One of the really special things about being married to a doctor is that sometimes, you get to spend nights alone. I know doctors aren’t the only ones who have to work at night, and I’m so very thankful for those who do, and those who work at night in many other professions, but as the one who is at home, it’s challenging.

I tried to have a good attitude about being all alone for 5 nights a week for 5 weeks in a row with our twin two year olds. (And just to be clear by “nights” I mean from 4:45 in the afternoon to anywhere between 7:30 and 10:00 the next morning) I really did try. By week 3, all of us were miserable…me, the kids, the dogs, the doctor. Let’s hope the patients weren’t also miserable, right?

But, we’ve survived, and we’ll do it all over again in a few months. It’s totally do-able, I just had to be super organized about it (which I wasn’t always). So, instead of spending more time telling you how exhausting and lonely it was, I’m going to share our survival tactics:

Stay Busy. Like I’ve said a thousand times before, LEAVE THE HOUSE EVERY DAY. Well, we were sort of required to leave the house since it’s super small and daddy doctor needed to get his beauty sleep. Toddler twins are not quiet. Surprise! Also, they can now open the doors in the house. Game changer.
We were out of the house every day from about 9:00 to 1:00 (nap time). This took some super duper organization on my part, and I failed a time or two, but ultimately, it was pretty necessary.  Here’s what we did:
New Orleans
Aquarium/Botanic Garden
Explora
Playdates
Grocery store, then park
Popsicles! (yes, it’s the middle of the winter, no, we did not care)
Aquarium/Botanic Garden
Explora
Pizza
Wrecked someone else’s house
Pizza
Wrecked someone else’s house
Pizza
Wrecked someone else’s house

And…that about sums it up. Pretty much, we just invaded other people’s lives and made sure they knew how not toddler proof their houses were and then exited the scene before we had the chance to clean up (or break too many other things). Oh, and we ate pizza. It was fun. Sort of. Not really. But we did it.

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Hamming it up at a cafe in New Orleans

Hamming it up at a cafe in New Orleans

 

 

Popsicles at Pop Fizz! Yum...Kale, banana, apple & spinach. I can't help it if they loved it.

Popsicles at Pop Fizz! Yum…Kale, banana, apple & spinach. I can’t help it if they loved it.

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Seriously, they LOVED these things, and, they were the perfect size…about half the size of a regular popsicle.

Manage your expectations. Again, I think I’ve said this a thousand times before. Residency is all about managing expectations. Set the bar low…is this bad? Well, it’s survival, so who cares. Daddy doctor had the weekends off, but he was pretty much a zombie. He’ll love me for sharing this with the whole internets (I only wish I’d taken a picture), but one Friday night during night float, he sat on the couch in long underwear, basketball shorts, and a hoodie (hood up), with is eyes closed, drinking a beer and had an entire hour long conversation with my brother. It was amazing. Then he literally fell over on the couch and was sound asleep before his head hit the pillow.
We did do some fun things on our weekends off (including two awesome trips to the river), but they didn’t last terribly long and we all took full advantage of nap time. Needless to say, the bathroom didn’t get cleaned, the floor didn’t get swept, and the laundry wasn’t folded until the last week of night float when I successfully folded and put away 3 loads of laundry and painted my nails–in one night!!

Checking out the sand at the river.

Checking out the sand at the river.

Rocking matching Mighty Love shirts while adventuring in the Bosque.

Rocking matching Mighty Love shirts while adventuring in the Bosque.

 

Get a babysitter and get out! We are extremely lucky to be in residency in a place where we have tons of family. I really leaned hard on our family during the 5 weeks of night float and spent quite a few evenings out of the house. Bedtime with two year old twins all alone is kind of brutal night after night. Dinner time is WAY worse. My friends and our residency “family” were great about inviting me to do things out of the house in the evenings (read: drink wine), and I’m sure that saved at least a little bit of my sanity.

Communicate! The first week or so, I tried really hard not to bother the zombie doctor with mundane things that impacted our household that I could easily decide or take care of myself. That got old quick. I realized that almost constant communication was another key to saving my sanity. Yes, when he was sleeping, I left him alone, but we would text back and forth until I went to bed and I’d send him a good morning text almost every morning when I got up. He was busy a lot of the time and unable to answer but it meant a lot to both of us that I did my best to keep him in the fold of our day to day.

Try to avoid any stomach bugs. Seriously, barf in the car, barf in the high chairs, barf in the toilet. A million DISGUSTING diapers. Not fun when you’re the only one dealing with it. Don’t let your kids get sick. And also, don’t let your doctor husband get sick on his weekend between night float and the next sure-to-be-amazing rotation when he actually has 3 full days off. To spend hugging the porcelain.

And that’s all the sage advice I can offer at this time, more to come after round two of night float, no doubt. You’re welcome.