I had a meeting with my boss today.
I have 2010 off for the most part, for many reasons; my third child, feeling burnt out working 60-70 hours with young children, and not spending enough time at home with my family. Wanting to just throw it all in, and needing to re-evaluate.
9 months into this leave, I find myself enjoying the one (12 hour shift) I do each fortnight, and wondering if there is a way to finish the remaining 2 years of my OBGYN (O&G) training, so I can qualify as a fellow, a consultant.
The price, working fulltime, was too high to pay, yet each time I am at work, I find myself feeling the pressure, from myself, to just get back into it, to go full time again, "because it is just 2 years", to "get it over and done with".
I met my boss today, to discuss options.
It was not terribly productive. The gist of it being, staying on at my current workplace, would probably be a waste of my time; I am better to go elsewhere for a year, part time if I can find it, and to use the time to complete my membership examinations, and then aim to commence subspeciality training for the remaining 2 years. Working 40 hours a week is not a favoured option; 60-70/week is normal.
As I drove home, in peak hour traffic, with my 3 children, aged 4, almost 3 and 9 months in the back, I found myself thinking, "Is this what I really want?"
I feel torn. Unsure.
On the one hand, to just "get it over and done with". And that feeling of panic, of being left behind. Of being proven to be "not good enough". Not to mention, letting down all those women, especially Muslim women, who have been waiting for me to qualify, who have been seeking out my services since I commenced this training 5 years ago...it is a communal obligation, true. But, looking after my children, is my first obligation, my fard 'ayn.
If I work 60-70 hours a week, when will I see my kids? 2 years of their lives, is a big chunk of their lives. When will I see my husband, who will probably put his own ambitions for a PhD aside, to again allow me this, but at what cost?
I have been praying on this for over a year now, and it is still murky.
I just don't know. I keep waiting for some sign. What to do?
And I feel the panic to ditch the sewing, and start planning to study for the examinations, maybe before I return to work next year. It is all a bit ...silly really. Maktub, as the arabs say. It has all been written. And if I am praying on it daily, and making efforts to work out options, whatever happens, there is khayr, good in it.
No point stressing about it.
Khayr insha'Allah. A friend of mine, also a doctor, has lent me Dale Carnegie's "How to stop worrying and start living". It seems like it might be helpful. We'll see...