Sunday, October 7, 2012

Play It Again {It's a Rough Road: The Children of Surgeons

Originally posted February 13, 2012

Being a child of a well-regarded surgeon is tough. These kids don't have a normal average childhood.

Now, please don't start writing me emails about how our kids are spoiled, because we now find ourselves in the 1% (Depending on who you talk to. There are so many different numbers out there). Doc H and I will be the first to agree; we do have spoiled children. Hands down. Full out. No contest. We agree. We're working to remedy the situation. Our kids do have almost every hi-tech gadget they want. (I say almost, because there are certain items Doc H and I draw the line at and they have to save up their own money- we're not complete push-overs.) But, hear me out, because I'm not referring to the tangible items.

Our children will never have the same childhood memories as many, normal, regular, average children from average USA will.

Not us... but wish it was.
Our kids will never have memories of their surgeon parent (SP - because I know you mommy surgeons are out there representing for all the SAHMs who could've been!)

  • coaching or being team mom
  • chaperoning field trips
  • attending every school event
  • being in the stands, cheering for them, watching after school games or meets
  • becoming great friends with other classmate's parents
  • attending practices
  • volunteering in the classroom 
  • knowing all their friends' name's

You know the made a goal and while celebrating with your teammates on the field, you look over to the sideline to see your parents clapping with delight and pride.  Or, there's also the flip of the made a horrible play, or you came in last place, but in the end your mom and dad were there to hug you and share words of wisdom to help lift your spirits.

No, these memories are highly unlikely for the kids of a SP which I think is so sad. Some of my stand-out childhood memories stem from those situations. And guess what? My memories are balanced between both my parents. Most children of SP will have these memories, but the scales will be tipped in favor of the non-SP.

I realize in today's world with many children coming from households where both parents work, most children may not have such dual parent memories. However, they will have memories of each parent being involved and attending such activities.

Our kids will not have those memories. They may have a memory that when recalled with family and friends may begin like this: "I remember the one time my dad came to watch, I ....." or "My dad never saw me run track for my High School, but one time..."

From my own personal experiences and observations, even children whose parents are divorced fare better in this particular department. Those kids will either have one parent there for them or both (!) as they each compete to be the "better" parent.

And I haven't even begun to touch on the expectations...


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  1. Well said. My husband was post call SAturday and tried to rush over to watch his 3 yr old do ballet. He made it home by 11am --30 mins after class ended. Maybe next Saturday he can see her but i'm due with our second any day now and who knows which one of us will be able to haul her to ballet. He's only been to soccer once and that will probably be his "one time" for the year. We try to focus on quality NOT quantity but little girl misses her daddy all too often. She is tough and knows she's loved but I know what it's like to wish for the workaholic parent to be in the stands. This was very well written.

  2. That's an interesting post...never even considered it. It helps me to realize too, that there are other kids with similar stories. Thanks for sharing. (I already Like you on FB). Will Tweet it today!

  3. Your kids' childhood sounds like mine, except that my father was a small business owner, not a surgeon.

  4. My Dad was a computer programmer and consultant in an era when he was the only person who knew how to "fix the system" - he never came to any of my figure skating competitions or sports games, that was always Mom. He was at work.


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