Sticky Fingers & Snotty Faces

My Twitter-friend @MarianneDiNaps has a freakin’ sweet blog ( and has gotten me thinking about what to blog on today. I linked her blog so all of my two readers – Mom, Dad – check out Marianne’s blog – could go read what she has to say. What can I say? I like to help a sister out with her blog traffic. So, babies. Aww….I love babies they are so cute. In fact, I might end up being some kind of specialized pediatric doctor when I grow up….probably because I like to make babies cry solely by my presence in a big white coat that is inevitably over-sized. Okay, not really – I like kids because for some reason I can handle a whiny four-year old with much more grace and understanding than a whiny 40 year old. Kids are resilient and….crap this blog is for a different day.

Anyhow, a question I get often in this life is “When are you going to have kids?” Well, hell – how do you answer that? 
Uhh….someday when I have time. Nope, they’ll tell you that you will never. have. time. After residency. Hm….start trying at 31….what if we want an entire olympic gymnastics team of kids? what if we’re infertile and it takes a long time….? what if this or that? what if? what if? what if? You could basically drive yourself crazy trying to answer this question, because there is truly never a good time to have kids in this profession.

Why is that? Most likely because in the good ole days girls weren’t doctors. That doesn’t totally make sense, though, because in the “good ole days” girls weren’t a lot of things – soldiers, dentists, business people, construction workers, lawyers – and these professions seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of medicine in socially accepting women who choose to have children. Why is it that these professions seem to be so far ahead in their efforts to stop marginalizing women who want families? Why, in medicine, are you only successful if you work 80 hours a week in a difficult specialty and neglect your family and self in the process? 
Seriously. I had a classmate tell me Pediatricians and Psychiatrists aren’t real doctors.

Uhh….what? I’m pretty sure if your child or your brain needs healthcare you’ll consider them real doctors. They go through medical school and residency just like surgeons do.

How do we end this bias against women in medicine? It’s gotten better, sure – a lot better in fact. But there is no denying it’s still there. Women are told “you better not end up pregnant” by their attendings often. I don’t know the answer to it, but I can tell you how I’ve chosen to handle it.

  1. Choose residency program based on family-friendliness.
  2. Have kids when I want to, if someone doesn’t agree with it they are welcome to choose not to have a child when I do.
  3. Choose my family over medicine. Always. Period. No exceptions.
  4. Run my life on my schedule.
  5. Stand up for myself and my decisions about my body. Always. Period. No exceptions.

I want to hear from women in medicine & other professions. How do you handle it?

If you have kids tell me your experiences. If you don’t have kids, tell me why you don’t (you don’t want any sticky fingered, snot-faced miniature people ripping apart your marriage children, you don’t have time, you have fertility issues, etc.). If you’re in my position, thinking about considering one day maybe having a little monster growing inside you trying to steal all your time & energy kid, tell me how you feel! If you’re a stay-at-home mom did you have to give up a dream to do it or did you always want to be a SAHM? How does the non-medical world view doctors who are also moms? If you’re TTC share your experiences on how you got to that point. Big decision. What made you make it? How’s it going? Nice to meet you, now inform me of your sex life.