Women have the uncanny desire to do everything.

We volunteer for classroom every week. Do cafeteria or playground duty. Board for preschool. We do bookclubs, socials, all sorts of things. We take on freelance work, new orders, more work.

It’s so tempting to say “yes” to all these commitments.

After all, you may have figured out how to run life at home like a busy McDonald’s with chaos synchronized into a beautiful dance. (If that’s you, I hate you.) And when a good and noble opportunity comes along just begging you to take it on, you figure, “Yes, I can fit in just this one thing.”

But Life Is Unpredictable, And The Medical Life Is Especially This Way

All it takes is just one unordinary or a rough event that will throw you into chaos.

  • Your sister-in-law has to go to the hospital.
  • Your child is sick or doesn’t sleep.
  • Your health (or your child’s health) is acting up. Again.
  • Your DrSpouse is on nights, studying for boards, traveling to interviews and conferences. (Or any of the hundred things he has to do to succeed.)

And when your DrSpouse is handling other people’s emergencies, who will handle your emergencies?

YOU, my friend!!

I Tell You: Stop Filling Your Plate!

While you may figure you are at 80% capacity — and what’s a little bit more — you need that extra 20% of free time called “white space” to spend at your discretion.

You not only should be using unplanned free time to handle any emergency, but also do random walks in the park or trips to get ice cream with your family.

Kids care about being with you and having your attention right now. They are little and their memory is only what happens each and every day. They need your quality time. That means not being on your phone or doing anything else.

That random walk in the park or ice cream I just mentioned? It will provide more benefits to your kids than you realize.

You Can Still Sometimes Say “Yes”

I’m not saying never bring meals to families who are ill or just had a baby, or never join your kids’ PTAs and schools, and so on. It’s very important that we take care of others and are involved in our kids’ lives.

I am saying be SUPER selective about which commitments you make. And only choose the few select ones that propel you into the person you want to become and the goals you have.

Learn to say “no” a lot more than you do and without any guilt.

In Summary

Have unplanned time (“white space”) built into your day. You need more time than you think you need.

To strong medical families,

Your Turn

What year was the hardest in your medical journey so far?