From Dr. Wife to Mrs. Mom

I recently quit my job…and by job, I mean residency.  As those in the field can attest, this isn’t something that happens often.  Once you start, it’s expected that you’ll finish, regardless of how difficult things get, and no matter the sacrifice.  Forums on the topic often advise residents considering the thought to “forget about it”, stating it’s not worth it after everything one goes through to get to this point.

 

College Grad with my then boyfriend (now hubby)!

I’ve gone through four years of undergraduate training, endured countless hours of studying for classes like Organic Chemistry and Physics,  slaved away doing research in dark basement laboratories, endlessly stood on my feet while shadowing attending physicians like an imprinted baby duck, studied for and took the hours-long exam known as the MCAT, and not to mention the thousands of dollars spent flying around the country for medical school interviews.

 

 

Graduation from Med School. I was 7 months pregnant here.

Then, once in med school, I suffered through exam after exam, spent hours on end dissecting dead bodies, stood on my feet endlessly as we rounded on rotation after rotation, all the while playing “yes man (or woman)” to my seniors, studied for Steps 1 & 2, and again not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on flights around the country as I interviewed for residency.  And for me, it goes back even further than med school or undergrad.  I’ve always been academically-inclined, and as such I would regularly try to skip recess in elementary school in order to do my work, so I could get ahead.  So after all this “getting ahead,” why did I finally decide to give it all up?  The answer: my family.

 

Before applying to med school, I prayed a prayer that I had actually forgotten about along the way: that if God wanted me to go to medical school, He would make a way for my future family to be a priority.  Throughout med school, He always did exactly that.  Sometimes He did it by placing me with the right senior resident(s)/schedule that allowed me to leave the hospital most days at a decent time.  He even did it by providing the time for me to get married during medical school (which is another story for another day!). This time, however, I felt that God was calling me to step out on faith and continue to make sure that priority was taken care of by reminding me of the prayer I prayed long ago. My husband and I have always been convicted about the importance of family and when our baby boy showed up, I knew I had to make a decision about what I always said I believed in.  As a resident, days are long, with most work weeks fluctuating between 60-80 hours.  Most days, our little one was sound asleep when I left for work, and I would get home with just enough time to quickly shower, feed him, and put him to sleep.  I envisioned myself doing this for the next four years: missing his first words and first steps, missing his first time tasting solid foods and first Christmas, and I wasn’t okay with that.  God blessed me with this special gift and I knew that putting him on the back burner while I selfishly pursued my career wasn’t an option.  After all, there can and always will be more doctors, but there’s only one person who can be Micah’s mom.
Our sweet little Micah!
Now of course, there are naysayers. One question I often get asked is, “After all you’ve gone through to get to this point, don’t you think it was a waste to walk away now?”  To that question, I answer with the response of Dr. Kathryn Butler, a trauma surgeon who stepped away from her career to homeschool her children. In the blog post “From Medical Doctor to Stay-at-Home Mom,” she references the story of Mary Magdelene, who when annointing the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume, the question was asked “How could she waste such a precious gift?”  Her reply? “When you serve God, you waste nothing.”  I have my thoughts on why God blessed me with such an extensive education, and I believe in the future He will provide other  ways for me to use it.
People also ask if I’ll ever return to medicine.  Thankfully, I was provided the opportunity by my institution to return if later I feel so inclined, which is certainly an unusual thing for a residency program to do for someone who has resigned (which, by the way, was further confirmation that I was doing the right thing!).  However, I don’t know what the future holds. Maybe I will return, maybe I won’t.  But for right now, I know what I need to do.  In the meantime, stay tuned and join us for the journey!

16 thoughts on “From Dr. Wife to Mrs. Mom

  1. I’m just now tuning in. My favorite sentence in this post was , “After all, there can and always will be more doctors, but there’s only one person who can be Micah’s mom”. That is so true! Your blessing, sweet Micah and your husband DJ, is a lifetime job and full time responsibility. I’m excited to read the next post. I hope this inspires families around the world to have a relationship with God and to have Him as the foundation of our lives, and trust He will give us wisdom as we go along through life’s journey.

    1. Wow Alex! You hit the nail perfectly on the head! That’s exactly the point. Thank you so much for reading and following along 🙂

  2. Omg Sheree I didn’t know you had a blog. I LOVE THIS. Keep on writing, I’m glad to knowI’m not the only person having to make such hard decisions regarding having a family and raising our first child and trying to balance school and work.

    Love you guys. Say hi to Micah and DJ

    1. Thank you so much Symone! You’re absolutely not the only one. I think it’s something more moms struggle with than one would think. Stay strong, pray about it, and if you have any questions, you know where to find me 🙂

  3. I remember being in grad school, working a 40 hour week and coming home at about 10 pm. It bothered me to the point my professor asked in class after seeing my distracted appearance “ how many of you are married? Followed by how many of you have children? He had a long pause then ended the class early.
    After the semester ended I decided to not return to school so I could be home. It was one of the best decisions I have made. My son is now 22 and will be graduating this May. He was accepting to his two top pics for graduate school. I am extremely proud of him and more so the decision plus years ago. It is an investment that will always pay off.

  4. This post was so encouraging. Gave me lots of confirmation on my own decision to stay at home. God bless you and your little “heaven on earth”.
    Thanks for referencing Dr. Butler, such a powerful reminder in the story of Mary Magdalene. I’ll go check out that blogpost. The words in this post that will be forever etched in my brain: “There can and always will be more doctors, but there’s only one person who can be Micah’s mom”. And “When you serve God, you waste nothing!” Boom!
    May God continue to bless you and your ministry!

    1. Praise God! I’m so glad you found these words to be meaningful for you. Wishing you all the best on your journey.

  5. I made the decision to delay medical school until my daughter finished high school, so I understand very well how it feels to have your decisions questioned by the well meaning and not so well meaning too. I’m certain you’ll never regret your decision and even though I’m much older than the average “premed”, I’ve never once regret my decision either!

    1. That’s very encouraging to hear. I have often wondered what it will be like if I decide to go back when I’m a bit older. Either way, I know I won’t regret my decision. Thanks for sharing and for reading!

  6. Ohhhhh, how BEAUTIFUL! I am a speech-language pathologist, turned stay-at-home mom, and our daughter turned 15 yesterday. I can tell you, personally, that the years pass so very quickly, and I feel so thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to invest these years in her life. No regrets. Your blog is great! So glad you shared❤️

    1. Thank you for reading! I’m already seeing the benefits of me being home and it’s such a blessing. All the best and a happy belated birthday to your daughter!

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