Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Failure

I'm not going to lie ... this week has been really tough.  When Evan left the house this morning he told me "this has been my worst week of residency, ever."  And he just might be right.

He has worked SUCH long hours this week and what makes it even harder is there is no end in sight.  I do the best I can, but I am just TIRED.  Not necessarily sleepy (though I am that too) but just TIRED. 

Tired of doing EVERYTHING.  Tired of being a stay at home Mom, and a full time working Mom, and having NO help. 

I'm admittedly getting irritable around others because of it.  When I hear others saying "it's just so hard" I admittedly think in my head "please!  You don't have to work!"  or "Please!  You take your kid to Grandma's three times a week!"  And I HATE thinking like that.  It's a seed of jealousy and that's the truth.  And really and truly, my life is brilliant.  And sometimes that's why it's best to write things out, just like this post, because I haven't been honest enough with myself to think that this entire week.

Instead I've just stewed inside.  This is something I have REALLY tried to rid myself of the last few years.  Like I've posted about many times, I was, deep down an unhappy person in my third year of law school.  This is another post for another day (and one that I just haven't been GUTSY enough to write before), but I went through some depression during my pregnancy with Liliana.  Ironically enough, didn't have one shred of it after delivering (which is much more common than during pregnancy).  Regardless, the day that I cried myself a lake about hating what I was doing with my life, I really tried to become a new person.

A fresher person.  A happier person.  A person more true and honest to herself.  I learned to be happy for others instead of constantly jealous.  I learned to relish the good in life and to not let things get to me as much.

Have I done this perfectly the last 2 years?  OF COURSE NOT.  NOBODY and I repeat NOBODY is free from these types of feelings.

But this past week, I've felt like it's resurfacing.  Not the depression during pregnancy.  I can HAPPILY say I haven't had any this pregnancy and that is something Evan and I discussed MULTIPLE times before getting pregnant this go around.  It's a big part of why I exercise throughout pregnancy.  They say exercise greatly helps with depression and I am LIVING proof of it helping TREMENDOUSLY with it.

When I say resurfacing, I mean just the constant thoughts of "WHEN is this going to end?" "WHEN will Evan actually leave at a decent hour?  WHEN will he get to see his daughter for more than 20 minutes a day (or at all for that matter)?  WHEN will we catch a stinking break?  WHEN will we get to watch a movie together without one of us falling asleep because we have so much on our plates?"

And what makes it really difficult is nobody really understands.  My Aunt does, but she's a counselor for petes sake, so this is her thing.  Every week or so, she sends me a text simply saying "I love you and miss you."  OR she'll at least ACKNOWLEDGE it and say "you both are SO strong!  I can't believe you keep going."  Just having somebody say that ... GOODNESS that goes a long way.  It's her way of saying "hang in there.  This is rough.  You're doing well."  It's not that I need credit.  It's hard to explain.  I don't want somebody playing violins in the background for me.  I just want the simple "we notice" every now and then instead of the "well this is how it goes!"  OR "I had it worse!" OR "does he really work THAT hard?" (all things we've heard btw)

But when people get on Evan about not calling them?  NOT the way to go.  And when you put pressure on us about tiny little details?  NOT the way to go. 

I guess I'm saying, a break would be nice...and not from others really.  The ONLY culprit is residency. 

And the break?  It's not coming.  Evan's on call ALL stinking weekend and he won't see Liliana today (for the third night out of four this week). (caveat: I always mention in these kinds of posts that I know being a surgery residents wife doesn't even compare to what others go through.  I'm sorry.  I just need a space to write out my frustrations too. Please understand).

I feel like a big complainer.  I truly do.  I am so frustrated with my mind and brain for thinking like this.  I LOVE having Liliana.  It's funny because back when she was 13 or 14 months old, I would look at that clock praying for the time to fly by so I could get a break and put her down for sleep. 

Now?  I HATE 8:00.  I hate putting my toddler who love life to the fullest down for night night.  I LOVE spending time with her. She makes me laugh.  She makes the time fly.  She is the light in my life through this and I am so grateful that Liliana has been around this year.  She has been Mommy's rock and she doesn't know it, but she has helped this year become much more tolerable.

I'm not going to lie ... this isn't easy on a marriage.  It's not to say that we've been fighting more than usual.  It's not to say anything.  It's hard to maintain a feeling of closeness when, at best, your only communication is a couple text messages throughout the day.  We text as often as possible, and usually my job is the more flexible in terms of being able to answer texts, but we're still both very busy and it's difficult to find time during the day.  We NEVER get phone calls in during the day, and if we do, it's usually because there is some kind of emergency and we HAVE to communicate.  I think this frustrates Evan because he comes home and I'm tired and moody.  I'm not in the mood to be chipper anymore.  And in turn, that just makes him feel even worse for being gone so much.  There isn't any perfect solution to this.  Our answer?  We stay up entirely too late talking, kissing, and being together and trying to lump 3 hours of quality time in to 30 minutes. 

We try to make the most of the time we have together (for the most part) but when he's working 15/ 16 hour days and when I'm in my third trimester and have worked a full time job, worked out, cooked dinner, folded laundry, made doctor's appointments, decorated a nursery, etc., saying "HI SWEETY!  Look at this 5 course meal that I made for you!" isn't going to happen either.

Our marriage is by NO MEANS in trouble.  It's not that.  It's just that this does suck.  And, this is just the way it is.

Yesterday, Evan got home around 8:00 and like I said, that's Liliana's bed time.  At least he got to see her.  It was a hell of a lot better than arriving a little before 11 pm like the evening before. 

When he got home, she was sitting on her dresser as we were picking out her pajamas.  She EXCLAIMED "DADDY!!!" since she hasn't seen him all week.  She gave us the sincerest look on her face and EMBRACED the two of us, together as a family.  After a few seconds, she pulled away, looked at us IN THE EYES, and went in for another family embrace (four in total).  She initiated it all.  I KNOW in my heart, she was telling us she was glad to have her family together.  And it BROKE MY HEART.  I nearly broke down and cried, though I didn't.

Because I can't.

Because though we keep telling ourselves "this will get better" that's what we said when his new rotation started, and that was 8 weeks ago.  So when I get a text saying "I think today will be a decent day" I don't even get my hopes up anymore.  I still know it won't be. 

And I know the truth of the matter is this is what happens when your husband is a surgeon in his residency.  And YES, before you say I need to be proud of him and be supportive ... I AM!  I find it BEYOND sexy that my husband is a brilliant man that helps people all day.  And I know that this will only be 4 years longer (can I say ONLY for another FOUR FREAKIN years?).  And I am doing MY BEST.

But I'm human.

And I'm working on these feelings right now.  I'm TRYING to work through them.

This week, I'm failing at it.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a good day today. I wish I lived close enough to come and help you or to bring you a latte (reg or decaf) and give you a hug.

    Look at what an amazing team Evan and you are. You both rock.

    I've worked as a parent and I've been a stay at home parent. But well, it's hard to compare situations because no two apples are even the same. It comes in waves. Just know that I can relate which makes me just want to help you out so much. And hmm, I totally agree about wanting somebody to come and help sometimes. I struggle with people telling me that they do this and that and still workout, have a clean house, and dates...hmm yeah because you have family or help. I love my in-laws but they just send me an email asking me to get a sitter (oh yes, like that's so easy) so we can have a date with them without the kids. Seriously! I need a date or to see my husband first. Anyhow, I hope that my little attitude there left you with a smile. If you're ever around Ohio, write me and I'd be happy to squeeze in time to cook, clean or baby sit for you.


  2. I'm a firm believer that if something sucks for you, you are entitled to feel bad about it no matter what you think other people are going through. There will always be someone out there who has it worse than you, but that doesn't make it any easier for you to deal with in your every day life. So I think you should keep writing these posts, whenever you feel like you need to, because you're entitled to have your own version of a crappy day (or week, in this case). I can't give you comforting words that Evan's schedule will get better, but what I can say is that people can adapt to any situation, and eventually, you will get better at making the best of it.

  3. Next time I visit family in Arkansas I'm driving to Little Rock to kick your butt!!! DON'T apologize for your feelings. DON'T apologize for being upset or speaking your mind.

    You're pregnant. Have a young toddler. Work a full time job and have a husband completing residency. I'm amazed you even get dressed in the morning!! You are a superhero!

    Keep on, keeping on! (And if that little precious L stays up a few minutes late to play with Dada? So be it!!)

  4. I know nothing I can say is really going to help. But, you do need to let yourself off the hook for these feelings and stop apologizing for them. You're human! And it DOES suck!!! For as long as I've been reading your blog, I've been amazed at all you do and have no idea how you do it all. I'm actually glad to see that you are, in fact, human. ;) Whatever you can do to give yourself a break, I say do it. Whatever little thing you can do to give yourself a pick-me-up, do it. Sometimes giving yourself little breaks/treats can help maintain sanity. the root of all of this is LOVE. You love your husband so much that you just want to spend time with him. You just want your family to be together. That is a good thing....there are so many couples out there who don't even care if their spouse is gone a lot/spouse doesn't care if (s)he's home ever. Hang in there...

  5. I don't know what to say that could possibly be helpful, but I do think you're so incredibly strong and I really admire how well you're keeping it together. And just like everyone else has said - this situation does suck and it's nothing to apologize for for feeling the way you do.

    Question: four more years? I thought things were supposed to get better by this summer because I remember you saying you guys had a countdown on Evan's phone?

    P.S. That last statement was in NO WAY meant to be bitchy or accusatory or anything, just curious if something has changed.
    You're doing an amazing job Cristina, and I hope next week is better for you. Keeping you guys in my thoughts!

  6. Ugh just reading what all you have had to deal with gives me a headache! What a great mommy and wife you are for being so selfless and giving. Can't imagine what you are going through and I have the utmost respect for you. Hoping there is a fabulous vacation in sight?! A beach, drink, and some sun maybe?!

  7. I try to place myself in your shoes and all you have said makes perfect sense including apologizing for your true feelings. There are no apologies and people outside your unit should understand your feelings and what you are experiencing. I love it that you lay no blame and you are frustrtated because I would be and I would just adore my hudsband with everything he is doing despite my frustrations. You can feel lonely-you are married to an amazing man who is kind, dedicated and by your side but he is taken away due to his work and you are in a new place, pregnant with a new baby and family is, I believe, not close by except for Skype. Any change(good and bad)can be scary and frustrating. I don't know if I make sense but my heart goes out to you and your husband and little girl. A big hug to you and maybe you need to call someone to hear their voice and if they can listen, use their ear. This week is bad for you but you have a strength you do not fully realize and you will overcome what you are feeling. I am now talking to much and bid adieu:) Take care

  8. Oh sweetheart. My heart goes out to you. Just like everyone here said, you are entitled to show your true emotions and there's no need to justify that you have these feelings. You are ALLOWED to feel these things and no one needs to be ok with it or not. There are very few people who understand.
    I know this isn't a solution for you, but have you thought about connecting to other wives through the residents' spouse association? Also, I realize this isn't what you may want, but have you thought about hiring a nanny part time just to help you out around the house with cleaning, maybe cooking a meal for you every once in a while? I'm moving to San Antonio soon (my family lives there) and I am going to have to have a nanny as a single working mom as much as I don't want to. I know San Antonio is different from Little Rock, but I have a friend who is an OB resident at UAMS and she has a nanny. I can contact her and see what she says (how she found one, etc). I heard is good. I have some friends who are med students and residents at UAMS, I can write to them and see what they can say. I won't divulge any personal information. I'll just ask. They'll write me back, I'm sure. :)))
    You deserve a break every once in a while. You are going to be a mommy of two and you need to have SOME energy and patience left before the second one arrives. I am certain there would be MANY people to help you out with basic stuff at home so you can spend time with Lilliana and Evan when he's home. This is a rough patch in your life and just work on getting through it with minimal psychological and physical health losses... maybe shrinking your "to do" list can help you breathe more freely. You don't have control over Evan's schedule, but you do have control over your to do list to save you some time for him.
    My heart goes out to you. You're in my prayers.