As working mothers, we often focus on how we can manage to not allow our "with-kid(s)" status to affect our work. We overcompensate to prove we do as much work as the next *man* and we play ourselves into guilt cycles if we are either away from work or away from our kids (which is the case almost constantly).
I say, baloney. Being in medical school and residency has taught me much about medicine; however, being a mother has taught me a lot about myself. And that has furthered my ability as a physician far more than I ever expected. I have, therefore, decided to make a list of all the things I have learned by being a mother, which have made me a better doctor:
1) I recognize a temper tantrum for what it is, whether it comes from a child or an adult.
2) I realize that I may make good decisions that are not popular. I don't need to apologize for them.
3) If I subscribe to the "if you want something done right, do it yourself" adage, I will be doing everything for everyone all of the time. Then by definition, no one else will never learn to do it right because they will have no experience.
4) My daughter is being raised to be unapologetically bright without the influence of gender stereotypes. I should be no different.
5) Consistency is a vital skill.
6) Hand-washing must be frequent and thorough. This may seem obvious to anyone in medicine, but 2 kids with gastroenteritis brings this issue home with a vengeance.
7) I leave work at the end of the day only to begin the even more difficult job of managing kids and a household. So does my husband. We are partners after all, and our relative value units have to be equal (we have a joint checking account). If I expect him to pull down his share at home, I have to pull down my share at work.
8) My life is crazy enough right now, I can't imagine how empty I'll feel once my beautiful kids go off to college. I appreciate that I have this great career of mine.