Tag Archives: Baby Daddy

Help

November 10, 2014

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No one in this room knows I’m a mother. Or a wife. I was so much smaller when we got married that my wedding ring doesn’t fit anymore. So I sit here in this coffee shop with my enormous 99-cent headphones like the nerd of the year and am anyone.

Just a girl, standing in front of a laptop, asking it to love her.

A few weeks ago I wrote an essay about wanting more out of life, which was really just me using seven paragraphs to say I need help with childcare.

Why is it so hard to ask for help? The words get stuck in my throat like a dinner roll I’ve inhaled without a glass of water and I’m left dry and weary. Mom pro tip: Ask for help and you will no longer need to slam cupboard doors to get your (secret) “point” across. The speeches I’ve rehearsed during angry cleaning are such a waste. I could have been listening to a podcast.

Before I had my first baby, a wise woman told me that “if this is going to work” I was going to need to ask for the exact help I need. Nothing more, nothing less. If the help is there, be thankful. If it falls though, at least you said it out loud. She said, “You will never get the support you didn’t ask for.”

It is so easy to give that advice. I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “If you want the cake, ask for the cake.” But encouraging someone else to be assertive, brave, and strong is a lot easier than living those adjectives out yourself. How quickly we play the victim.

Lucky for me, I didn’t marry a misogynistic narcissist. Austin is great (a feminist narcissist). It is my own issue; my own self-doubt and self-loathing and tendency to under commit. We live in a world with so much creative work at our fingertips that it is easy to be lazy. It is easy to leave our imaginations and originality behind with our Pinterest pins and the excuse that it’s already been done.

It is easy to feel insignificant.

The good news is that humans have been feeling like boring shmucks since Eve got tired of hanging out with Adam. There is always something to be said, to be created, to do. Asking for help to do it is simply one step in a series of a million steps. We are our greatest obstacle. Our greatest asset. If there’s one thing we can learn from Beyonce, it’s that hard work pays off– but also nannies. So many nannies.

I am writing this to you after two full hours in a cold coffee shop working on a memoir titled, “Carbs And Bon Iver: Thank You For Helping Me Write This Book” because I asked for help.

A small step, but also a giant leap.

We are always so close.

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The End Of Medical School or When One Door Closes, You Go Into A Worse One

October 16, 2014

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A few summers ago, I gave birth to a slippery, ornery baby and then immediately moved that baby and four-ish boxes of thrift store dinnerware to Hershey, Pennsylvania so my husband could start medical school.

I have talked about being married to a student before.

For the most part it is fine. I could tell you a bunch of stories about suppers going cold or putting babies to bed by myself, but most of us have similar married-with-kids battle scars and I don’t want to be boring. And really, navigating marriage and motherhood while one person is in medical school isn’t that bad. It’s like anything else: suffer, adapt, overcome, wine.

Today Austin has his first residency interview. Tomorrow he’ll have another, and for the next few weeks and months we will drive up and down the East Coast and put on our best faces so that we might be THE CHOSEN ONES. This is a step I should be excited about, but instead I feel uneasy and generally despondent at the end of what will most likely be the easiest and fondest step of the becoming a doctor experience.

To avoid the confusion exchanged at every single extended family gathering since 2009, I have provided this timeline for your convenience.

11 Easy Steps To Becoming El Doctoro

Step #1—> Attend undergrad and spend six years realizing you don’t want to do graphic design. ✓
Step #2—> Take MCAT ✓
Step #3—> Apply To Med School and have nervous diarrhea for six months waiting for interviews and acceptance letters ✓
Step #4—> Start med school, spend first year frantically studying and making flashcards ✓
Step #5—> Spend another year with flashcards, develop ulcers ✓
Step #6—> Begin third year of med school and spend a year coming home late. To keep things interesting, have another baby ✓
Step #7—> Finally make it to the last year of med school when it is acceptable to mill around while applying to residencies. Spend life savings on applications, testing, and interview wardrobe ✓
Step #8—> Graduate, move, spend one year working whenever eyelids are open
Step #9—> Four Years of Radiology residency
Step #10—> One year fellowship in Interventional Radiology
Step #11—> Turn 40 and get first paycheck big enough to starting paying $300,000+ loans

This March, Austin will participate in what’s called “match day,” a ludicrous ceremony where nervous med students sit in a dimly lit room together and simultaneously open letters dictating their future while local news hovers and spouses sob happy and/or sad tears.

Then he will graduate and begin the six year journey to becoming an interventional radiologist, which is just a fancy way of saying he’ll be studying for a very long time.

We may move, we may not. It is all up to interviews, test scores, and a magical computer that says this person goes here and that person goes there and it doesn’t matter what the wife wants. No matter what, we’ve made a wonderful life here and it’s always hard to let go.

I will be sure to keep you abreast of our next move. In the meantime, I’ll be instagramming charmingly filtered photographs of Baltimore to convince myself I wouldn’t be murdered there and writing multiple essays on the art of moving forward. Let us not forget the wise words of my friend Mary who said, “Home is where the heart is, but dear god don’t let us end up in Jersey.”

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