Last night I received 2 work pages* just as I was walking in the door at 6pm. I ended up having to deal with a somewhat complicated clinical situation while all 3 kids seemed to need me more than life, URGENTLY.
I couldn’t put G down so I was trying to type/call/etc with her in my arms**, and A&C were begging for my attention in part by attacking each other. They were loud. I basically handled it by yelling at them while on the phone, which felt:
I found myself insanely and bitterly jealous of my colleagues who still find call stressful but literally can just focus on work whenever they want or need to. After a harrying hour I texted our nanny (and Josh) that I think I need longer childcare on call nights — at least until I get G to bed so I’m not dealing with 3 needy ones at once AND patients/clinical matters at the same time. She responded immediately that she’s happy to stay***.
ANYWAY. What will probably happen is that I will not get any calls in that time frame for the rest of the week, and I will feel silly. But I 100% know that if someone were to call into our podcast with the question: (“I’m in a 2-physician family with fairly light but sometimes unpredictable after hours duties when on call. It is extremely stressful and difficult when I do get patient calls or need to enter orders when I am on my own with my 3 young children. What should I do?”) — the answer would be so obvious.
So, I’m going to extend my childcare until G is in bed while I’m on call from now on (unless Josh is home, but when he comes home before 7 it’s like a pleasant surprise, and last night he was also on call doing an emergency case so it wasn’t like he would have been able to be there).
In other news, G is sleeping a little better at night! Just one wakeup the last few nights – 1 am and last night 11:30 pm (and it’s 5:46 as I type this). Both A&C were sleeping through the night entirely by this point (a little over 6.5 months) but I think both were getting supplementation (A from the freezer, C from formula) whereas G pretty much just eats what I produce (and food now, of course!). One wakeup/night doesn’t bother me. Two is fairly doable but tough. Three is misery!
* I still call them this, though these days they are just texts through a secure app!
** In retrospect, I should have put her in the Ergo b/c she is tooooo heavy (almost 19 lbs) to just hold for prolonged periods
*** She is amazing and she is never rushing to leave ever, but I hate to extend her already-long hours.
**** I mean honestly – the idea of just working and then coming home to focus on only myself sounds like a freaking beach vacation at this point. This goes a bit against my BoBW script, but it does beg the question: why do people work so hard during these intense kid years just to retire when they don’t have these kinds of responsibilities (though of course with time elder care and other health issues may come into play adding new challenges)?