I finally connected with my fertility specialist in person after a 2 year hiatus. Needless to say, she knows me very well from our doctor-patient relationship that spanned four years. As she is a very private individual, I will not be sharing her name or photo with you.
Since her retirement earlier this year, I have come to know her on a different level and am so proud and thrilled that she was our fertility specialist because not only is she brilliant in what she does professionally, she continues to use her skills in third world countries (self-funded), is a fantastic mummy to three children aged 19, 20 and 21 years ...and will be married for 25 years very soon! WOW!
Her husband is a doctor also and they are both retired. Between kayaking in Antarctica, snow skiing Canada and planning their next adventure to the Arctic, they are raising money to buy surgical equipment and the likes to perform operations on women in third world countries. Now, that's inspirational.
Her passion for work / life balance and doing good inspires me and here's an excerpt of what I have learnt from her:
Have a good work ethic
She only took 4 weeks maternity leave for all three children and they were all bottled fed from birth because:
- Her children thrived on it
- She could perform her duties as an obstetrician to her female patients who were in labour and not worry about breast feeding or pumping
- All her children went to work with her every day until they turned 1 year old. She had 2 secretaries so one of them will look after the baby. This arrangement enabled her to be close to her baby and still perform at her peak at work
All three children are at University and have part-time jobs. One of them does data entry for a fruit & vegetables supplier 3 times a week from 5:00am - 9:00am. Yes, you read it right...5am, 3 times a week.
Continue working, if you can
She chose to be a working parent because she did not want to lose her skills and confidence in the workplace. It is very hard (not impossible) for a stay at home parent to return to the workplace after an extended period of absence.
No domestic help
Yes, you read that right. Two doctors, 3 children, living in a mansion on the river with huge grounds and no domestic help. They did all the housework and got the kids to do it too!
Her children went to her mum once a week and the other days, they went to childcare. Yes, her children were sick frequently but when they went to primary school, they never missed a day! All three children thrived under that environment that promotes learning, play, social and routine.
Routine and share the same bedroom
Her children thrive on routine and shared the same bedroom until the eldest was 12 years old! WOW!
Be there for the school events
She scheduled patients around the children's school events and attended every one of them. She never missed it and her children remember that their mummy (and daddy) were their when they needed her (and him) most.
Make the family home enticing for their friends too
By doing so, her husband and her got to know their friends too and were kept abreast of what each child was up to.
Have a great marriage
Make time for each other and laugh. Good marriage = happy children.
She is such an inspiration and I feel so empowered by her story.