It is hard to believe that just one year ago today, I was lying in bed feeling guilty for working and missing out on yet another baseball game for my son. I had attended the majority of his sporting events; however, it still bothered me that I missed this one. In fact, I remember that particular evening vividly; I couldn’t fall asleep.
Eventually I got up and walked out of my room into my kids’ bedrooms just to “look” at them. You know…when your kid is sleeping and you get to watch them…best feeling in the world right??? But that night something was different. I knew I needed some support. Was I working too much at the expense of my children? Was I missing out on them growing up? Did they wonder why I traveled? Did they wonder why I had to work evenings or weekends sometimes?
At that point, I knew I needed to speak to someone even though it was pretty late in the evening. I knew I was struggling with work/life balance. Why did I feel so bad when I was at work and missed my kids, and then when I was with my kids I felt that I wasn’t giving my all to my job or my profession? I couldn’t be the only one who felt that way. It also wasn’t only about work. I was a member of a local gym and although I paid for my membership each and every month, I hardly attended because of the guilt. I felt so bad that I was already leaving my kids for work so how could I possibly leave the house to go work out and have me time?? I knew I wasn’t the only one to feel this way.
Of course, since I couldn’t sleep I picked up my phone (yes I know that just makes insomnia worse LOL but at this point I wasn’t a health care professional I was a mom), and I opened up Facebook. I began scrolling through some of my local Facebook mom groups and reading them to see if maybe someone else already posted about work/life balance and I could relate to someone but I couldn’t find anything. I also wanted to hear what other pharmacists were doing and not doing and how they managed to work full-time, stay fit, eat right, maintain a marriage and raise children. What was the secret? Could you even do that?? Was it possible?
Pharmacist Moms Group is Born…
I decided to start a group on Facebook called the “Pharmacist Moms Group”…yes I know not really an original name but it worked :-). It started as a group of 50 people (moms I went to pharmacy school with, did residency with or worked with throughout my career), and it quickly became a support network. In a matter of a month it grew to over 1000 members who were asking each other for recipes, work-life balance questions, clinical questions, career questions, money questions, insurance questions, vitamin questions, board certification questions and much more. As a pharmacist mom, I was always passionate about the field of pharmacy, but I struggled between the obligation of working and raising my family. I have found that this group brought me balance, energy, education and most importantly a new purpose and passion that was real. Bringing me happiness by supporting others who are just like me…who went to school for 6+ years after high school, who pulled overnights to study, who moved thousands of miles for an education, who did residencies, did fellowships, took call, worked evenings, worked overnights, and looked at as the #1 resource by millions of people all over the world. Each day I learn something new from these amazing ladies.
I needed this group…let me rephrase that….we needed this group. As pharmacist moms, we are often in our silos but together we are that much greater. We are not just the moms of our own children, we are the moms who help other moms decide which cold medicine to give their child. We are the moms who help other moms select which baby formula may be best if they can no longer nurse. We are the moms who are calculating dosing behind the doors in a dark cold basement for a sick child. We are the moms competing for jobs in a culture dominated by Caucasian males. We are the moms who are pumping while we are working at the same time. We are the moms who are the only pharmacist on a team on rounds at 6am each day. We are the moms who don’t get a lunch break. We are the moms who stay late and don’t get paid. Most importantly, we are the moms who America trusts and we are the moms trying to raise our own families. We are pharmacist moms and we are a fierce and strong!
Happy Birthday to my Pharmacist Mom tribe. We are 10,000+ Pharmacist Moms in just one year!! So excited for the future…