This question, regardless of how it is asked, comes up far too often.
“Who is going to watch your kids?”
I remember explaining my life plans to another dentist. A general conversation during our brief encounter, literally crossing paths, because I knew that this was not a mentor I needed for myself. The question implied that I wouldn’t be able to work and raise my kids, simply put; I should end my career and raise my children.
I’ve heard stories much worse than mine. Stories where other women were told to quit their day job or how being a doctor (physician, dentist, Ph.D., etc.) was probably not the route for them if they wanted a family. These conversations came from all directions, both male and female.
Excuse me, but that is complete BS.
I started working at 7 months pregnant and it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be able to. Looking back there are times where I question how I did it, simply because pregnancy can be rough at times. The sleepless nights, the body aches, and the raging hormones…but, I did it.
If you chose the field of medicine in any form, you already have a superhero mentality. You quickly learn that this field is not for the faint of heart and only the most strong-willed survive. In school, those that cannot handle the late nights, frequent failures, and hazing typically don’t survive. They flunk out or just quit altogether.
When my husband and I decided to start a family, I already had qualities of a superhero. I am persistent and resilient; failure does not deter me from my goals nor does extreme hardship. When my daughter was born I not only possessed those superhero qualities, but it became the perfect foundation for developing into a superhero–MOM. I housed, nourished, grew, and birthed a human with my body. Throughout a total of 10 months, my body went through morning sickness, extreme fatigue, and pain. I waddled around the office up until I went into labor. Every day I came home and it felt like a car hit my body at full speed, but I enjoyed every bit of it. After birth, with help, of course, I continued to do the same thing; provide shelter, nourishment, and help her development all while working.
Yes, my daughter goes to daycare. Yes, at times she is the last child there. But, I am a superhero. The job gets done. There are still sleepless nights and body aches, but I’ve proven that I can do both and so can the next mom. My daughter was not the ending of my career; she is actually helping to skyrocket it. She keeps me hungry and focused. I enjoy waking up every day knowing that I am doing something great to take care of my child but to also make others smile. So, to the person that asked me that question the answer is: me. I am going to do both. I am going to watch my kids and continue to work.