I woke up this morning feeling like today would be a struggle. I have these days every so often, and it is always the same thoughts and issues that plague me. I feel lost and lonely – like I haven’t navigated my way through life very well at all.
I am days-to-weeks away from having a third baby. For this whole pregnancy, and even the months leading up to it, I have questioned whether this is a reasonable step to take in my life. I obviously can’t go back and change things now, but it doesn’t make me feel any less stressed about how everything is going to fit together in the coming years.
I know I should be looking forward to my maternity leave, and I *kind of* am. But I am nervous about what I’m going to do with all that time at home! I know I’ll be taking care of my baby and for the first weeks I will be so exhausted that I won’t know night from day (can you tell I’m looking forward to this?), but sometimes I find that my home is not the peaceful, relaxing place where I imagine spending my down time. There is so much to be done around my house: teach my nanny how to cook, deal with the clutter that has accumulated over the time that I’ve been neglecting housework (and letting my nanny do a sub-parr job of keeping up), figure out how to discipline my children, decide if I need to hire a new nanny (since the one I have seems to have difficulty with all the above things that I have to remediate)… That just part of the home list.
Then there is my anxiety about work. Failing my exam has certainly not made me feel any better about my position and my performance at work. I know that I likely didn’t prioritize studying as much as I would have it I actually had to pass the exam. However, I feel like it reflects poorly on my ability to balance my work like and my home life, and in the coming weeks that struggle is only going to get worse. Add in the fact that I am going to be taking 5 months off work and will be that much behind – I feel like I am going to have a target on my back, setting me out as “the weak one.” Any why am I the weak one? Because I have kids and a family, and I can’t make my work my top priority all the time – especially when something in my work world doesn’t really matter (like a test that I don’t need to pass).
I struggle with finding people to connect with in my life. All of my good mommy-in-medicine friends are back in the place I left behind when I moved here for residency. I have yet to find some good friends here. I marginally succeeded in finding some out-of-work friends, but since work has gotten so much busier in the last year, those relationships haven’t been well maintained. Not to mention, I can’t really talk about most of my difficult struggles with them… I mean, when someone tells you they had a bad day because their kid’s school bus was late so they missed their aerobics class, how do you respond when your bad day was doing a STAT c-section on a full-term baby who didn’t survive? And there is the opposite situation with friends from work. All my co-residents are wonderful people, but most of them don’t have kids and that makes it very difficult to commiserate with them. Who can I talk to about my feelings of inadequacy as a mother, or about my decisions to prioritize my life differently because my kids and my family are an important (arguably the MOST important) part of my life. Mostly, I feel like this position is a very lonely place to be and I don’t know how to make it better.
I’m sure that in a few days I will be feeling better than I am today. For today, though, I have to push through the discomfort of the struggle.