Pssst…I have a confession to make.
I like having time to myself. As in…time spent alone… withOUT my kids. [gasp!]
I work 20 hours of week, spread over 4 weekdays. Which means that I have relatively short clinic days, plus an entire extra day off. I love my schedule.
The other reason I love it so much is because my children are both in a good full-time daycare located within walking distance of my job. Yes, it is expensive, but it is so worth it.
The non-medical people in my life seem to have a hard time understanding my decision, I often get asked by some beloved family members and friends, “what do you do with all your free time?”
As all physicians know, 20 hours of clinical work does not equal 20 hour of work. In my “free time” I do my clinic follow up, call patients, read medical journals, go to academic seminars, teach med students…these “free” hours get filled up fast! Of course, I do actually have a decent amount of free time to do non-medical stuff, mundane domestic chores like cleaning and cooking, but there’s also time for fun “me” stuff like running, reading, blogging. Is it wrong for me enjoy my personal time so much?
When I was on maternity leave with my first child, I remember feeling so conflicted. I missed working and craved adult interaction. But when I went back to work full-time, I constantly cried because I missed my baby so much. I was frustrated because I felt like I couldn’t be 100% at work, or at home. I felt guilty for wanting to have time to myself.
Working part-time and having time to myself now has allowed me to be a better physician, a better mother, a better wife, and a happier person. I know I am extremely blessed to have this option. What about you, readers? What is your work/childcare situation? What would be your ideal work hours or stay at home plans?