It seems to me, in reading these posts, that mothers in medicine seem to fall into two main groups. First, those that are fully committed to their work, feel no regret about choosing medicine as a career, see working as a positive thing in their lives, and suffer no, or very little, mother guilt. The second group suffer frequently, if not perpetually, from cognitive dissonance between medicine and family. This group is no less committed as doctors or as mothers, but struggle to marry the two without great dollops of mother guilt. I am in the second group and find myself wondering, as I ride another wave of dissonance, how do I get into the first group? Clearly there are factors at play which make the elusive balance harder, but even if you allow for those, is there something inherent in my nature, beliefs or values that means I will always have these ups and downs? What do I have to develop/cultivate/realize to overcome my dissonance and mother guilt to join the ranks of the first group, to which I ache to join? In theory, I believe that working mothers are a good role model for children, that fathers step into the home more when a woman works which adds more for the children, that mothers make excellent workers and doctors, that workplaces need to support working parents and indeed workers without children to achieve a happy balance but why can't I shake these feelings of conflict? Why can I think my way to balance but can't feel my way? I had a very inadequate home as a child, parenting that raised the interest of child protection agencies. Is this why? Which bits are me and which are over protective parenting making sure my children don't have the pain and loss that I suffered? Would I feel this way no matter what job I did? I think not, because I read so much indecision, conflict and even anguish in the posts on mothersinmedicine. I also read the comments to those posts from mothers in the first group, and I press my nose up to the glass of that group, and yearn to open the door and walk inside. So how do I join you, centered un-conflicted mothers in medicine? Or is that an unattainable dream for me?