet some of them in real life.  We share goals, struggles, and triumphs.  
Finding, making, and keeping friends is easier for some of us than others.  I am easy to talk to, but I do have an introverted personality, so certain venues (where I might meet new friends) are exciting, but overwhelming.  I'm realizing with each passing year, though, that each one of us needs friends!  
When my husband was in medical school, we were newlyweds and I had a part-time job.  We lived in the same city where we'd attended college, so we had some built-in friends.  Looking back, it seemed relatively easy to keep up with others and have a pretty good time.
Things began to change during my husband's residency.  It was a small, busy, intense program.  My husband got to know some of his co-residents pretty well, but there was hardly any time for them to get together for recreation.  We were brand new parents by this time, too.  I was overjoyed by being a mother, but my circle of friends started to shrink.  I didn't get out too much those first few years.  Once our son was a toddler, I sought out mommy groups and neighbors.  By the time residency was done five years later, I had a few close circles of friends, and it was wonderful.  However, I could count on a few fingers how many of those friends were from within the medical community.  
When we moved for V's first post-training job, our next door neighbors became the best friends we'd had in a long time.  Our kids (we had another baby during 4th year of residency) loved playing together, and the mom and I got to know each other quite well.  Her husband had a job that required shift work, so she understood a lot about crazy hours.  I was sad to move from that house, even though I knew the friendship would endure.
Here I am now, two years into my husband's second post-training job, and I am just starting to feel like I have good friends that go beyond acquaintances.  It's gotten harder to carve out the time for friends as I've aged.  However, now that both of my kids are in school, I have a bit more freedom for my own interests.  It takes time, and trust, and honesty, and patience, and kindness, and more time, to make true friends.
I know all of you realize the importance of friendship, but it seemed fitting for me to pay tribute to all the true friends out there today.  I'll wrap this up by sharing a poem I wrote a few years ago:
True friends
Listen as much as they speak
Encourage when we are weak
True friends
Laugh with us till we cry
Encourage when life is one long sigh
True friends
Pause their lives to lend an ear
When there are sobs and prayers to hear
True friends
Smile and share in delight
When there is only sunshine in sight
True friends
Can be incredibly hard to find
As our life’s path begins to wind
True friends
Around the world or around the bend
What a precious gift, to find a true friend!
Cheers, to all the good friends in our lives, near and far!  I am an on-the-go mom to two school-aged kids, and wife to a hard-working, super ENT husband.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

You are more than your match.

My mother-in-law has this story she tells about when she was a young wife to a young army private, recently stationed abroad. All the homesick base wives banded together and had regular play dates and dinners and outings. One of these shindigs was hosted by the wife of an uppity-up on base. After everyone arrived, she gathered the girls together and said, "Now, everyone, let's get to know each other! Go ahead and line up by rank."

At one side of the room, women loudly compared how many years their husbands had dedicated to the military, the number of bars on their uniforms, the purple hearts and awards they had received and the famous hands they'd shaken. At the other side, my mother-in-law whispered with several other wives, "my husband's only been in four months." "He hasn't been promoted yet." "I don't even know what all these ranks mean."

Eventually, they all ended up in a meandering line around the room and the hostess stepped out from her place at the head of the line. "Ladies," she said, "You don't have a rank. Your husbands, they have a job title. But that doesn't make anyone better than anybody else."

It's a big week, girls. Some of you will find out that your husband matched at his dream program, his first choice. His last choice. The place you totally forgot he interviewed at. Some of you will find out that your husband, your best friend, the smartest and hardest working guy you know, didn't match. Anywhere.

And the moral of the story here is that it doesn't really matter where you match or whether you match, whether you train at Harvard or in Hicktown, at least in terms of your intrinsic worth. You and your husband  are good people, and the world is so lucky to have you.

Best of luck, everyone.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's that time again! Show-Off Sunday! Link up your blog posts, website, Etsy shop items, etc. This is your chance to SHOW OFF!  We can't wait to see what you have been working on!  Link up closes next Sunday.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Making friends: Where there is one, there are many

I’ve always been envious of natural networkers. Extroverts. People totally in their element walking up to strangers, shaking hands and striking up a conversation out of thin air.

Me? I’m an introvert and struggle with social anxiety, so making friends when residency brought us to a small town where everyone seemed to know each other was a challenge.

I was basically friendless for almost a year. When my husband was at work late on weekend nights, he would text me to ask what I was doing.

My responses didn’t vary much from week to week.

"Watching Netflix."


"Petting the cats."

He would encourage me to join some of the other residents who were off work that night and going out to dinner. As if I would ever do that.

Even though my job and a volunteer opportunity doing marketing for the local pet shelter took up most of my time, I still hadn’t met anyone I could call up to hang out with on the weekend when my husband was busy working.

That year was lonely, but eventually I made friends. How?

I made one friend at first. Just one.

My co-worker encouraged me to attend a networking event of local young professionals, which I did. I had a death grip on my water glass and made awkward conversation with the few people I had met in the nine months we’d been living in our new town.

Then one dear, sweet girl – one of those extroverts, and the wife of a resident in a different program – approached me. She started chatting away and even invited me to go out for drinks with a group of her friend. As nervous as that made me, I agreed to go.

This continued for a few months – she would invite me to another event or send me a Facebook message asking if I would like to come with her and her friends hiking, volunteering or to a concert. I went each time even though I was mentally coming up with excuses to say no.

To my surprise, her friends accepted me, and before I knew it, I had more than one friend.

I was going to book clubs, girls’ movie nights and concerts in the park. I was laughing and smiling more. Now, when my husband texts me asking what’s on Netflix when he’s at work late, I’m not always home. Sometimes I’m actually out having dinner with friends that I made myself.

We’re approaching the end of residency, and I’ll be sad to leave these friends. I don’t know if I’ve made lifelong friendships, but I’m grateful I met the people I did and for the girl who took me under her wing.

I hope I will have the opportunity to do that for someone else.

~ Marisa Z.

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