Thursday nights are stressful for us. Typically my husband has an afternoon clinic that runs late into the evening. I usually see patients until 4pm and then attend a couple of hours of didactics (research seminar/clinical case presentations). By the time I am able to rush out of conference, dash over the the daycare, bundle up the kids in the double-stroller and power-walk the few blocks to the car, it’s usually around 6:40pm. Sometimes we get lucky and get home relatively quickly without the rush hour traffic, but most of the time the kids don’t even sit down for dinner until after 7pm.
Tonight as I was sitting in traffic, the kids in the backseat fighting over saltine crackers, I was thinking about how my perspective of time has changed. During residency, an “early” day meant getting out of the hospital before 6pm. Going out for dinner at 8 was a regular occurrence. Nowadays, if the kids aren’t fed by 6:30, I start feeling anxious and a little bit hypoglycemic myself.
These days, I have to allot myself an extra cushion of 1.5 hours in the morning to avert any potential disasters such as the preschooler who throws early morning temper tantrums about how the color of her socks don’t exactly match her dress. In the pre-kids days, I could roll out of bed, quickly shower/dress and be out the door within 15 minutes.
I also remember that as a sleep-deprived and busy resident, spending more than 10 minutes in a patient’s room on morning rounds listening to chatterbox patients listing their complaints felt extremely tedious and never-ending, but tonight as I read “Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see?” for the umpteenth time in a row and listened to my baby boy echoing words back to me, I felt like the last 16 months flew by in the blink of an eye.
It’s funny how the perspective and value of time is so dependent on one’s stage of life.