I’m definitely the first to admit that I love Valentine’s Day, even though I’m no longer in my twenties. But perhaps not for the reasons you’d expect. Believe me I like an ocean view candle-light dinner as much as the next girl. Roses or for that matter any floral arrangement is great. Jewelry is divine. But what really touches my heart, (surprise!) are those boxes of Spiderman, Transformers and Star Wars-themed valentines. Granted, my forever Valentines, my boys—Dylan, Reid and Zack—are a little too old these days to sit around the kitchen with me, signing all those valentine cards. But that doesn’t prevent me from sending crazy huge care packages to college and medical school. Sure, they may SAY it’s embarrassing but you and I know the truth.
While it is certainly true that I have an incredibly rewarding career as a research scientist and dermatologist, my most important job and the central focus of my life—is my being my kids mom. At any given moment, I have a half dozen plates in the air. Lecturing in the Philippines. A full day full of patients. Conducting clinical trials for the latest laser breakthrough, and then demonstrating that laser on national TV. I also now enjoy the luxury of being in control of my schedule so I can devote myself to my family.
It is challenging at times to “do it all”. Be a mom and have an outside job. People often start from the assumption it’s impossible for you as a parent to balance it all, so they try to put you to the test. Which will you pick? Family or career? But the truth is, most working parents have the multitasking virtuosity of an air traffic controller. Give us a fair chance, and we don’t have to pick. We will simply do it all.
I’ve lived my whole life according to this mantra. I refuse to compromise. Being a doctor is a huge part of being me. And feeling good about my professional accomplishments helps me be a happier and more well-rounded mom. As an employer and entrepreneur, I strive to create an environment where other working moms can have it all as well: our workplace has high expectations, but a respect of family responsibilities. Because I know that if I give other moms the opportunity, they too will make it work. That’s what we moms do. We always make it work.
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I’m so proud of my boys. They are first in my heart on Valentine’s Day, and every day of the year. And I know they are proud of me as well.