The Wives I Knew….
I don’t know where I picked up some of the stereotypes of doctor’s wives I have, but I know where I didn’t get them.
I grew up in a small rural community. We lived on the same street as two doctors, and one was an Emergency Room doctor and the other was an anesthesiologist. My parents did not work in medicine. My parents didn’t go to college. Our families couldn’t be more different, and yet we weren’t.
I remember when I found out that my friends’ fathers were doctors, and how I thought they must be lying. In what world does my family live on the same street with doctors? They didn’t have big fancy houses. They didn’t drive new cars. Their mother’s weren’t super models. They wore the same clothes I did. They were just like me.
When we first moved to this community, the anesthesiologist family was living in a trailer on the land where they would later build their home. After it was built, I remember visiting their home and being a little disappointed that it wasn’t over the top amazing. It was nice, really nice. But it wasn’t the kind of place where I thought doctors lived.
I can recall two times that I was aware we had real doctors on our street. The first was when my dad nearly cut off his thumb on a band saw, and the ER doc was at home to put it back together. He was stitched up on their dining room table. I remember my mother telling me she felt horrified that they were doing this on their dining room table. They didn’t mind at all.
The other time was when the anesthesiologist was present for my dad’s back surgery. Other than that, they – and their families – were just like mine. They worked hard in their fields and ranches. My dad worked hard. Their children went to school with me, we were friends. We went to church together.
There was nothing special about them, and yet there was. They were amazing families, kind and generous. They were the first to show up with a loaf of bread, dinner when someone was sick, or offer their suburban to drive kids to camp. They were the ones who were letting the rest of us hang out at their house, and always had chocolates or cookies ready to be devoured. They were probably some of the best people I have ever known. What they were had nothing to do with their professional status. It is who they were. They were good people.
I talk with my husband often about what our future will look like. It is exciting and terrifying. I almost feel like if we don’t have a big house, and don’t drive nice new cars people will be disappointed. I know I have some crazy things in my head. This kind of thinking is what gets people in trouble. Trying to create the picture that people expect to see. Instead of keeping up with the Jones’s it is BEING the Jones’s.
We are going to disappoint a lot of people if they are expecting something amazing from us, especially in the beginning.
I hope our future looks a lot like those I have actually known, and not like the people I have dreamed up from the most unreliable of sources. When people refer to us I want the “who we are” to come before the “what we have” and “what he does”.
I have no idea how to do that. These are the big questions floating around my head at the moment.
About The author: I talk about my husband (he knows what I do), and I talk about my family and his (they don’t), and I spill secrets (mostly mine) as they relate to our life during residency, fellowship, and what I hope to be a very happily ever after. This is the honest, sugar-free version of our life.
Why another blog about the lives of residents wives? I need a place to vent, blow off some steam, manage my insanity, and help get me through these last years. For the past 5 years I’ve been telling myself if I could just make it to the 6th and final year I would survive. The finish line has just been moved, and we’re doing a fellowship.