Like my doctoring? Thank my wife

Sunrise yesterday was beautiful. Maybe it was my mood, or the tail end of Hurricane Isaac. Either way, coffee and a sunrise is a nice way to start a day.

Medicine was particularly good to me and my patients this week. I was able to give lots of good news, and bad news was tempered by my ability to briefly bend the broken healthcare system to my will.

My ability to devote my full attention to patients derives in no small part from my wife. We are in the midst of moving, PalKid is starting school, and MrsPal is the default home manager. By taking on that role, she is helping my patients as much as I am.  When  you see a married male doctor, please remember that because of the way our society views gender roles, he is often able to care for you because of his wife.

I have cut back a bit on my hours, which gives me more time with the family.  Last night while my wife worked on planning the move, I got PalKid showered, removed her nail polish (gold on the hands, pink on the feet), blew her hair dry. I loved every second of it, but once again, is was fundamentally a choice. If I hadn’t done it, or I had been at work, the duties would have fallen to my wife by default.

I have no idea how to change this in my household or in our society, but I do keep trying to remind myself that it would help if both parents stopped thinking of one or the other as the “real” parent. I often fail at this, but hope to keep improving.

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  1. That’s a tough one. I’m the default parent (because I’m home and I’m home because it’s too expensive to do otherwise) so I have no idea how one fixes things so that the load falls more evenly. I’m sure your wife appreciated the help, regardless and a little thanks goes a long way. :0)

  2. I’m in the same situation as you. I think I have the easier job than my wife, as our kids are 2 and 5 and are very busy.

  3. Barbarella

     /  September 17, 2012

    I admire the ideas in your post. I wonder what my PCP would think, as she is a woman in her early thirties, also married, no children. She’s made remarks before about how she’s too busy for kids, and I wonder how many female doctors feel the same way. It seems like a major decision to have to make, to give up the possibility of children because of the demands of a job. On the other hand, I am a painter, and I took twenty years out of my career by choosing to be at home with my son. My husband and I are beginning to believe that parenting just gets more difficult every decade, not the reverse. The good news is that when a twenty-four year old needs bailed out in the middle of the night, there’s no reason that Dad can’t go down to the police station.

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