Diary of an Essential Mom
Updated: Jun 30
Beth Innis, DVM
Wake at 6am.
Shuttle big dog and little dog out of doors to prevent peeing on rug.
Notice that husband has already fed dogs, cat, guinea pigs.
Sign on to virtual yoga.
Mentally apologize to the Internet for cursing it so many times for rotting my children's brains.
Run to the shower before husband can get in.
Walk whichever dog's turn it is.
Work through shame that big dog and little dog cannot be walked at same time due to behavior problems.
Give hug to older daughter who is up.
Shout upstairs to younger daughter who is never up.
Enjoy the sunlight, green grass and enthusiasm of dog companion.
Consult teacher's plan, make specific list for younger daughter.
Include things like "take shower, apply deodorant" in large letters, "try for 14 minutes of Math today".
Shout upstairs to younger daughter who is still not up.
Think grateful thoughts that only one daughter has special needs at school.
Think grateful thoughts that special needs school exists and provides so much support.
Wonder how much computer time and TV time really rots a kids' brain.
Drink swift cup of coffee with husband.
Hope to return at time of day that I optimistically promise to return home.
Drive 7 minutes to work, gleaning what able from NPR on the state of the world.
Happily greet veterinary nurse who is not a blood relation and I still get to see daily.
Log onto Zoom call with remote support team member.
Thank the Goddesses once again for the internet, cellular phones and creative people.
Discuss shared feelings of isolation and terror at the state of the world, plan for the day.
Alerted to first patient arriving at clinic.
Think grateful thoughts that I see animals all day.
Greet and examine first dog or cat.
Call dog or cat mom and dad to discuss findings, treatment, plan.
Treat dog or cat.
Sit with dog or cat, happily, while veterinary nurse arranges medicines to go home, answers questions by phone and email.
Slack remote team member charges, scheduling plan.
Answer various questions regarding symptoms, schedules, medicines, bills.
Respond to daughter's multiple texts that no she cannot get another game app today.
Consider changing scope of business.
Consider how to expand limited schedule to accommodate more patients.
Worry about the emotional health of all team members in all this.
Worry about the financial health of the clinic in all this.
Write up records, send emails while veterinary nurse furiously cleans.
Repeat previous steps from "Treat dog or cat" to "Worry about the financial health of the clinic" four more times.
Find as many reasons to smile and laugh with veterinary nurse throughout these steps.
Thank the Goddesses that veterinary medicine is essential.
Answer another client, friend or family member that is shocked that vet teams are essential with "pain and cancer did not stop with COVID-19".
Feel both guilty and proud of my response.
Drive 7 minutes home while listening to more news.
Ask who wants to walk which dog with me.
Move my body again to help with fibromyalgia.
Think thankful thoughts that I am able to work despite fibromyalgia.
Check in to see how many tasks younger daughter completed.
Finish work emails, work tasks, while listening to guinea pigs' request for more fresh lettuce.
Apologize for delays in getting back to patients.
Feel almost satisfied that part of my daily list was completed.
Hope that husband has a dinner plan.
Think thankful thoughts that husband can work at home, still has job and is a good cook.
Eat dinner, thankful for fresh vegetables and extra time with family.
Laugh at the girls' jokes and hear about their online school.
Drink one beer. Maybe two.
Think grateful thoughts that liquor stores are essential.
Watch comedy show with older daughter while husband watches action movie with younger daughter.
Tidy house, discuss day with husband.
Catch myself once again wondering aloud about parents with small kids, graduating seniors, people without adequate resources, people fighting for life.
Wish it were possible to plan something to look forward to.
Zoom a friend that wish to hug.
Check on the girls, asleep at their "sleepover" together in younger daughter's room.
Read a book in my bed, next to my husband with my leg against a dog.
Fall deep asleep.
Dream of open restaurants, kids at school, and clinic as it was.