Use Your Maternity Leave to Find Clarity

your maternity leave could help you identify your ideal life

Maternity leave is a great time to bond with your baby, do some tasks that you aren't usually able to do and/or take a trip that you've been looking forward to.

But it can also be the BEST TIME to see if you are living your ideal life or instead suffering from some compassion fatigue/burnout.

I say this because coaching other mom colleagues, they contact me during maternity leave often. During leave, you have somewhat "normal people hours" to talk to others. But also, as physician moms, we have time away to reflect on work and maybe realize that our work or work environment is not the best for us and our families.

I had one mom explain it to me...

She said, "Maternity leave to me was like coming up from the deep end of the swimming pool and getting a breath of fresh air. I was able to go on play dates with other moms. I was able to pick my kids up from school. We were able to do just things I had always wanted to do but couldn't because of my job. Now as I'm getting ready to go back to the office, I'm really fearful of losing this. I want to know if I can still be a doctor but also have these other great experiences."

And you know what I told her, I said, "Absolutely you can have this! It's going to take some work and negotiation but if this is the life that you want to live, then that's what we are going to work towards."

Mama, if you are having a similar experience, just know that change is possible.

Your maternity leave can show you the life that you could be living. As a break away from healthcare, perhaps it will renew why you love medicine. It may also show you where you need to modify your practice. 

Consider these:

  • What are you loving about life during this time?
  • What things are you ecstatic that you don't have to do while on leave? (For me, it was no call responsibility. I realized that call was more draining than baby!)
  • What are you dreading when you think about going back?

If you feel like you're drowning in the deep end, it's time to come up to the light for a breath of fresh air. You can stay on the surface and live in this wonderfulness. You can modify your life and I want to help!