Work life balance as a mom, Orthodontist, and small business owner

As a child I always knew two things I wanted to be when I grew up: a mom and an orthodontist.  I never thought about how I would balance that, or how it would work, I just went for it.  One of my motivations was my own mom.  You may think she was a dentist or a doctor, but she was actually a jack of all trades.  She went where the job was, worked hard, and they saw her value.  She has street smarts, is compassionate, friendly and fun, which made her a great addition to all of the jobs she has had.  Her work ethic motivated me, and I wouldn’t be where I am without her.  Beyond work she was always at all of my events cheering me on!  She has given me so much support over the years, especially when I was in school for 10+ years!  In undergraduate she used to drive out to Ann Arbor to pick up my laundry.  She’s the kind of mom we all deserve.  I think she is a rock star.

So we are all searching for this idea of balance as a mom and in our personal life.  For me being a small business owner, an orthodontist and a mom can be overwhelming at times.  What keeps me motivated is passion.  I love going to work!  Not many people get to say that.  Making beautiful smiles is so satisfying!  I also get to interact with people of all ages all day and it’s a lot of fun!  I am not an orthodontist who takes a back seat to patient care, I prefer to be up in the action talking to patients, I am very hands on.  In fact, in my own small business I currently do it all!  Pictures, x-rays, place your braces, do your adjustment, go over all of the important information.  It can be exhausting at times to be doing so much, but I feel so fulfilled!  On the days when I am not at CD Orthodontics I work in another office.  This means I am currently working 6 days a week, but the plan is to eventually transition to full time in my own space.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time for myself, but I know in the long run the investment I am making now will pay off in the future when I am able to take off a random Wednesday afternoon to go watch my kids dance recital, or schedule patients around school drop off, especially on the first day of school!

To tie everything together, whether you are a stay-at-home mom, working mom, single mom, however you describe yourself we are all doing the best we can and we are all GOOD moms!  There is often this tendency to feel like we are not doing enough, whether that is at work or at home.  #MOMGUILT.  At the end of the day our kids love us, they look up to us and all they need is our presence, care and support.  In 2021 I hope to drop the mom guilt and just be present!  I hope to model kindness, hard work, and compassion.  And I hope I my kids grow up to think of me as a rock star the same way I look at my mom.

** Also, I couldn’t do any of this without my amazing husband Jens who helps at home, with the kids, and in the business.

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