Several weeks ago, I had a medical student working with me in the operating room. He hadn't decided what he wanted to go into after medical school, and we were talking about the advantages of anesthesia. I try to convince everyone that they should do anesthesia. We talked about the autonomy, the problem solving, the close interaction with a patient's physiology. We talked about greater job flexibility and the chance to continue having a life outside the hospital, to continue to have hobbies.
"What hobbies do you have," the medical student asked me.
I paused. Well, I, um...I...sometimes I...um...
The only thing I could think about were my boys. How really the only thing I wanted to do was to do things with them. I kept trying to think of a hobby that I did besides be their mom.
I came up with nothing else.
It had happened. I had become one of those crazy moms who had no life outside being a mom. Yes, I work more than full time. I study as much as I can. But when I'm not doing anesthesia, what I'm doing is being a mom. I used to paint, do photography, play the flute and the piano, read, play tennis. Now, any free moment is spent preparing meals, doing homework with the boys, planning activities to do with them, going on family outings.
My kids are my hobby.
Do not misunderstand me. Being a parent has been the most amazing experience. I love being a parent. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.
But I was surprised to realize how parenting had filled every nook and cranny of my life. I have always preached that as parents, moms or dads, we need to make sure we keep a balanced life. I know that I need to keep all the parts of me that aren't anesthesia and that aren't mom healthy and functional. It's not just about finding "me time" occasionally. I've been better at carving out time for just me, but it's usually spent watching a show late at night or playing on the internet. I have let all my hobbies get pushed to the back of the closet and covered in the piles of laundry and dishes.
I had thought for a while that blogging was my new hobby. It allowed to combine my love of writing and photography. But when I looked back over the past several months, it was clear that the mom side of me was taking over my blog as well. I have always used my blog as both a place to talk about my family and our activities and as a place to write about my thoughts. But the family and activities have dominated over any personal posts for quite some time.
I have become the kid-obsessed, annoying mommy blogger.
Most of me wouldn't have it any other way.
But there is that little piece, a tiny piece that wants to write and sing and paint, the a tiny piece that has been tucked far back in a corner behind the boxes of physiology and pharmacology and monthly menus and back-to-school nights, a tiny little piece that wants to be taken out and dusted off and see the light of day again.