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For the fourth installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Christa, who is a 30-year-old doctor in Florida with a young daughter. Our usual caveat applies: Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat
First, Some Basics about this Working Mom…
Lives: In a university town in Florida
Job: Doctor at an academic medical center
Home Situation: I live in a 1600-square-foot, single-family home with my husband, who works a full-time information technology job at the same university where I’m employed, and my daughter, who is around 2 1/2 years old.
Childcare Situation: During the week, we use a local corporate daycare chain that has extended hours (around $1,000/month). Usually drop-off is around 7:30-8:00 a.m. and pick-up is around 5:30-6:00 p.m. My parents live around two hours away and my mother provides emergency childcare.
Last Week in My Life
Day off with the family. We wake up around 7 a.m. In the morning and during naptime (10:30-12:00), we do a lot of yard work, including mulching some garden beds and leveling the portion of the yard where we are going to build the swingset next week. Currently we maintain our own yard to cut costs, and because it is the only housework I enjoy. 1:00 – 2:30 PM, I take daughter to a bounce-house birthday party for a work friend’s daughter and husband stays home. Daughter and I have a blast bouncing and climbing together. When we get home, we spend the afternoon playing and doing crafts. Husband cooks dinner and we eat together around 6 p.m. Bath and bedtime routine starts at 7 p.m. and she goes to sleep at 7:30 p.m. Then husband and I watch TV together (Legion) and have an early bedtime around 9:30 p.m.
I have in-house call, which means I stay in the hospital overnight. We wake daughter around 7:00, share the breakfast/dressing/diapering morning routine, and husband takes her to daycare around 8:00 and goes to work. In the morning, I run some errands and go thrift-shopping before going to work around noon. At work, I do desk-based research work in the afternoon and start my overnight clinical shift at 4:30 p.m. When I have overnight shifts (once or twice a week), husband handles all of the childcare including daycare pick-up and dinner. This week, he did grocery shopping with the kiddo while I was working. Thanks, husband!
We asked Christa about her overnight shifts, and she had this to say:
In many ways, the overnight shifts may be the reason my husband is an equal co-parent (or even, to be honest, the default parent)! Since he solo parents regularly, including sometimes for entire weekend days, he really knows the whole parenting drill from morning rush to bedtime routine. If his work was less flexible or he was less of an engaged, amazing dad, this would probably not be the case — I certainly wouldn’t recommend this type of career for someone who has an equally career-minded, high-ambition husband. On the other hand, I know many two-doctor-parent families that somehow make it work. Because of my specific field of medicine, these overnight shifts are going to be part of my work for the rest of my career. I really love my what I do and actually enjoy night shifts as long as they don’t happen too often.
Rough call night so I didn’t get much sleep. I sign out to the day team at 7:30 a.m. and head home around 8:15 a.m. Husband and daughter are getting a late start, so I get to see them briefly at home before he takes her in to daycare. I sleep during the day then wake up around 2 p.m. to do housework (laundry, dishes, floors) until husband and daughter arrive home around 5:45 p.m. Days after an overnight call are when the vast majority of my errands and housework get done. Pizza night. After daughter is in bed, we have a quiet night reading.
Early morning clinical conference, so I get up and leave before daughter is awake to make it to the hospital by 7 a.m. Husband (as usual) handles the morning logistics including daycare drop-off. I have a full day of research work and meetings but I’m able to leave a little early at 4:30 p.m. and do daycare pick-up, since I feel guilty about how much responsibility has fallen to my husband this week and I miss my kid. We play at home and I prep her dinner (leftover pizza, let’s be real) and sit with her while she eats. Husband gets home around 6 p.m. and handles trash night. We play, do the bedtime routine, and then make our own dinner (salads with chicken) which we eat while watching Agents of SHIELD.