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Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Well… it’s about that time.
I’ve been blogging for over four years, and for over a year here for Parents. It’s been an interesting and, at times, a pretty amazing ride. I’ve written about anything and everything, been on some awesome trips, received my share of hate mail, been published on and linked to from places like Yahoo!, Shine, and Time.com, and corresponded and shared my life with some pretty incredible people.
I have honestly enjoyed sharing my life with all of you. Opening up about all of my experiences– the good, like giving birth to Caroline, graduating dental school, and finding a job… and the bad, like Caroline’s hospitalization, my postpartum depression, and my divorce– has been exciting, cathartic, therapeutic. But with my new start here in a new state with a new job and a new home, the time has come for me to move on.
I’ll admit that part of it is that I’m simply burned out on the criticism and hateful email that I seem to get no matter what I write. It is not easy to share as openly and publicly as I do, and I might just not have the backbone for some of the responses that I get anymore. Having a job as a “real” dentist also means that I need to be a little more careful and professional about what I put out there on the internet, know what I mean? I’ve always written whatever I feel about whatever’s on my mind, and if I have to constantly censor myself or worry about what I’m writing, then I’d rather just not write at all… or at least not write so publicly. I also feel like I don’t have as much to say as I used to, and I really only enjoy blogging when I have something interesting to say.
I guess what it ultimately comes down to is, I just need my life to be a little more private right now.
I appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, all of you who have read and loved my blog, whether you’re a new or longtime reader; whether you’ve read occasionally or never missed a post. Your kind words and support got me through some tough times, your advice helped me make some tough decisions, and what some of you have shared with me, in return for all I’ve shared, has touched my life as I hope I’ve managed to touch some of yours. My favorite part has been the emails and comments I get from other single parents who have been inspired by what I’ve written to make changes in their lives, to go back to school, to move on, to find happiness again. I’ve appreciated every word from you, more than you know.
Thanks for laughing and crying with me, everyone. You might see me again on the internet someday, in a more anonymous or private space…you just might not know it’s me.
Categories: Caroline, Dental School, Divorce, Must Read, NICU/Prematurity issues, Pregnancy, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance | Tags: Blogging, Caroline, Divorce, milestones, Moving, NICU/Prematurity issues, Pregnancy, Preschoolers, Residency, School, Single Parenting, Toddlers, Travel
Saturday, March 31st, 2012
I would have to say that the most interesting thing about writing this blog is the email I get from my readers.
I guess it comes with the territory of revealing so much of your personal life for so long, putting it online for anyone to read. I had a good friend tell me once that when she read my blog for the first time, a lot of it surprised her, because she had had no idea that I had felt that way (before my divorce). I’m fully aware that this is a ridiculous statement, but for some reason I almost find it easier to talk about things here than with people in real life. I have a lot of people contact me and tell me they feel like they know me after they’ve read the whole thing. I do get so personal here that I guess that in a way, they’re right.
Enough about me. Back to you guys.
I’ve gotten a lot of hate mail, certainly, for my more controversial posts (see here and here and here). I mostly try to ignore that. I’ve had people email me and ask me questions that I can’t possibly pretend to know how to answer, like “should I get divorced?” or “should I have an abortion?” (I have to say that although I’m always glad to offer a listening ear and a sympathetic shoulder, I don’t exactly feel qualified to offer concrete advice.) I’ve had guys email me and ask me out, women email me and ask me for advice on how to go about getting a divorce, people contact me for dental advice or to talk about going to dental school. And of course I always love the encouraging emails, when people contact me just to say that they love reading about my life and Caroline’s, and to keep it up.
But the kind of correspondence that really makes my day is these: the single mothers who tell me that because of things I’ve written here, they feel more inspired to go back to school for their children. The working moms who tell me that they take comfort in knowing that there’s someone else out there going through the same struggles, and feeling like their compromises and sacrifices are worth it.
If anything I write makes even one person out there feel less alone, then hey– I’m happy. If I get just one of those emails for every ten pieces of hate mail, it’s been more than worth it. So, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has let me know that putting myself out there on the internet like this has made a small difference in your lives. I can’t express how much it means to me.
Friday, January 27th, 2012
Working moms, has anyone ever said to you, of your life with a job and a family, and possibly school or whatever else you do– “I don’t know how you do it?”
Scratch that. It’s not a question. I know you’ve heard that before.
These people mean well. And hey, I’m certainly not complaining. It’s a compliment, really. It means they respect you and the things you have accomplished. But although I’m appreciative of their admiration, I can’t help but think that they don’t exactly understand.
I was chatting with a friend this week and we somehow got talking about traveling, and I was telling him about the trip I took to Belize to do dental work. He leaned back in his chair and looked at me and said, “I don’t get how you’ve done so many things with your life, in spite of the fact that you have a kid.”
It was a compliment, but, well… he doesn’t quite get it, does he?
We don’t do things in spite of the fact that we have children. We do things because we have them.
I finished dental school and travel and write and do all the other things I’ve done (and all of the things I want to do) because I want to be the kind of woman my daughter wants to be when she grows up. I want her to respect me and look up to me and basically just think that I am really, really cool. I want to be her biggest role model. I want her to be proud of me.
And most of all, I want her to have all the opportunities I’ve had, and more.
Being a single mom does make having a career more difficult and complicated, I certainly won’t argue with that. But Caroline isn’t some impediment that I’m trying to work around– she’s the reason and motivating factor behind everything I do.
When I graduated from dental school (at last), I wrote that Caroline was not an obstacle to my achievement, but my biggest motivation and the reason I never lost sight of my goal. And I think that’s how it is for all of us who choose to take on both a career and motherhood simultaneously. Being a parent, and to a greater degree, a single parent, should never be the reason you don’t follow a dream.
It should be the reason you do.
Saturday, January 21st, 2012
Every once in awhile, I like to take a break from talking about all the mommy stuff and the toddler stuff and the heavy life decision stuff, and write a post about what takes up most of my day: being a dentist. I know I have a lot of dental readers who enjoy them, so, this one’s for you guys!
Being a dentist can be tough unless you don’t mind being pretty unpopular. It’s a universal truth that we all have to face: people just don’t want to come see us. And let me tell you, patients will come up with pretty much anything to get out of coming to the dentist.
The following is a list of the best (worst?) excuses I’ve heard to cancel or miss a dentist appointment. (Most of them are from my own personal experience with my patients… All of whom I love dearly, of course.)
10. “I forgot how to get there.”
Here, let me introduce you to this thing called a map. Or a GPS. Or Google. Or just your memory of the route from when you drove here last week.
9. “I have really bad gas.”
This excuse came complete with excessive detail about how she stunk up her whole house in ten minutes and she couldn’t stop “tooting”. I’m so sorry, but “I’m not feeling well” would suffice. We are dentists for a reason: we don’t care to hear about your other end. Ever.
8. “I don’t need to come back. I don’t have any teeth anymore.”
Right, but you might want us to continue to screen you for a little thing called oral cancer and besides, dentures need maintenance. If you had a prosthetic arm you’d want it checked out every now and then, wouldn’t you? Same goes for prosthetic teeth.
7. “I couldn’t find parking.”
Granted, parking at the hospital where I work is pretty terrible. But there’s always parking for patients, and even if the patient lots were full, I’m confident a person could find one parking spot in the entire hospital campus, which is the size of a small town. Either way, if you have a hard time finding parking, you show up late– you don’t just panic and leave.
6. “I don’t need to come in anymore. I got that tooth out myself, at home, with my Swiss Army knife.”
Yeah. Just… No.
5. “My car broke down.”
Okay, this one is acceptable. Once. Maybe twice. I’d even give it to you three times, being the kind of person for whom oil changes are rarer than a solar eclipse. One of my friends in dental school had a patient who tried it five times. The fifth time, she told him, “Maybe you should get a new car.” “Maybe I should get a new dentist,” he snapped. “At this point,” she said, “you’re gonna have to.”
4. “My house burned down.” Really. Your house burned down? A less dramatic made-up excuse would do, like, “I have a cold”, or “I can’t get the time off work”. Using an excuse like that to get out of having a filling done is like killing a housefly with a grenade. (Although in this case, I googled the patient’s address and it turns out her house really did burn down, so actually this isn’t funny at all, in the end…)
3. “I have a toothache.”
Patient: I’m sorry, I can’t come in tomorrow, I’m feeling terrible.
Dentist: Oh, I’m so sorry! Thanks for calling, though. What are you sick with? Stomach bug? It’s going around.
Patient: No. I have a terrible toothache.
(Good luck fixing that at home… Wait, no, I just remembered that number 6 actually happened so I was only kidding, please come in.)
2. “I’m in jail.”
Overhead page: Dr. Landry to the front desk for a phone call.
Me: Hello, this is Dr. Landry.
Patient: Hi, I’m definitely not going to make it to my appointment today. I’m in jail.
Me: …You used your one phone call to call your dentist?
Patient: I don’t have a lot of friends.
1. Being deceased.
It might be a little unsettling to come in to work, look at your schedule, and see a line through your denture patient’s name with the word “DECEASED” next to it… But at least we can’t really argue with it.
So, fess up: have you ever made up something crazy to get out of a dental appointment? Dental people, got any better ones than mine?
Saturday, December 31st, 2011
I’m sitting here staring at a blank screen because I want to blog because that always makes me feel better, but I don’t have much that’s productive to say. I’m way more upset over this HSD thing than I should be. I’m not eating or sleeping well at all. It was just too abrupt, too shocking, too upsetting, and not a great way to end 2011. Or any year, I guess. Caroline and I went to my parents’ for the new year because that always makes me feel better (see picture).
Although, on the plus side, if you’re looking for a quick way to lose weight for your New Year’s resolution, I’ve got a fanastic diet plan for you. Just have your significant other dump you out of the blue, via text, for a married woman! Bam! 10 pounds gone! You can thank me later.
Anyway, I really do want to just shake it off and look forward to a new year and a new beginning. So in order to do that, I will look back at all the good things that happened this year, and focus on those.
I graduated dental school, at last. I started my residency and got a lot more confident doing dentistry. I got this sweet gig blogging for Parents Mag, and with my writing I’ve made a lot of people laugh and made a lot of people mad. (Both awesome.) I got a trip to Jamaica through said sweet blogging gig. My divorce was finalized, legally and officially freeing me from an unfulfilling marriage. And, I suppose, I figured out that my boyfriend was a big crazy douchebag, which is better figured out sooner rather than later, and in the end, dodging a bullet early on is always a gift.
I learned a lot of lessons this year.
I’m not really sure what all of them are, or how well I’ve learned them, but, you know, here’s hoping.
And, to look forward, my resolutions. I never make resolutions, because I always just break them, but now seems like as good a time as any to at least set forth some good intentions:
1. To be more careful about who I date and who I let into my daughter’s life.
2. To find a killer first real job as an associate in an awesome practice.
3. To spend more time with my daughter and less time “plugged in”.
4. To be better about compartmentalizing my day, and find a more healthy balance between work and my life as a single mom. (No phone calls to patients or pharmacies while Caro is awake, and conversely, no leaving charts undone to rush off to the grocery store!)
5. To get my kid potty-trained again, already, for the love of God.
I think that’s enough. Those will be ones that I will actually keep. So here’s to the finish of 2011, and to the arrival of 2012: another year to grow, to learn, to love, to be happy, and to just be.
What happened in your life this year that was great, and what are your resolutions for 2012?
Categories: Caroline, Divorce, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance | Tags: Blogging, Caroline, Dating, Dentistry, Divorce, Jamaica, milestones, Residency, School, Single Parenting