Design your own work-life balance

The guilt is always there. But don’t get crushed by it, says Dr Meenu Walia   

It was 26 years ago but I remember it just like it was yesterday. It was early morning and I had just come off a night work call. My son looked at me and asked,“Which one are you?”  He saw the perplexed look on my face and continued, “You have to choose. You can be a good mother or a good doctor, so which one are you?”  He was obviously too naive to understand the complexity of a doctor’s career and a mother’s nature.

Every day, every moment in your life — a choice needs to be made and those choices leave you feeling a little more guilty of compromising your duties towards your family, your kids … Deep inside your heart, you pray to God that your kids will understand you and forgive you for not being there. There is no right or wrong formula … the guilt will always be there.

To quote an incident

There were days when my son was down with fever and I had to leave to be at work …Can still feel the crushing pain when your child tells you that his caretaker said, “What kind of a doctor your mother is …she is not looking after her child and gone to the hospital to look after others.”  But to quote Andy Stanley, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God might not be something you do but someone you raised.” So I am still on my endeavor to be a better mother because motherhood is a higher designation I hold.

Behind every successful career-oriented mother you see, there is a child who has been cared a little less; there is a husband who has shared responsibilities a little more and there is a family who has been neglected a little more; but that is what choices are all about and that is the price you pay for being successful.

Being an expert doctor is hard; being a good mother is just as hard work if not harder.

And being both often seems impossible. It becomes an uphill task. A lot many times you feel torn between the choices; when the child is sick but you have to go for work because there is a patient who is also sick and needs your urgent attention. Whom to choose? There is a very thin dividing line and these choices become difficult. As Fill Churchill rightly said, ‘’There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.’’
So this Mother’s Day, don’t let anything stop you from finding your perfect work-life balance and being the awesome mom you are. Happy Mother’s Day!

(The author is  Director- Medical Oncology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj)

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