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Lives of Doctor Wives

Saturday, September 12, 2015

We graduated from medical school last month and I feel more lost than when we started this journey four years ago. Contradictory, my husband feels more stable with the start of his residency upon us.

After two years into medical school life changed for us. We moved two hours away to complete our third year of rotations. And thus the crux of where my journey of being off-track began. I was a teacher and expecting my second child in August during third year. Finding a job in a new location and asking for maternity leave; just didn’t look good. So, we decided I would stay home. That was a decision I really wanted to happen. When I left my career I had moved into administration and it was beginning to be quite a struggle with taking care of the home front. So, I took homemaking on by the horns and vowed to become the best June Cleaver ever (dang type A personality).

I did what I knew best, I got involved….I got all of us involved. Each day was a full schedule. I thought to myself, "If I just keep busy I won’t get board." At the time I thought being a stay-at-home mom meant I would become boring and be sitting on the couch and eating bon bons all day. The kids and I ended up burnt out. I wasn’t a nice mom, I didn’t have emotional or physical time for my husband and I resented our decision for me to stay home. I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to be a stay at home mom. How did others make it look so fun? So easy? So full of worth?

From then on we cut out several activities. I kept our afternoons free at home so I wouldn’t be rushing in and attempting a hot meal exhausted and at the end of my rope. We just stayed home when my husband was off and did at-home activities. Things started looking better, I felt a relief and started to enjoy being home. So, that is how people made it look good; they embraced and made a flow for their family.

Then enters medical school to throw us for a loop again. We had two options for fourth year; the kids and I stay in a town we just moved to while my husband was gone for six months or we move to MI with my family and see my husband. So, this AZ based family scoured the REI annual sale for winter items and headed to the Midwest.

Living with family with two very active boys was a whole other adjustment within itself. We were so grateful for the ability to save money and see my husband, but I had to learn how to be a stay at home mom again. In a new environment, no friends, no playmates, no activities, no church, and no feeling of community and not even in our own home. I did my best to keep my boys in library time and we ended up joining a gym, which saved my life, but life was defiantly different. Instead of playing with my kids I constantly followed them picking up after them. I held my breath when they played inside because I was afraid they would break something. I was exhausted of just surviving.

Now, fast-forward to today; we are in our own home in our new town. As soon as we moved in we began renovating, painting, unpacking, you know the usual excited new homeowner things. We are in our own space in a place I know we will be for at least four years.

But why am I not happy? Why am I not over joyous with this victory over medical school and matching in a residency?

We sat and did our budget the other day (non joyous answer right there) and we decided I had to bring in some type of income. Specifically to help with the overhaul we did on the house and just to give us an emergency fund again. So, I took the bull by the horns again and updated my resume and pulled out my references. But I had no where to go, I had no place to land….what have I done in two years….what am I doing with my time? Oh sure I could get my teaching certificate in MI, but when I left education I was in administration and I am not sure I have it in me to climb the ranks again and go back to teaching in a school system.

I found myself asking, "Who am I" and answering "I am a wife of a doctor" and it made me mad. I am a wife of a doctor who has sacrificed her career, her things, her feeling of a community, of things I knew all to help my husband fulfill his dream. And you know what, I was kind of angry with this for a week. Like drink a bottle of wine angry. I don’t know if it was the five moves in four years or the feeling that I have been just barely making it by and for the first time in my life I didn’t know what to do next.

Then, my husband got an email and asked me to take care of it. And it dawned on me…I am a wife of a doctor who couldn’t have done it without me. All those moves, all those new cable set ups, quotes for moving, packing of boxes and still making a homemade dinner (most of the time), yeah that was me.

Then, I even thought I have two young boys that I keep alive every day and one that is starting to read…because of ME.

I know it is so easy to get wrapped up in what you have said good-bye to in order for your husband to become a doctor. But at the same time look at what you have learned to embrace. I am not afraid….of anything really, nothing. Any change, any upset I know I can handle…because I have handled A LOT. What I have realized is that I am not identified by my career or my income (or lack thereof one).

So, what am I? I am a wife of a doctor who loves her doctor and her children more than anything.

Celebrate the small success, don’t dwell on the good-byes and embrace the change!

To all you doctors wives out there….YOU can do this and YOU can find out even more who you really are in the process.

NAME: Stacie Johnson

PROFESSION: A practicing wife and stay at home mom

(Oh and P.S. I have started watching children to help with our budget. But I always ask myself "What do I want to be when I grow up?").





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Blogger BLau11 said...

I just turned down a 2nd job offer today because DrH is close to secured a permanent job in another city (hope he gets it), so I know how you feel and I needed to read your encouraging words. Thank you for writing.

September 13, 2015 at 3:16 AM  

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