By Hayley Harlock
Hello & Welcome! My hope is that this Blog will provide an intimate and unfiltered look into the myths and magic of medical marriage, motherhood and everything in between. My vascular surgeon husband, John and I have been married since 2006. We are the proud parents of Kieran, Sophie, Elliot...and our Portuguese Water Dog (fur baby) Ruby. Full disclosure. I’m a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser. I am proudly a work in progress, trying hard each day to become the best version of myself. I am learning to dream big again. I’m equal parts tough and sensitive. My family is my world. My best friends describe me as generous, passionate, caring and fun. I love to travel. I am happiest when the sun is shining, particularly when palm trees and ocean are nearby. I am loving and fiercely loyal. I believe that practicing gratitude daily can be life changing. Being kind always, is a non negotiable in my world.
In another life time, I worked as a medical social worker at the Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto. I loved my job, my patients, and the amazing team that I had the privilege to work with. But I also loved being a mom, and eventually a decision had to be made. When our middle child was born in 2009, I became a stay at home parent earning me the titles of Chief Family Officer, Head Chauffeur...and many others along the way.
When I left the working world, our daughter Sophie was a newborn, and her big brother, Kieran was only 20 month old. We were nearing the end of John’s five year General Surgery residency, with an additional 2 year Vascular Surgery fellowship on the horizon. CRAZY?! I think so. Anyone who has lived though a surgical residency knows just how gruelling it can be, both for the resident and for his/her/their family. Reflecting back on those early years, I am not sure how we ever survived...both the marriage and the residency! A medical marriage, especially with young children, is not for the faint of heart.
Being around for the entirety of my husband’s medical training and his transition to practice, I have compassion and understanding regarding how long, lonely and frustrating the journey can be at times. I’ve always wanted to give back to our community by supporting other wives, husbands and partners of medical students, residents and staff physicians.
In the fall of 2019, I launched The Flipside Life (TFSL). A space dedicated to the diverse and dynamic community that exists on the flipside of the white coat. TFSL is a community intentionally created to support physician families, one MEANINGFUL connection at a time. Establishing connection with others and having a sense of belonging within a community is everything! I believe that when physician families are thriving and supported, the mental health and well being of doctors can only be enhanced. In turn, the delivery of compassionate and quality patient care is made possible and sustainable. TFSL is a passion project straight from my heart. It is an idea that is a decade in the making, and has finally come to fruition.
From time to time, I will share TFSL updates on this Blog. My surgeon husband will occasionally make guest appearances too. And our amazing flipside life children have also indicated an interest in sharing their perspectives regarding what it’s like to grow up in a medical family as well.
I look forward to sharing my ongoing journey of medical marriage, motherhood and more with all of you! And I hope you will share your journey with me too.
Please feel free to contact me with any question, or just to say hello. I’d love to hear from you. Until next time...