I heard somewhere that you only have 18 summers with each one of your kids. Then I heard it’s more like 16 because they don’t remember the 1st two. My first summer with my daughter was when she was born – in July – and that was 17 years ago. (July 2017 Update – that was 20 years ago and now my youngest is a senior in High school. Next summer is it for us…then he’s off to college!)
This summer and part next will be it for me. My baby is all grown up! As I look back I am so overwhelmingly grateful that I have NO regrets. I took off from work, rescheduled office hours and downright partially retired during the summer months. I did this during the school year, too…I’m still doing it! When there is a field trip, concert, play, track meet, football game, award ceremony; I rearrange my schedule so I am there. I have not missed ONE SINGLE event since my kids started pre-school. NOT ONE. My patients always understood and shared their admiration for my ability to be there for my kids no matter what. No one ever said, “What about me, Dr. Karen? Aren’t I more important than your kids?”
I chose long ago that my family comes first. I make no apologies for it and we all WIN! I made a lifetime of memories with my kids and have gone without HUGE volumes in my practice to do it and I don’t ever, ever, ever lament over those choices. I have no debt, live very comfortably, go on amazing vacations and my kids know which one of their parents they can always rely upon. They know who was and always will be there for them; who puts them first – before practice, patients and money. THAT is priceless.
Enjoy your 16 (or less) summers!