Today began with Baby waking up at 5:30 AM, calling plaintively from his room: “See Mama, see Mama, see Mama…” I make him get up early on my clinic days, because 5-7 AM is the only time for me to spend with him. He goes to bed before I get home in the evening. Unfortunately, he can’t tell when I have a day off and tends to be up early then too, just in case.
In looking back, I realize that my last Mother’s Day post was when Baby was only about five months old. I hardly did any writing last year at all. I am extremely grateful for my two more-than-full-time jobs: Doctor and Mama. Many other aspects of life have to be sacrificed, however. If it is not directly related to work-work or home-work, it does not get done. Sadly, this includes my writing time. Now that Baby is two and becoming slightly less dependent, I hope to regain my creative self.
As a first step, I am reviving my poetry and submitting to literary journals again. This Friday, I will have a poem in Pulse-Voices from the Heart of Medicine. This journal is one of my favorite celebrations of narrative medicine, which makes me particularly delighted to share my work there. I invite you to subscribe. For free! I will post the specific link when it is available.
In the meantime, I would encourage other mothers in medicine (and over-committed and over-extended people of all kinds) to keep trying to carve out a few minutes in the week to nurture ourselves. I spend every moment taking care of people, at work and at home. That is a beautiful role to have in life. I need to remember, though, that it is important to recharge sometimes.
Sometimes, you need to send Baby and Dada to the grocery store together so you can spend some precious time on Mother’s Day by yourself. And not just on Mother’s Day, but throughout the year, so that parts of yourself are not lost.