Today I launch my ‘Love, Family & Medicine’ Series which talks about how to balance career, family and love. During my time on rotations I simply go around and ask successful consultants how they balance love, family and medicine.
This all started one day in minor ops when a group of us were talking to our very successful female consultant who was always so well dressed, happily married and had several successful adult children. We wanted to know how she managed to have it all. Luckily, she was kind enough to tell us how she got to where she was.
I think its important to note that there are many ways to skin a cat, this means that you can gain your definition of success how it suits you. Here, we specifically talk about marriage, children and career.
Here’s what she said!
Choosing the right partner and knowing your priorities.
She highlighted that it’s important to marry someone who’s schedule is more predictable or less demanding than yours… this basically translates to don’t marry a doctor! (don’t worry, I’ll get a doctor doctor perspective). After finding a suitable partner the biggest helpers were being organised, focused and preplanning. She spent her years only giving her attention to her career and to her family, that way she wasn’t spread too thin and when she wasn’t working/ studying she was giving her family her time and attention. When you know your priorities you schedule your time accordingly so no one feels left out. She also took vacation time during summer periods so that she could go on family vacations and have dedicated family time during her children’s freest period.
Preparation is a must!
She bought everything in bulk, especially uniforms. Even though they’re only 5 school days she made sure to get 6 so that if there were any mishaps she’d have a back up. She would spend one day preparing for the week so that mornings would run smoother and quicker.
Even now, as a an unattached woman I appreciated the value in preparing the night before. It often cuts down on more than 15 minutes of my morning routine!
Help, Help and more help!
You’re only one person, when you’re in a relationship with two busy working adults and a number of children help becomes important. For her, she had to have help with cooking, cleaning and picking up the children. When she shared this with us, she highlighted that it was important to not let the persons who your hire be the ones that raise your children. She would make an effort to do some of the pickups and other chores that she had outsourced. Having help is no excuse to not raise your children and take care of your family.
I’m really excited for this series, and I’m excited to see how different doctors maintain a balanced family and work life.
It’s possible to have it all, you just have to work for it!
Samantha C. Johnson