Embracing the Mother in Medicine’s Village of Support
There is a lot of discussion out there about whether or not women can “have it all,” meaning a satisfying professional career and a satisfying home life including partnership and parenting. Five years into my working parenthood journey, I still haven’t decided where I stand on the question—some days I feel like the balance between my two primary roles makes me better in each, other days I feel like I can’t keep going one more day with the scheduling chaos and the mommy guilt and the sense that I am never quite doing enough in any domain. But what I know to be true is that even if you can “have it all,” you cannot do it all. Patients and children have needs around the clock, and it just isn’t possible for a person to meet all those needs, all the time, all by themselves. We need help. We need to share the work. In this chapter, I share some of the insights I have gained about how to build and sustain the village that will help you along the journey of parenthood and the journey of medicine.