#58: Dating Long Distance During Medical Training

December 6, 2018

Episode Notes

Lara discusses the challenges of long distance relationships during medical training with Michael Ott, a CEO who met and dated his wife while she worked to become an ophthalmologist.

About Michael

Michael Ott is married to Anne Langguth, a pediatric ophthalmologist currently doing her fellowship at the University of Iowa.  Living in Iowa City, Michael has two sons, Quincy(16) and Ryan (14).  Currently, Michael is a board member for the American Medical Association Alliance and is actively involved in recruiting new members.  Michael is the founder and CEO of Rantizo, an agricultural drone spraying company- www.rantizo.com.  Michael has a Master’s degree in Bioinorganic Chemistry and has worked in venture capital, entrepreneurship and consulting.

Transcript

Opening: 00:00 This is the Married to Doctors podcast, episode number 58. “When we’re at an event, people will come up to us and they see you, you know, a younger, pretty woman, they assume she used the trophy wife and I’m the doctor, so they would come up to me and ask, you know, what’s your specialty? Blah, blah, blah. What are you doing? And I’m like I’m here with my wife who’s an ophthalmologist and that’s happened more than a couple times.”

Welcome to the Married to Doctors podcast. Because we know that being married to a doctor isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds, our podcast helps successful homes be happier. We’re here to build community, hear your stories and explore solutions with the experts. Here’s your host, Lara McElderry.

Lara: 00:48 Hey everyone. Guess what? It has been exactly a year ago, this week, it was December 5th, 2017 that the show Married to Doctors was accepted by Apple Podcasts and then from there was able to be accepted into many, many different podcast players and formats and it has been a really fun adventure for me to start the podcast, to start my own business and to go forward and to kind of see what worked and to see the needs of other people married to physicians and to see if others would be interested in the content that I wanted to create. And I am super excited to say that yes, I think many of us are looking for more resources in this area and I love being the one to point them out to help you find them and to create them and to hopefully be a resource for medical marriage.

And one of the things I’m learning along this journey is business. And one thing that I hear over and over is that you have to ask your audience to do things or they won’t just do them of their own accord. So since it’s been a year of podcasting, I have a couple of things I’ve written down here that you can do to support the show. So in honor of the business side of podcasting, please recommend the show to others. If you’re enjoying it, just recommend it. You know other medical families, you have social media accounts. Share the show. That’s the first thing. The second thing is you can leave a review if you haven’t already. You can leave one either on my Facebook page or in Apple. Those are fantastic and I love them so much.

The next thing you could do is join my email list. You’ll get a wonderful email every week and I’m working on some freebies and some cool stuff for 2019, so you’ll want to be on there anyway, so jump on my email list. If you’re not there, sign up for that at marriedtodoctors.com. The next thing is you can give a donation to the show. Did you know that? Probably not because I’m not very good at business. I’m not very good at saying, hey, give me money, but I’m just going to go out there and say, hey, give me some money. So many of you say, hey, I feel like we go out for coffee every week. I feel like we’re friends or this or that, and that is so sweet.

So you know, if you want to give me a tip, heck yeah, that’s amazing and it’ll help pay for the cost of the show. So that’s paypal.me/marriedtodoctors. Super easy. Paypal.me/marriedtodoctors. The other thing that you can do is find me amazing speakers. We all have connections, you know, people, if you know someone and make a great guest, send them my way and/or suggest me to be a speaker. If you know that there’s a group of students or student spouses getting together, let me know. I can come in on Zoom or Skype and be with you and I would love to do that. So let me know how I can be a resource to you and those are some ways that you can help me out. So wanted to do a little bit of asking as I reach my one year mark.

Okay. Enough of that. Let’s get to the podcast. What I’m much more comfortable with, right. Today’s episode is going to be awesome. It’s with Michael Ott. I love that we have another male on the show. I’m often asked for more male perspective, so happy to have Michael with us. He is married to a resident. She’s almost done with residency and looking at those long-term position jobs now, attending positions, and he’s going to talk to us a little bit about long distance, a little bit about their relationship and his role as a male married to a female physician. I think that you’ll enjoy this episode and I’m happy to jump into it after a word from our sponsor.

Sponsor: 04:38 Stable finances make strong families. That’s why Physician Family Financial Advisors makes it easy for busy parents married to doctors to save time and taxes while you pay off student loans, buy a home and set aside all the money you need for college and retirement. As fee only planners. Physician Family Financial Advisors offers the advice you need without conflicts of interest. Physicians Family Financial Advisors gives you an online financial chart, annual checkups, and easy access to a certified planner who can help you set a goal, make a plan, and get on track. Service plans start at 165 per month. To learn more, visit physician family.com/married or text the word married to 33222. Thank you.

Lara: 05:39 Michael. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate you taking time to be with us today.

Michael: 05:44 Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

Lara: 05:45 Great. Well, it’s always fun to have the male perspective on the show. It’s something that I try to get on here. It’s a little more difficult for me to find men. Maybe just because I happen to be friends with more women and know more of them to invite. So tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are and how you came to marry a physician.

Michael: 06:05 Sure, my name is Michael. I live in Iowa city. My wife, Ann, is a pediatric ophthalmologist. She’s currently doing her fellowship at the University of Iowa. We met randomly at a party. Uh, it was a President’s Day party, which a group of friends were putting it on just for the sake of having a gathering and I wasn’t even really planning to be there. I had family in town that, that left after the Hawks got beat in a basketball game and we’re like, ah, we were going to go downtown, but I don’t know. So I went to this party where I didn’t know too many people there and Ann showed up and she’s very, very pretty. And I was like, Oh, I’m definitely going to go talk to that girl but I’m not going to rush in. And sure enough she puts her coat down and comes to stand right next to me and says, Hey I’m Ann, I don’t know anyone here because she was there with a friend of a friend. And I was like, I’m Michael, I don’t know anyone here either. And we just got to talking and hit it off. And it went from there. It was pretty quick.

Lara: 07:11 Well that’s cool. So I bet you’re really glad the Hawks lost that game.

Michael: 07:15 I am, yeah. And normally I’m a pretty big Hawkeye fan, but in this case it led to some pretty good things.

Lara: 07:22 That’s great. So tell us a little bit about what you knew about the medical world kind of prior to dating someone in medicine and then maybe how that kind of evolved for you as you, as your relationship evolved. How did your knowledge of the medical world and what that would actually look like in a relationship also evolve?

Michael: 07:43 Sure. I went into it knowing basically nothing. She was the first physician that I had dated. I dated a few nurses after I got divorced, but she was the first physician and she was just finishing up medical school so she knew she was going into ophthalmology, but she didn’t know where she was going to match for her general year because in ophthalmology, you do med school one year of, of general medicine and three years of residency. And so she knew she was going to Northwestern in Chicago, which is close to Iowa City, but she didn’t know where she was going to be spending the following year. So a couple of weeks into dating she learned she was going to New York and that was a big shock to me and I was like, oh, that’s not at all what I was hoping for or signed up for, but we’ll see what happens and we’ll see how it goes because she was pretty special. I, I knew that right away. But the thought of her going to New York for a year was not at all even anything I considered when we were first talking.

Lara: 08:45 Right. And your relationship was really young, too. How does that, what does that mean? You know?

Michael: 08:50 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And she’s like, we can make long distance work and we can figure it out. And I was like, Eh, I don’t know. But I knew I wanted to be with her, but I just didn’t know how that was all going to come together. So we figured some things out and we had a bit of a starter long distance thing going because when we were first dating I worked for a venture capital fund that was based in St Louis, so I was on the road down there a couple of days a week, which is just a three to four hour drive, so we wouldn’t spend that much time together right away. So we kind of had the starter long distance thing going but we’d spend most of our weekends together. But then being a flight away was a whole different scenario.

Lara: 09:36 Yeah, that’s tough. So I know I have listeners reach out to me often with long distance questions. So give us all your tips. What kind of things helped you guys, you know, practically and emotionally through this time?

Michael: 09:51 Sure. So I mean practically it was very hard and also like she had that year of general internship was brutal. Like her schedule was just awful. And so she was working 70, 80 hours a week minimum trying to sleep, trying to get other things done. And we did a pretty good job of at least calling everyday, face timing most days. And then really making that like a date, like okay at 8:30, we’re going to face time and that it just does what it was. And I always made that work on my end. She generally made it work on her end. She was still working at 8:30 PM, uh, from, from the start of the day. So she had a pretty long day and then we’d get to like, okay, we’ve got five good minutes.

And it was a struggle. It was, it sucked and I didn’t enjoy it. It was not good and did a lot of reading on it. And one of the things that I learned that was the best was to have absolutely no expectations. And then if you set your expectation of alright, I might hear from her today, then when you get a few texts, that’s good if you get a phone call, great, if you get a face time, even better. So that from a mindset point of view really help things out. And then I did what I needed to get through and had friends and we’d go out and have beers and go out and chat and whatever was the thing.

And then I always tried to include the time with her as a priority and you know, would schedule around like, okay, we’ve got a call at 8:00 tonight so if I’m going to do anything I’m going to go meet a friend for around the corner at 8:30 or whatever it may be. So things like that. But the super low expectations helped recognizing that she was doing what she could and having my expectations of someone who’s never worked in that field or given that much, not thinking that hey, she’s got to go to bed at 8:45 and that seems ridiculously early to me, but that’s what she needs. And then like just trusting her when she tells me what she needs, whether it kind of seems ridiculous or not or things like that. And then trying to be understanding. And I was okay at it. Like honestly I wasn’t, wasn’t great, but we made it through.

Lara: 12:19 And so that was a year, one year. Okay. And then where did she do the next three?

Michael: 12:26 Uh, then she did the next three in Chicago. And I guess one other thing. I visited whenever I could, so I flew out there probably 10 or 11 times and then she did all of her vacation she took back in Iowa and then we did one like actual vacation together. So we ended up spending a fair amount of time together for, for being a part that long. And then the other thing that I was lucky in that she was like, right in New York City in Manhattan. So I would come and visit and you know, it was always on when she had one day off, she’d have one day off, I would schedule it so I was always there for that. And then the remaining time I would find things to do on my own. So I got to explore New York City, which was, it was pretty fun. And you know, there’s a lot to do there. I can’t imagine if you were in, you know, a spot where you would run out of tourist things to do and interesting things to do after three or four visits. So I was, I was lucky in that. In that sense.

Lara: 13:26 Yeah, it does sound like you were lucky, but I’m also thinking you were pretty lucky to have the means and ability to fly out there almost once a month.

Michael: 13:35 Yeah, that is true. And that’s something that it took a lot of scheduling and a lot of effort and I guess my thought on it is this is kind of my vacation budget and my dating budget and I had been fortunate enough to do well enough to be able to afford that. So that was something that was, that was helpful. And then also using miles and being smart about that, charging everything on one credit card, trying to use those miles, that stuff racks up pretty quickly and can be helpful.

Lara: 14:07 Yeah. And for anyone listening, this is a good tip. It helps to be dating someone more established than you. Right? Like it’s really hard. I think when it’s two people, like in many long distance relationships where people reach out to me, they’re like, we just can’t afford this, you know, we can afford the flights, we can’t afford to see each other and so it’s even more difficult I think.

Michael: 14:31 Yeah. If we didn’t have face time that would be…hat was really the critical thing that, that kept things going. We did a lot of that. It was interesting to me looking at our face times when she was in New York, it was mostly a daily occurrence and then when she was in Chicago and I got to go visit her quite a bit and I was working remotely I could spend a lot of time over there. It got to be less and then now like we never ever face time. Face time used to be on the, on the first page of my, my phone screen and then I just hid it in one of the things that I never use anymore, like one of those folders because it went from being a primary app to barely used at all.

Lara: 15:14 So tell me a little bit about how things have gone as far as your career and her career. How has that meshed? Have you had to move or has she been able to get employment close to you?

Michael: 15:26 Yeah, that’s been an interesting thing. So I’m, I’m right now doing quite well running, I’m the CEO of a company called Rantizo where we use drones for agricultural spraying and that’s been something that I’ve been working on for a while and I definitely did slow roll that in development for a couple things. One, making sure that the drones work the way that we needed them to. But two, I didn’t really have the time and opportunity to be in one spot working on it.

Uh, I was doing a lot of consulting before this as my last company wrapped up and this one got started and the consulting was great from a relationship point of view because I could do that from anywhere and we got to spend a lot of time together. So for my career I definitely slowed down some things in order to do that and make that happen. And then she’s made some sacrifices as well. She grew up in Iowa, went to college at Harvard in Boston and then back for med school in Iowa, and then she was on the east coast again in New York and then Chicago.

So she’s lived a fair bit around but always wanted to live in Iowa City. And um, when she was looking at her fellowship choices, she did choose relationship based options that were also good for her career. We looked at Mayo, we looked at Northwestern, we looked at Iowa pretty seriously. Some others were in the conversation, but they weren’t as good of a fit. And given what we do with our lives, we wanted to be closer and be together a lot more. So she made certain sacrifices there. And I made certain sacrifices as well and made that work. And now she’s looking for attending positions. She’s looking around Iowa City. There’s other things, there are pretty good option opportunities and options here. And there’s other places that are courting her and we’re, we’re looking at those, but I’m confident we’ll end up around here.

Lara: 17:22 It’s interesting how those conversations play out in, in couples and I often think about, you know, when you watch match day, when people find out where they’re going, you know, you’ll see people basically like, you know, getting engaged or breaking up, really big decisions, you know?

Michael: 17:42 And I’ll be honest, there was resentment from her in the, she at certain times felt limited, but there’s also comfort from her where she knows where she wants to be and what feels like home. So she’s got varied emotions for the same situation, which, which does make sense. And she’s always been, she’s very driven and motivated. I think as you see many, many people in medicine, especially women in medicine and she always tends to do the hard thing. Like what’s like, what’s the most difficult thing that I can do and do that. And she’s extremely competitive, which is rewarding and also sometimes challenging to deal with. But she’s got a lot of experiences and stories about, you know, being the best at something and having the success. And she does it because she really works hard and really thinks things through and chooses to be excellent at the things that she does.

Lara: 18:38 Well that’s neat. And she’s lucky to have you there to support her, too. So at what point did you guys get married?

Michael: 18:45 So we got married a year ago. We’re still doing the long distance thing, but are spending much more time with her in Chicago and we actually did a destination wedding so we got married in Paris and it was, it was quite lovely as my two sons and her parents came so it was just six of us there and we ended up, she only had a week off of work and I had more time off. So I went and explored Germany and Austria with her parents and my sons. We spent five or six days driving around Europe having a European vacation.

That was pretty nice. And then she met us in Paris and then we spent a little over a week in Paris together, the kids and her parents were there for a few days of that as well. So they add about 10 days. I have two full weeks and she got 10 days, so that was quite nice and we really enjoyed it and then so we were married and still doing a semi long distance thing where I was spending the beginning part of the week in Chicago with her coming back on Thursday to be with my sons. She would come home most weekends that she was not on call. So we were spending four to six days a week together.

Lara: 20:00 Kind of a personal question, but how did that work out with you having your kiddos from the first marriage and also juggling like their needs and spending time with them as well as balancing this long distance relationship?

Michael: 20:14 It’s hard. I mean honestly and the thing that I did was I always prioritize the most rare occurrence. So I have two sons, Quincy and Ryan, if Quincy had a game versus Ryan’s practice, you know, I would go to watch the game. Quincy state soccer tournament is more important than Ryan’s regular baseball game. Or if Ann had some event going, there was a night I think.

I think everybody had something going and Ann was getting an award for something, Quincy had a regular soccer game and Ryan had a baseball practice and I was like, okay, I’m giving you guys, driven to your events and I’m going to this one award, so it’s hard and it has to have an understanding from all parties and for the most part people were generally good about it but scheduling was always a struggle and trying to get things mapped out on a google calendar you could see just kind of days where I was like, oh this is going to be a disaster. Like there’s so many things happening and you can’t possibly be in one spot. So put a lot of miles on the car and just tried to be there as much as possible.

Lara: 21:21 And now you guys are kind of more under one roof and it’s a little more settled little more easy, perhaps?

Michael: 21:29 It was funny this weekend we were like, you know, we just worked on Christmas stuff in the house and got that all up and going because Ann’s a very big Christmas fan and I like to indulge her in that. She indulges me and Halloween and I indulge her and Christmas, which is nice and she was like, this is amazing. We don’t have to leave on Sunday afternoon and drive three hours back to Chicago. Like we get so many things that…When she was there, she would get home to Iowa City from Chicago at nine or 10 on Friday night and then have to leave by 3:00 PM on Sunday. So you get a weekend, but it’s not much of a weekend because it’s, you know, Friday night bedtime, nice Saturday and Sunday you got to leave in the middle of the day. Now it’s like, oh, we’re had a whole weekend just spending time together, which has become kind of a luxury. So that’s quite nice. And we like it a lot.

Lara: 22:21 Yeah, that’s awesome. And I think many medical families are like yes, a full weekend, those are rare and they are wonderful.

Michael: 22:30 When she’s not on call and we don’t have tons of things go going on. That’s quite nice.

Lara: 22:37 So a question that you’re probably expecting, but you know, what are some of the struggles that you think men face when they support females in medicine?

Michael: 22:47 Sure. I think it’s hard knowing what your wife is seeing and what she’s experiencing. So as I mentioned earlier, Ann is very attractive, like she was Miss Iowa, she was very beautiful woman and with that comes a whole set of things that she has to deal with that is above and beyond what everyone else has. She gets harassed and hit on and she has to deal with crap that, that it just, it just sucks. And to a certain extent she’s got to tolerate some of it because it’s old patients. And when she was at the VA it was particularly bad because it was old men that for whatever reason just thought they could say and do whatever. And that was, that was a mess.

Now she’s working in pediatrics so it’s much, much less so from the patient point of view, but it’s always hard and then just knowing what to do and sometimes she, something happens to her and she comes home mad and she’s not mad at me, she’s just mad and sometimes you bear the brunt of it and sometimes I handle that well, sometimes I don’t. So there are times where I’m proudest when I could say, okay, something crappy happened and I’ve just got to be there and listen and occasionally I do that.

Well I’m getting better at it. So that’s something also, it’s interesting, she gets a lot of slights. Like when we’re at an event, people will come up to us and they see, you know, a younger pretty woman. They assume she’s the trophy wife and I’m the doctor so would come up to me and ask, you know, what’s your specialty, Blah Blah, blah. What are you doing? And I’m here with my wife who’s an ophthalmologist and that’s happened more than a couple times, which is interesting. But now we kind of laugh about it and I like to say that I’m the trophy husband so that at least we at least kind of have some dark humor about it and kind of laugh about it. So that’s a hard thing for her. But just when you see your people assume, oh, she’s for better or worse, not able or capable to do these things and she’s extraordinary. So that’s something that I, uh, I always want to be there for her, getting through all the stuff that’s difficult to deal with.

Lara: 25:03 Yeah, that’s interesting. Just the gender roles. I think we’re still just as a society getting used to, and I know like there’s more females in medical school now. There’s more females at university period. So we see that this trend is changing and I don’t, I don’t really have an opinion bad or good. I just think it is what it is and I think it’s going to be interesting to see over time, you know, what this means and how we look at things and you know, by the time, you know, my kiddos are in college, what will that be like? You know, I think it’ll continue to change and, and probably become less assumed, I guess that it’s the man in medicine.

Michael: 25:44 Sure, sure. And I think your point about gender roles is interesting because she chooses to be very good at the things that she does and the things that she doesn’t do, she just lets them go and we’ll buy or procure or hire or for whatever. A great example is cooking in that she literally does not cook like at all anything. And when we started dating I was like, oh well you can, you know, do this, this and this. And she’s like, no, I just don’t do that. And little stuff that I took for granted, like I grew up in a family where we had restaurants and we made things and cooked and that was kind of a thing that you did and she grew up in a family where they played music and she’s an extraordinary musician. Like she’s extremely talented at the violin. She’s played for President Obama. She led the Harvard Symphony. She’s very, very good at the violin.

So her time of where some people would be learning how to boil pasta and make rice and make sandwiches and other stuff. She didn’t do that. She practiced the violin and practiced the harp and practiced the piano. So she’s got those talents and it’s interesting seeing the gender roles of when it comes to cook. I’m definitely the one doing all of that and she does other things while that happens. And for some people I think that’s kind of weird that she doesn’t make anything if we ever have to bring a dish to something, we buy it or I make it, which is great. And I liked doing that but that’s just not something that a lot of people would do. And it was an unusual thing for me to get used to. But I was like, you know, it’s better for her to practice tying knots and working on the IC, which is an ophthalmology device, that’s better use of our time than going to a cooking class or learning how to do that. So there are certain gender roles that we definitely fall into. And then others that we, uh, we make it work for us.

Lara: 27:38 Yeah. I think that’s so important because it’s just every couple, right? It’s like, that’s what works for you for another couple that might not work or for another couple you know, it may look very different, but that is one thing that we hear a lot from female physicians is not only do I need to like pull off the demands of the career, but then I come home and then I have all these tasks at home that kind of fall to me too, just because traditionally they fall into a woman. So I love that you guys have worked through that and yeah, she sounds really amazing to be like, nope, I’m not going to do it. Just let you know upfront.

Michael: 28:14 Well, but the funny thing is she didn’t really let me know. That’s just one of those things that I learned. It’s like, oh, like you don’t know how to make spaghetti. Like all you do is put water in and then put spaghetti in and heat it up and said, well, how much time? And then it’s funny to me how she really likes to be precise, which is you’ve got to be super precise in what she does. And then like measuring things out, like, you know, like you get close enough, like a little more for flavor or whatever, like it’s fine. She’s like, no, this says only two, two teaspoons. We can’t have two and a half or that one wasn’t full.

Lara: 28:51 So when you try to cook with her, like forget it, you’re not enjoying it, right? Like it becomes a chore.

Michael: 28:56 Yeah, you have a little wine and then you laugh about it.

Lara: 29:00 Yeah. Well y’all are still newlyweds, just wait. Josh is a surgeon and he is an amazing cook. But I know if he’s going to cook something, I just need to like let the kitchen go all day because he’s so precise. Just like you’re saying, it’s like he can’t stand it. When he asks me, well where’s the recipe while how long did you boil that for? He asks me all these questions? And I’m like, honey, I’ve made this several times. It will be fine. He always eats my food. He always says it tastes fine. So I’m like okay. My food isn’t horrible, like you’re okay, but when he cooks it’s very measured. Like he gets out the little scale sometimes and he takes it a little far sometimes, but his food is great. I have to admit even if it’s very, very slow.

Michael: 29:45 That one for me in cleanliness, like she puts a very high priority on making sure things are clean and I would tend to cook and then cleanup at the end where she’s cleaning up in between steps and making sure that, you know, or sometimes optimizing things that I don’t necessarily optimize for. But that’s what you do. So it makes you smile and we work through it.

Lara: 30:12 Yeah. That’s awesome. So any ways that you’ve become kind of like more involved in the medical world? We kind of started the conversation like hey, you didn’t really know much about it. Where are you at now?

Michael: 30:24 Sure. So I got involved with the American Medical Association Alliance and that is the group for spouses and partners of physicians and I ended up getting involved in it and then got on the board and then have been working through a lot of different things that I think sometimes it helps to have a business perspective on what’s going on in organizations like that and that’s been really interesting and fun. Learning about what the capabilities are, what the priorities are, what we can do. And the AMA Alliance is a pretty strong group that is seeing a resurgence in some areas. Just looking at what needs to happen and what can be done. And that’s really a national brand is really well recognized. So that’s been pretty fun.

I also go to a lot of events with her, going to fundraisers, talking through different things and I think a lot of times it helps to have someone. I’m a scientist turned business person and there are times where that’s really valuable to help bounce ideas off of and think things through because medicine is its own animal and things have to be done there in ways that may not make the most physical sense or even logical sense, but there that’s the way they have to be done because the logic of what they need and what they’re optimizing for is, is different than maybe what I would look at it with, but that’s been pretty fun for us getting to go to different events and then going to the meetings which are usually in, in nice locations and then I get to go potentially play golf while she does that or have other work things going on and it’s been working out well for us.

Lara: 32:06 Yeah, I love that. And we talked about, you know, sometimes when you’re at one of these dinners or balls that there’s a stereotype that maybe she’s the trophy wife. Right. But what are some stereotypes that you get about being married to the female doc?

Marriage Is Not a Sprint; It's a Marathon

Michael: 32:22 Well, a lot of people are saying, you know, once she gets her attending salary I’m going to get to retire and I got that a little bit, but I kind of shut that down because it pisses me off. Like I’m not like gravy training her, like just working through this to wait until she gets some nice job. I’ve got a pretty solid career of my own and she needs and respects that like she wants, she doesn’t want someone that’s just the, she wants an equal in a partner in that and I know some people want someone who will be that stay at home parent and take care of the things in the house and I do a fair bit of that, but then we hire some of it out and make it work that way. So I think that’s something that has been a stereotype that is not traditionally true for us.

Lara: 33:10 And I think that is a great way to handle it. You just correct people. People are like, what do you say? I’m like, I just correct them.

Michael: 33:17 Yeah. Better or worse, I say things that are on my mind, which sometimes is not the best thing, but you can just be direct like, no, that’s not what we are, and then you know, we’re starting to have the, the kid conversation and the baby conversation and that’s all coming up, how that’s all going to work and once again you just, you figure it out and schedule it as you can and go with it.

Lara: 33:45 And you guys will make decisions that will be different than other people and you know, trust me, once you had that baby, you’ll hear even more opinions than you’ve ever heard about careers.

Michael: 33:55 Oh yes. And I guess I, I’ve given enough advice to know that sometimes I know what I’m talking about. Sometimes I don’t. And so then when I get it I was like, okay, like thanks for telling me that. And it’s really quickly be filed away and never referred to again.

Lara: 34:11 Well this has just been so fun to talk to you and to hear this type of perspective. I’m wondering if you have any other marriage advice you want to give, especially to the guys listening out there. Anything that you feel they need to hear?

Michael: 34:26 Well, I don’t know that they need to hear. I just, I’d just devalue the, uh, advice from people that don’t know what they’re talking about.

Lara: 34:36 Yeah. Don’t listen to anyone’s advice.

Michael: 34:45 Um, I think finding ways to make yourself happy and doing that with good communication because there’s times where she gets worked up about something that I deem to be completely irrelevant and just because I deem it to be irrelevant doesn’t make it so. And that’s the thing that for me like, okay, this really matters to you even though I think it is the dumbest thing in the world and you’re getting all worked up about something. So trying to find a way to connect through that or just saying, oh, that must be hard when you hear about something during the day and you don’t like she’s talking about her day and I don’t really know what to say. Oh, that must have been hard.

Then she’ll talk a little bit more or she said, yeah, that was hard, and then that’s kind of the end of it, but that was something for me that was a good phrase, you know, you hear this a lot but don’t try to problem solve. Like she in many instances does not need me to solve her problems and that’s a little bit hard for me to turn off because I do that a lot at work every day and I’m pretty good at it, but she’s not coming to me to find a strategy to solve her issue. She knows all the strategies and has probably gone through them more than I have. She’s coming to talk to me about how she feels about it and how that starts when she wants someone to empathize with her. So that’s my my thing that we’ve done better with it. It’s not going to lie and say it’s been all been perfect and sunshine and roses, but we’re figuring it out.

Lara: 36:16 Yeah, no, I love that. So great job and you guys just keep figuring it out and good luck with the baby and with becoming as she becomes an attending, I hope she can find work there close to you because I know your businesses is doing great things there too and yeah, I wish you guys the best.

Michael: 36:34 Thank you. Thank you. And I, I did, I was looking just looking at the notes and everything else. I know you probably don’t do this, but I think if you went by MC Elderry instead of McElderry, that’d be a very good radio podcast name. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard.

Lara: 36:53 I’ve never considered that one.

Michael: 36:54 Just dropping beats and all that.

Lara: 36:57 All right, well we’ll think on that one. Thanks. Alright, thanks Michael. We’ll talk to you.

Michael: 37:06 Thank you Lara. Bye. Bye.

Lara: 37:06 Okay, everyone. Hope you enjoy the episode. Don’t forget those five ways that you can support the show, recommending it to others, leaving a review, joining my email list, giving a donation at paypal.me/marriedtodoctors or suggesting a speaker or suggesting that I’m a speaker. I guess that’s kind of six if you divide that last one. Anyway, thanks a lot. You guys have a great week. Bye Bye.

Michael: 37:31 Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Married to Doctors podcast. Our mission is to make successful homes happier. To learn more, or to share your story, visit our website at marriedtodoctors.com.