Be all that you can be.

A few weeks ago one of the doctors that I work with, I’ll call him Dr. Demento (because I can) said to me “Alison, you’re smart why aren’t you a doctor?” (My “smartness” had been demonstrated earlier in the day when I used the term non-sequitur correctly. What can I say, I like big words. Look up intertriginous and try using that one in a sentence this week!) back to my point.

This is not the first time I’ve met up with this attitude. The idea behind it is that everyone wants to be a doctor (or lawyer, or corporate giant) but not all of them can because they’re not smart enough. But if they were smart enough they definitely would.

I’m not a doctor because I DON’T WANT TO BE A DOCTOR! I’m smart enough (and good enough and gosh darn it people like me.) I chose not to be a doctor because I chose to be something else instead.

My whole life I wanted to be a stay at home mom. That was what my mom was and I thought that that was far and away the best thing for kids. (I may still think that, I’m not sure.) Well, it didn’t work out and I have to work. And I freely admit I like to work. Once I actually had kids I realized that I probably wasn’t cut out to be a stay at home mom (I don’t have the right temperament for it) luckily Sean was cut out to be a more involved father then most and we’ve worked out a life that works really well for us.

I work at a hospital. But unlike a doctor I don’t live there. And I wasn’t ever a resident so, I never have. When I’m off I’m off, I don’t agonize over patients, I don’t second guess my decisions, I don’t have any follow up whatsoever and I don’t have any deaths on my conscience. I have enough responsibility at home with my four kids, I don’t need it at work too.

Speaking of my four children. If I were a doctor I wouldn’t have them. I know plenty of doctors who have a bunch of kids and I know plenty of doctors whose spouses work full time. But I don’t know any doctors who have a load of kids whose spouses also work full time.

“But Alison,” you say, “if you made the kind of money doctors do Sean wouldn’t have to work full time.”

Maybe not but he would anyway, he goes a little stir crazy when he doesn’t get out of the house enough and he likes his job.

Speaking of money, let’s examine that for a minute. Despite what most of the doctors I know will tell you, doctors make a lot of money. (Doctorin’s not quite the cash cow it used to be but habitat for humanity won’t be building a house for a physician anytime soon.) I would love to make more money. I would love to not have a reason to know that you can float a check at Costco but you CANNOT float a check at wal-mart.

However, If I made doctor money I’d probably do something doctory like get a nanny. (By the way, as far as I know, EVERY ONE of those docs with a spouse who works has a nanny.  And I don’t know one female doctor with kids who doesn’t have one.) There’s nothing overtly wrong with having a nanny but I had kids so that I could raise them, not so that I could hire someone to do that for me. I may not be a SAHM but I know that the real raising is done while trying to make lunches and entertain children and do the dishes all at the same time. If I had a nanny, or the resources to have a nanny, I wouldn’t do that. The nanny would entertain the kids while I did the dishes and made lunch. That may just be me. Now that I think about it, this argument is really less about nannies and more about me with the option of a nanny. But it works out the same.

We could debate all day about whether it’s possible to do both but frankly I’m not interested. I may not have a job that’s universally recognized and respected. I may not make a whole heck of a lot of money. I may have puke, poop and/or spit-up on 90% of my clothes. But this is the life I chose and I like it.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. E
    Apr 03, 2008 @ 11:27:49

    So what are you you going to do when you’re suddenly a rich author? Huh, Huh, what then?????

  2. Alison Wonderland
    Apr 03, 2008 @ 15:05:18

    Yeah well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
    (I’m not all that worried.)

  3. Mel
    Apr 06, 2008 @ 12:13:17

    you are a photoshop master! I love the photos, although you could have picked a better one of me! BTW I love reading your rants they are funny and very you!

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