May 13, 2018

Motherhood, Medicine, and Resilience

Well before the sun rises, the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans engulfs the house. Sleep deprivation subsides with a few sips of caffeine, and I get ready to tackle another day. I am a physician, leader, and a writer, but four months ago, I was presented with my most rewarding, yet challenging, title to date; mother. My days are now spent balancing my workload as a physician, chief, and a new mom. The journey of motherhood has been joyous, intriguing but exhausting at the same time. I am in awe of my immense and unconditional love for my daughter, impressed with my endurance, and surprised at my resilience. Before I became a mom, I had a set career path. I wanted to grow as a physician, expand and enhance my leadership skills, and materialize my aspirations to be a writer. While I was pregnant, I had formulated a plan for childcare that would complement my career goals. My strategy dissolved as soon as I held my child in my arms. When I returned to work after maternity leave, work-life integration became my biggest struggle. I often caught myself checking the nanny camera in the middle of a meeting or rushing a patient encounter so I could get home to my child. I was struggling to balance motherhood with career goals despite the action plans I had conceived before my delivery. In the midst of my toil and troubles, l was able to engage in some introspection and analysis. I realized that I had to change my mindset and shift my priorities. I decided to maintain a positive outlook which allowed me to appreciate the unrelenting power of motherhood. Instead of feeling dejected and drowning in my own strife I learned to appreciate my triumphs. Shifting my priorities made me realize that my main responsibility was my daughter and changing my mindset made me believe that my career can still thrive. I am now delegating more and more responsibilities to my team members at work while still maintaining an effective leadership equation and also learning to say no. I am also relinquishing time-sensitive opportunities in the writing realm. Above all, while I am constantly amazed at my abilities and strength as a mother, I am also asking for help. My resilience enables me to balance motherhood and medicine.

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