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The Sure Fire Way to Lose as a Mother-Doctor

Updated: Jun 12

Imagine this:

You wake up,


and then take a shower…

Wait, what—was that a dream? (Right? Aren’t there about 20 missing steps in that sequence???)

Whether you’re the only one to react to the dirty sock lying next to the hamper, the first one who steps up to say YES to help a sick colleague, or the one who starts making dinner as soon as you walk in the door (while still wearing your hospital gear, your purse and keys dangling off your shoulder)—I hear you. I see you.

Now, I don’t love the term “working mom” since I think all mothers work incredibly hard. I also recognize that fathers and partners are no slouches. And if you have an amazing team of aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, and neighbours that support you, colour yourself grateful!

It’s just…

You’re the one who usually owns the emotional checklist and all of its exhaustion, right? So while you don’t technically do everything, it often feels that you have to mentally hold it all together or else everything will fall apart. And so you remind/nag/rush/yell the next step. Then you judge yourself for being a horrible person.

Whew. Take a deep breath. I know I wrote that all in one breath too.

But…does beta hCG cause your brain cells to mutate into superhuman neurons? Or is that the normal response of having your helpless offspring depend on you? Because you care for your patients’ lives too. You don’t necessarily feel the need to control your patients, but for some reason you often want to have everything to your standard when it comes to motherhood.

Where does this “I must do everything…if I want it done RIGHT”—(c’mon, you know you add that last bit too) mentality get you? Well, when you strive to check everything off the “good mother list” (which, by the way, often conflicts with the check marks on the “good doctor list”)—you do win a lot. You win some short term compliance and a faulty sense of control.

You also win a whole big pile of anger, blame, envy, resentment, control, criticism, fatigue, and anger.

Did I mention anger?

Question of the Day: What do you gain by taking on “everything?” Make a list. Pin it to your mirror so you can see it when you brush your teeth. Share it in the comments below.

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