Overwhelmed with residency and baby!

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    I am a PGY-3 with a 1 year old DD and DH is finishing up residency across the country so I am living with my family. I am feeling very overwhelmed between my work responsibilities and childcare. I am beginning to get nervous about boards prep next year as I find little to no time to study. I have had input from my PD that I am not keeping up with the other residents in terms of reading and in-service scores (I’m in a specialty that requires a lot of reading/memorization) . I am also having a lot of tension with my parents regarding the childcare during the day as they are very overwhelmed. I have frequently suggested hiring additional childcare help for my mom but she was offended and refused. We also don’t have the financial resources for a drastic change like finding my own place and hiring full time childcare so I’ve been trying to make the current arrangement work. My work hours are usually around 7am-7pm (but with a 45min to 1 hr commute each way) and occasional weekends. DH has been able to come visit around 2 weekends a month to help but he is a surgery resident and doesn’t have much time off either. My only time to try to get anything done is for around an hour each night after DD goes to sleep. Does anyone have any other suggestions of how to improve the current situation?


    That does sound very difficult. It sounds like you need to carve out some more time for studying somehow. Can you do it during your commute? Can you set aside time on the weekends and have someone else (your mom, your visiting husband) spend that time with your daughter? Can you delegate any other responsibilities you have in the evening (hopefully they don’t expect you to cook and clean or do other things with your limited time)? After your husband comes back (he is coming back after finishing residency, right?), make sure he gets involved in your daughter’s bedtime routine so that you can have some more time for studying.

    If you can come up with a consistent schedule for studying, that will help you out with board prep as well. Good luck!


    I would look for part-time combos to help offset the high demands on your parents. There are part-time daycare and part-time nanny options out there (I have used combinations of both). I have found it worth the extra money for sanity! I particularly like having at least a part time daycare option, as I can send the kiddos to school half-day and get a TON done in a short time. Totally understand the financial constraints, though. Kids are darn expensive!


    i hear you, child care is super expensive! we are in a similar situation and actually will not have family around to help so are going to take a loan to hire full time child care, my husband and I are both in training..
    in terms of studying have you looked into audio lectures? I downloaded them to my phone and found them very useful to listen to during my commute…


    Hi, Hang in there – it will get better. I had my first child during PGY3. I agree with the person who suggested audio – not just any audio though. Pay for the Boards review course (on audio) in your specialty. I got a discount by buying the set that was a year or two older than the company’s most up to date version, but really, the core Boards material does not change that much that quickly! (These review courses can cost several hundred dollars if not more.) I basically did everything around the house with headphones on, and listened on my commute too. I passed! That was 2006! I pulled out these ‘old’ audio discs 8 years later and listened while cleaning, cooking, driving, etc – and passed my re-certification exam. I just don’t have time with 3 kids now to be reading thick Boards books.

    (My in-service scores were not so great back in Residency!)

    For childcare, we eventually went with an au pair from Au Pair in America – 45 hours of care, flexible hours that you decide week to week based on your needs – it was way less expensive than any traditional nanny. Yes, you do have to be in the mindset that you’re willing to have someone live with you.

    Finally, I extended my residency by a couple months – I asked for a ‘real’ maternity leave, not just rearrangement to have every single vacation block and research/easy block back to back. I finished residency at the end of August instead of end of June – it really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things work-wise, but was terrific for having extra time for juggling during that last year or so.

    Good luck!


    Absolutely Hang in there! Give your parents a reprieve. Find care a few days a week 2-3 days where they have some time. They don’t know they will appreciate it. Also, I have always had difficulty with standardize testing and crazily when I took my boards again with an active child, full time work, I made the time count when I studied as opposed to chronic procrastination. I made sure I did a certain number of questions every day. EVERY day. Remember to enjoy your child. Don’t double dip and study with your child. They are watching every move we make. Make it count. You will be fine!

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