Married to Medicine
Once upon a time, us ladies were taught from a young age to marry a man who would be able to provide for their families, to take care of us — you know because we are such fragile creatures and all. “Marry a doctor,” they would say. I don’t know about you, but this mentality sounds pretty 1950s to me. My parents certainly didn’t say anything like this to me, but the idea to marry a man in a prestigious profession is most certainly still out there in our society and there are still women who want to “land” a man with those precious Dr. initials.
Ladies, it’s no picnic I’m telling ya.
Back in 2010 when Anton was preparing to interview for med school, I remember helping him write his admissions essays for Wayne State and Michigan State. This was his dream and he wanted it bad. He had made top grades in school and done a lot of extra-curricular activities to beef up his resume so he could stand out among the competition. After he had submitted his applications, I remember telling him: “If you don’t get in, I’ll still love you even if you’re a garbage man.” A job and title really have never meant shit to me, in all honesty. Just do what you love and be a kind human, that is all.
He got into Michigan State. Med school for me was completely a blur, actually. I was working and going to cosmetology school and he was dedicated to his studies. We kind of had two separate lives going on, but it never really bothered me because I had my life to focus on, too. I’d say this is probably a key element in being married to someone in the medical profession. If you do not have a life outside of your relationship, it’s not going to last.
Let’s flash forward to present day. After he finished up with med school and residency. After 7 years of schooling. We’ve been together 9 years. More than half of our relationship, he’s been in school. And now he’s working. You think it gets better when doctors start working? No way.
Anton works weekends, nights, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. But I’ll tell you this, he loves it. And I’m here to cheer him on. Is it hard on me? Yes. Do I hate it sometimes? Hell yes. But this is what he was meant to do. Since day one. Medicine was in the picture way before I was and he has worked his ass off to get to where he is at. As his friend, as his partner, as his wife, I have to be his biggest cheerleader. And you want to know why? Because he couldn’t do it without me, as he’s said a number of times.
So what does this look like for us on a daily basis? I might see him for 20 minutes in the morning in between feeding Vera and myself breakfast and getting her ready for the day. I make him coffee (usually on the go) and out the door he goes around 9:30 or so. He “sleeps in” because typically he won’t come home until 10 or 11 at night and then a few nights a week he is on call so around the clock he’s getting calls throughout the night taking care of patients. If he comes home before then, it’s like a holiday.
Is this everything I dreamed about in a marriage? Not exactly. I had a different view of what marriage looked like from my parents and my mom and stepdad. This is different. And it’s been hard to wrap my head around it.
From the outside, we look like your traditional 1950s couple. I take care of our daughter, the house, the cooking, appointments, our (limited) social life, etc. His main job? Medicine. Building his two businesses. As he sees it: taking care of as many people as possible.
It’s challenging, I ain’t gonna lie to ya. I’m not a “real housewife of New Jersey,” sipping on champagne with my gal pals over brunch and gossip (thank god!) That’s not the kind of life I envisioned for myself at all.
But this traditional set-up, this lifestyle, it works for us. I’m not saying that I don’t get annoyed that he doesn’t do more around the house — of course I do! Doesn’t every wife? I mean, that’s just marriage/living with another person in general. We are still perfecting our song and dance. But this life that we continue to build together is pretty great even if we don’t have an endless amount of time together.
In every marriage, there is give and take. You aren’t supposed to keep score. On some days I may do more. On some days, he does. Our responsibility together? To support and love each other. To provide a life for Vera that is full of love and to set an example for her of what a committed marriage is.
Time goes by fast and our life will not always look like this. It’s ever evolving and changing. This is just the season we are in for now and I am here for it.