Do you ever pause in your life, look around, and wonder how you got here — wife (or husband), mother (or father), physician, “expert” on so many different things? I sometimes get that feeling with my kids.
Somewhere in the last few decades, I’ve become the adult, the mom, the decision maker. In reality, I sometimes feel like another kid, giggling at my toddler’s admonition that I’m “mean” or wondering why we can’t just have ice cream for dinner.
My kids don’t see this, of course. They see me as the authority and the parent, which is a good thing. My patients seem to see the same thing. That is, unless they feel that Dr. Google has more to offer than I do. Truth is, I don’t always feel like I should be the one in charge, making the life or death decisions.
This week, I’m giving a talk to new parents on how to take care of their newborn babies. I’m sure I’ll look quite professional. I’ve perfected the art of quiet confidence, even when my thoughts are racing. However, I wonder if they’ll see the mom behind the doctor. The mom who still is trying to figure out how to get her two year old to sleep through the night. The mom who has the exact same battle every single morning with her daughter about eating breakfast. The mom who allows her toddler to watch “Shrek” with his brother and sisters.
I imagine that just like at home and just like in the office, I will appear to have it all figured out. I’ll speak with confidence about official recommendations that, in reality, change with the seasons. I’ll explain things that I’m still left wondering about myself. Once again, I’ll probably look around and wonder how in the world I ended up at the podium and whether I really belong there.
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