Many practitioner parents experience great angst as holidays such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approach. They realize how tough it is to put their family first when the demands of their practice require immediate attention. Psychological crises can occur at all times of the day and night. While you may intend to spend time with your kids, these plans fly right out the window once you’re notified of an emergency. To cope, accept this reality and help your family do the same.
Your Time Is Not Your Own
Whether you like the reality or not, the fact is that your time is not your own. When a crisis occurs and you don’t have collegial coverage, special occasions or family activities must be interrupted. Of course your family won’t like this, but keep working to help them understand that this is the way things go occasionally―or even frequently―for certain types of practitioners.
You May Feel Guilty
When you truly believe: “My family comes first,” it’s virtually impossible to escape feeling some pangs of guilt when you have to skip out on your children and other family obligations to attend to the needs of your patients. You feel like you’re letting everyone down and, indeed, you are. But as a responsible practitioner, most of these times you don’t have a choice. The safety and well-being of your patients reigns.
Do The Best You Can
OK, so you can’t be the perfect parent, but you can enjoy wondrous times with your family whenever possible. Be mindful and make the most of each experience. And be kind to yourself, accepting that your best is the best you can offer given your profession.
It’s tough to be a parent in private practice. It may break your heart that you can’t always put your family first, but the painful reality is that you can’t.
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers