“IGB”: It Gets Better

At the beginning of the medical school journey I discovered a Facebook group called, “Lives of Doctor Wives.” Sometimes their stuff is ridiculous with surgeon wives saying, “Look at my new souped up SUV!” and there’s been some comical moments where a lady professed she was impregnated by a man at the gym who shared the gym’s hot tub at the same time… But most of the time it has been a support with ladies helping me see the light at the end of the tunnel as well as commiserating the life of a doctor’s wife. They use the acronym IGB to talk about life after training. Some people prefer to use DWT (done with training) because sometimes it doesn’t get better, but I can say six weeks out of medical school, so far it has gotten better. Andy is at work on his third shift for the entire month of August– 3/11. Once he gets credentialed at a couple of other hospitals he will probably take on four more shifts a month to help us save for a future home and other things, but still… 15 shifts a month is WAY less than 24 every 28 which is what he did intern year (and it only decreased by one each year after). Aside from having him home more, an increase in pay (don’t worry, we’re military, they like to keep us somewhat humble), there have been a few unexpected moments of it “getting better.”

The first one I noticed was Andy’s help around the house more than normal. He did it willingly and even without being asked. I realized that this is probably who he is normally when he isn’t burning the candle at both ends, because when we were dating and life was more simple he was always eager and willing to help me with grading my students’ papers and whatever else I needed help with. The next thing was something I didn’t do consistently the past three years– help Max study. I would alway help Max with his homework if Andy wasn’t around to help out, but this past week, Andy has been quizzing Max on social studies and ELA vocabulary. I never had the mental fortitude to remember to do that on top of everything else that was on my plate during residency. It warmed my heart to see him quizzing and instructing Max when he needed some extra guidance.

The third bonus thing I noticed this week was his help with sports. I had done the sports practice mostly by myself the past three years. We took Max to his football evaluations and they were in desperate need of another coach. Andy has been wanting to since Max started football, but again, that time commitment made it impossible. This year, however, he was able to step up and volunteer. He will be making a new friend doing it too. A man in our ward, Josh Rogers, has a son on our team, so he’ll be an assistant coach. He also happens to be moving into our neighborhood, so I have a feeling we’ll be getting to know that family a lot better.

My birthday was probably the best I’ve had in a LONG time. Andy wasn’t exhausted beyond all measure and nor was I. I took the morning to go to the gym with Andy, eat lunch with some girl friends while Andy watched SEVEN kids, got pedicures with my bestie, Lindsay, and ate out after Beverly’s open house at Mellow Mushroom. Friday evening I got to go out with Andy to celebrate and we went to Frog Hollow, a fancy restaurant we have been meaning to try since we moved here. My kids loved celebrating with me. Beverly and I also went and painted a plate Friday morning at a pottery store– but that was less for my birthday and more because I dropped the one she had made when we went as a family.

Beverly also started Ballet/Tap dance! I think she was maybe just a tiny bit more excited than I was, but it was so fun to watch her dance!

I am sure there will be many more moments where I see another reason it is AMAZING to be out of residency, but I’m just enjoying every minute of our new phase of life. With the kids back in school, it is easier to get back into a routine of things. I am excited to see what this year brings! I am hoping to be doing more art, working on some house projects, and being more emotionally present for my family.

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