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Some Days You Just Can’t Win


I am constantly balancing too much and too little time with my family and my patients. Guess that’s what comes with being a physician and a mom.

Some days are just like this. You can’t win.

I am constantly balancing too much and too little time with my family and with my patients. Some patients want to get in and out ASAP. One pregnant patient walked out of clinic, angry that I would not actually perform her exam while she was on the fetal monitor. Other patients are already checking their watch by the time I enter the room right on time. I feel rushed, hurried, and like I’ve already let them down before I’ve even opened my mouth. This contrasts with patients for whom you don’t take enough time. “Just one more thing,” seems to be the never ending plea as you stealthily move closer and closer to the door. You don’t have enough time or energy to pour into the deep caverns of their need.

Likewise, my toddler cannot get enough of “Mommy” which is heartwarming and exhausting. I am the only parent who can rock him to sleep, cuddle with him when he gets an owie, or sit down to read “Peekaboo Kisses” for the 900th time. My older kids, in contrast, don’t particularly want to be bothered by mom and are content to play or read or watch a movie on their own.

Whenever I have days like this, they seem to be followed closely with days that remind me that the impatient patient is less common than those who grant me grace in being a little late, who are appreciative of whatever time I can give to them; most patients are grateful for the care I provide. Likewise, I come home to love notes from my daughter “I love you and I like you, Mom”, a request to play school or a board game, or excitement about sharing some detail of their day.

Even occasionally, my toddler will snuggle up with Daddy for a few moments.

I guess that’s part of the work-life balance. Sometimes you’re balancing unreasonable demands or over-consuming demands both at work and at home. 

Learn more about Jennifer Frank and our other contributing bloggers here

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