Posted in Aurelie, Blog, Featured, Mother, Woman

Good enough

So here we are, 8 plus months post the birth of my son, and it feels like things are going pretty well.  The little man is growing, thriving, giggling, shimmying around, eating solid food, and can most often be found in a cheery mood.  By all accounts this seems like a glaring success story.  Why, then, do I feel so ragged and run down all the time?  Why, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, do I always see dark circles under my eyes and snot/drool/puree of the day on my clothes?

I know, I know:  It gets better.  And it has. And it does.  And it is.  It is better than I ever imagined it could be, and with every month and milestone, somehow my son manages the impossible: to be even more fun than before.  But here’s the rub:  I’m freakin’ exhausted.  And it’s not even completely about sleep.

Yes, I could use more sleep.  In fact, I mourn sleep like it’s a deceased member of my family.  But, it’s more about what I have to be doing in the time and space where I might be able to sleep.  Like the rest of my life.  Which turns out is a whole darned lot.  Bill paying, house cleaning, cooking, caring for the dog, paying attention to my husband, exercising, remodeling our new house (rather, paying people to do this – we are not actually using hammer and nail), making travel plans to visit family, thinking about a summer vacation (ha! Not really in the budget).  Oh, and that does even take in to consideration my (other) career of doctoring.

It is such a challenge to get to and from my job on time these days.  Even more of a challenge is figuring out how to adequately address people’s care needs in a short (very, very short) office visit.  I used to pride myself on maintaining a good work/life balance.  And actually, I still do.  But it feels different.

Now, post child, I simply won’t stay late at work because this means I won’t be able to see my son before he goes to bed.  That, in isolation, feels right to me.  But what feels off is the equal and opposite reaction to that: something or someone at work is getting short-changed.  Because, much to the dismay of insurance companies, patients’ needs require more than 15-20 min of my time to address (and that’s if everyone is on time!  Ha!).

As the afternoon speeds by, I start to feel more and more frantic and rushed, trying to provide excellent care for my patients and then high tail it home.  Last week, in the middle of a volatile mix of anxiety-ridden, suicidal, non-English speaking, prosthetic leg-needing, rash-covered, coughing, sinus-congested, diabetic people, I thought to myself, “Am I doing a good enough job here?”  And, perhaps more importantly, is good enough good enough?

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