Thursday, October 25, 2012

How Do You Spell Love?

I have heard that Love is spelled T-I-M-E, I thought it was L-O-V-E. But, I might not be the best speller online.

I understand what the sentiment is, and I do agree - but I'd like to apply this to the life of a med spouse. If I were looking purely at the amount of time as the determining factor in measuring love, I could be sure that my husband doesn't love me or our children.  I know that is false.

For me, and our family, we calculate love a little differently. It still uses time in the formula, but it looks more like this:

a = available time  (time not working)
b = family time (dinner, bedtimes, playing, reading, etc)
c = other activities (working out, running, reading, biking, etc)

where a = b + c and b is  >  c that is how I calculate Love, no spelling required.

I look at my husband, and marvel at how he is able to do it all. I know I have said that before, but it doesn't change, and it continues to amaze me. What I further find remarkable is that the formula very rarely becomes b = c or b < c. I know we are loved because b is always > c. He always gives our family the majority of his available time.

It might not always be hours every day, or even an hour, or even everyday. But when I look at the formula we get the time that he has.

If he is home when the kids are awake, the kids and I get that time. Period. When they go to sleep, then he takes care of other things. Some nights that is exercising, or studying, or any number of things. At that point in the day I don't mind. I need my time to unwind and do something on my own. It suits my personality.

The only thing I wish we did more was get out of the house just the two of us. But, I know it's not because he doesn't want to, but because his schedule doesn't allow it. Some day it will, and I know when that happens we will. And it is enough.

Being part of a medical family is rough. Some specialities are harder than others. Some specialities are longer than others. Some specialties will have more flexibility than others. The speciality isn't what matters, it's what the man/woman does with their available time.

I would much rather be married to a man who gives his free time to his family, even though it may not be as much, than a man with more free time that doesn't give as much to his family when he can.

Don't let a speciality scare you or your family. Know your doctor. Know your family. Know yourself.

Don't let anyone tell you that because your husband chooses a difficult/long/grueling specialty that he must not love his family as much as someone else who choose a different path. It simply isn't true.



  1. I also think it's important any future spouse of a doc knows themself. They need to be honest in accessing how much time and attention they need from a spouse.
    We are riding the same wave right now (being on our own). *sigh*

  2. Love that! I haven't seen my husband since Sunday...and won't see him again til Friday night. Then he leaves again Saturday afternoon. But I know he hates it just as much as I do! It makes us really appreciate the time we DO get to spend together. Maybe it's a good lesson?

  3. I love this post, printing this out and giving it to the boyfriend so one day he makes the right b > c choices. :)

  4. I couldn't have said it better. My husband loves me and our children more than words can describe. I know that and our kids know that. Did I just cry knowing he's about to go work a 36 hour shift and I miss him dearly? Yes I did. Do I think he loves me less because he went into surgery instead of some "easier" route? No. He likes his job and he LOVES his family. We get every spare second of his non-residency working hours. We are blessed; and I don't need some spouse of another profession or specialty to validate my beliefs; though I do want to ring their necks when they seem to think my husband DOES IN FACT love me and our kids LESS because what kind of a man would sign up for surgery residency if he loved anyone other than himself? (A kind, generous, compassionate, skilled man; that's who!) And after just having had surgery a few weeks ago I can honestly say I've never had such a wonderful doctor as the one who came in at 4am to perform emergency surgery on me; when I was fading and freaking out about my future on this planet he kept it all cool and supportive and patched me up real good.

  5. I love your spelling of LOVE. That's exactly how I would want it too.

  6. I loved reading this. You are right on. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. I think that's a great way to look at it. My husband too works very long hours in a surgery program, but when he does have available time, he does spend it with us, his family--with the exception of trying to squeeze in 2 jogs during the week after work, when possible. There are some men who, due to different career choices, are physically present a lot more--but I'm trying to focus on quality of time, and not quantity. We'd lose the quantity game every time.


Comments are fun, don't be shy. If you are visiting this blog for the first time leave me a note to introduce yourself.