Call Schedule Revolution

January 28, 2016

Thank you all so much for your comments yesterday/today with strategies to eliminate excessive screen/internet time.   You are awesome.  I am going compile them.  And Monday Feb 1 a new action plan will be released 🙂

A&C are with our nanny until Saturday.  It is oddly quiet.

I’ve written previously about our shift to take call at the same time — perhaps I will take this opportunity to elaborate on that a little bit.

Me – call every 5 weeks, for a week (24/7/168!)
Josh – call every 3 weeks (days kind of vary, but weekends about every 3rd on for whole weekend)

Leading to a schedule looking like this:

Week 1 J call
Week 2 S call
Week 3 Both off
Week 4 J call
Week 5 Both off
Week 6 J call
Week 7 S call

Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal during the week.  I can still get home at my usual time most of the time when on call, and the worst case scenario is taking a few work phone calls with A&C creating a lot of background noise (one way to keep conversations short!).  On the weekends, however??  THIS SUCKED.  Weekends off together were a novelty, and since the above doesn’t even count for work travel (or family travel), there were precious few weekends together at home.

Taking care of A&C alone is still nice time with them.  It isn’t miserable.  But it is hard, and going to public places is especially tough since they often decide to run off in 2 directions.  If 2 parents are there — great!  But solo — ugh.  Stressful and tiring.

On the upside, this plan limited weekend childcare.

Me – call every 5 weeks, for a week (24/7/168!)
Josh – call every 4 weeks (days kind of vary, but weekends about every 3rd on for whole weekend)
As in – almost the same as above, though someone else is now in Josh’s call pool (YAY!)

And, we are syncing up call like this:

Week 1 – J & S call
Week 2 – Both off
Week 3 – Both off
Week 4 – Both off
Week 5 – Both off
Week 6 – J & S call

To be fair, Josh is q4, not q5, so there are a couple of extra J-call weekends thrown in there.  But on the whole, this situation feels so much nicer.  The only caveat is that we have to hire more childcare.  For now, we are having G (nanny) take A&C on Friday night*, and then I can pick them up on Saturday afternoon, since she lives closer to where I work.  On Sunday, we have another babysitter coming from 9a-3p.  I definitely may not have to work that whole time, but if I do, she’s there.

I realize there are definitely some parents that would not be comfortable with this amount of childcare.  And I absolutely sometimes wish I could have more time at home with them.  (I really do get very wistful about this sometimes.)  But right now, this feels like the right balance and I am thrilled about so many more family weekends.  We’ve only just started this new system and I love it already.

* I know it’s Thursday but she took them a night earlier b/c it’s a “no school day” tomorrow and she really really wanted to.  (Really!)


  • Reply omdg March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    That IS a lot of child care, but oh man I am JEALOUS! Gives me some ideas for later on in life, perhaps post-residency, when I have more time, and don’t feel like weekends are my only time with my daughter that I am not a total zombie.

  • Reply Andrea March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    That sounds perfect! More weekends together as a family will be lovely, and also having babysitters during call time will make it (somewhat) less stressful. Nanny G sounds amazing.

  • Reply Ali March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Yay! This sounds like a great change for everyone! One possible topic idea if you would be okay sharing is how your relationship with your nanny works. Everything from how you found her to what all she takes care of for your family (for example–does she bring kids to things like routine appointments?). I work part time and we’ve used part time sitters/nannies, but it has been a different relationship I’m guessing since again, it was only PT. I guess I am just curious as to how all that works! But certainly understand if you don’t want to share!

  • Reply Emily March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Our work is nothing like yours (not doctors, so no call!) so I can’t exactly relate. But I think if I were in your situation, even if there is some sacrifice involved in the extra childcare, I would do what you’re doing–time with two little kids is just SO MUCH LESS stressful/difficult when there is another adult around! I watch the clock when my husband leaves for only an hour and a half on the weekend to go to the gym! I would imagine that it will get easier when your kids are a little older, doing school activities, etc. At that point maybe you’d prefer your old system but it seems like the new system is a great idea for the preschool/toddler years!

  • Reply beth March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Good luck with the new system!

  • Reply Melissa March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    This is so interesting to me and I have to say I love your posts about managing time. I’m currently in a graduate program (not med school, but healthcare field) and living with my partner. We already have trouble trying to balance both our schedules as I teach or see patients late (~3 nights/week until 8 pm or so) and he similarly has 2-3 late work events per week. I also often need to work weekends although in a more flexible manner to catch up on things that didn’t get done during the week. So different issues, but I’m already wondering how we will fit kids in (still several years off for us). Reading about how you manage childcare is so useful and gives me hope that it’s doable!

    On a side note, I’ve been reading your blog for years now but this is the first time I’ve commented. Your daily streak for the last few weeks has been fun to follow. 🙂

  • Reply Parita March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I often wonder how two doctors make the whole family (especially when the kids are closer in age)/work/life balance thing work. Kudos to you guys for figuring it out as you go and using help when possible.

    My husband is currently a resident, and I work but not in medicine. Our lives don’t quite resemble yours since I’m able to adjust to my husband’s schedule! But when we do have kids, I don’t think I’ll hesitate when it comes to child care. I think the saying goes – happy moms make for happy kids!

  • Reply Manasi March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    That’s great! And maybe it’s more childcare, but you also get a lot of family dedicated weekends. I feel like it that’s a good tradeoff. With two resident parents, our poor nanny works a ton some weeks–she’s almost working resident hours some weeks!

    Also, can I just say it’s so nice to see another family whose nanny will have the kids sleepover? Our nanny does that and people look at me like I’m crazy!

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