A Different Decision

We face decisions everyday.  Some are those types of decisions that are made without even thinking: Starbucks coffee? Pants or shorts? Dinner in or dinner out?

But what about those decisions that feel impossible to make?  Those decisions that seem to have no right and no wrong choice? Each choice is equally good and equally bad… So the decision becomes an impossible one to make.

Or maybe there is a clear right and a clear wrong to the decision, but you are just unable to elucidate which is which.  There are those times when the wrong decision feels like the right decision and you get fooled into making the wrong choice.

Has this happened to you?

My maternity leave is coming to an end.  I specifically chose to only take 5 months of my full year leave because I didn’t want to put myself too far behind in my training.  I don’t want my surgical skills to wane, I want to write my exam on time, I want to stay with my cohort of colleagues, and part of me misses work.

The trade-off: I could spend a whole 7 more months at home with my kids.

I don’t feel ready to go back.  The time I have had off feels like it has been stolen from me because I’ve had to deal with work problems while I’ve been off.  We are losing our nanny and my husband doesn’t want a new one; therefore, our childcare situation going forward is rather precarious.  I feel, deep down inside of my soul, that going back to work in two weeks is going to cause my home/family life to spin out of control.

Lately I have been thinking more about extending my leave and taking off my full year.  The reasons I made the initial decision haven’t changed, but I feel like priorities have shifted.  Despite this shift, I find this decision is still impossible to make.  There is no clear right or wrong, and the advice I get from everyone I talk to is the same: Do what’s best for you and your family.

Unfortunately, I feel like what’s best for me and my family is not very clear right now.

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5 thoughts on “A Different Decision

  1. I am sorry that you are feeling the way that you are and I hope you start to feel better soon. Always remember that you are not alone. I am following you so that I can read more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. Quebec ObGyn here, two kids in residency. I took almost 7 months at my first (was planning to take 6 but extended at the last minute because it didn’t feel right…)

    I took the decision early on to make my exams one year later. By taking 5 or 6 months, I felt I would ultimately put too much pressure on myself to finish in time with my cohort. Also, we never know what could happen with kids, a sickness or hospital stay and oops, the rotation is not valid…and therefore I wouldn’t have been allowed that year to take the Royal College despite the “sacrifices” I would have made…
    Also, I really appreciated the “buffer” it gave me to study during the weekday, therefore allowing me to have quality family-time on evenings and week-ends (residency months all completed and waiting exams). It helped me to keep a cool head (and avoid the near-psychosis some face in the last year…)
    You only have to plan to have good childcare at that moment, and also you need to have a good income from your husband.
    For my part, at the last minute, I decided to “use” those months to have my second child and studied with a baby… I most certainly did not study as much as my peers, but I am a full fledged attending as well and got a beautiful daughter!

    Oops, sorry for rambling too long… Just to say I understand the dilemma and, no matter what you choose, you will. Are the good decision for your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t speak for you, but I feel that waiting for your baby to become a little older will make going back to work far easier.
    Have you asked yourself why it’s important to you to finish at the same time as your colleagues? Think big picture – what will taking those few months off mean to you and your family in ten years? Or, what will keeping up with your colleagues at this time, mean to you and your family in ten years?
    Will you learn as well or work as efficiently if chaos breaks out at home? Babies change rapidly in the first twelve months.
    Then again, if you really miss work, you might be happier if you go back, and that wouldn’t be bad for your family. Unless, of course, you miss your baby more.
    If you go back, can you change your mind again and still take the extended time off if you decide it’s too soon?
    I don’t need you to give me your answers – I’m just posing questions in the hope it helps. Good luck with your decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I just saw this comment now! So sorry! Looking back at your questions now that I’ve gone back… well, I don’t know what is the right answer. I’m happy to be back at work and I’m happy that I didn’t take so much time off that I was able to just jump right back in. I miss my baby dearly and I wish I didn’t work such long hours. But I also just need to be done training to have more control over my life – that’s what needs to be done – not so much that I want to stay with my colleagues. I just need to finish and move forward in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

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