Balancing parenthood and life as a busy vet professional is tough. Here are some of the secrets veterinarians and team members have shared via the Veterinary Confessionals Project.
I want to work less for my family. Being in a rural area with no emergency clinic, I am scheduled for 35 hours and end up working 50. My boss says people who won’t work long hours for low ot [overtime] lack “intestinal fortitude.”
There are often not enough hours in the day for me. Young mother of two, wife, manager of a busy practice, motivator, listener, financial advisor, philanthropist, liar, IT person, mediator, etc. …
To all the vet kids—your mom/dad love you too, even on the long days! You are what keep us sane at the end of the day.
And a confession from the child of a vet …
It’s so weird when your mom is always working. It seems to me that as much as I live at home I live at the hospital.
The guilt is real …
Sometimes I feel like a way better vet than a mom or wife. :(
Lesson after 40 years as a veterinarian: Be sure to make time to live your life and enjoy your family and be involved in your children’s lives. Don’t make your life all business.
Most days I wish I were doing something else! Missed out on so much in my life with family.
Balance affects marriage and home life too
Two divorces—this profession is bad for marriage.
I hate feeling like I can’t spend quality time with my own animals. My bichon in her wheelchair makes my heart smile. I am an expert at poop and pee expression.
Why don’t we earn a decent living and work doctor hours? We owe it to ourselves as a profession. The ones who do [work doctor hours] are the ones who need to get up and put in some evenings, weekends and long days here and there so we others can maybe one day have lifestyle, events, friends and family to go home to.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I am three years into my career, and sometimes I wish I had never gone to vet school. I didn’t know how stressful this job would be and how much clients would take out of me. I give 100 percent every day at work and then there is nothing left when I get home. My marriage is suffering and I don’t know if I will ever feel there is enough of me to have children. I often feel trapped [because] my debt-to-income ratio is out of control and the debt just continues to grow. And I feel it forces me into a life I never wanted, yet I created it.
Work to a place of peace
It has been 15 years since I’ve graduated (yikes!) and during that time I’ve gone through periods of thinking maybe I made the wrong choice becoming a veterinarian—mostly as a result of difficulty in balancing work and parenthood. I am now at a place in my life where I am balancing things better, work at a place I enjoy, love what I do, and end most work days thinking “that was fun!” It makes me sad to hear of colleagues struggling and I hope everyone finds it to this place. You are all amazing!!
I like my job, although it’s become less interesting over the years. I LOVE my 2-year-old but sometimes prefer to work and be bored than hang with him because at least I get things done there. :)
Sometimes I feel pressured to work more and justify why I spend time with my kids. I love my job, but I realized that my family is more important to me. Please don’t judge each other. Thank you. :)