I have the beautiful opportunity to live with and learn from an amazing little girl. She has taught me so much. When she was an infant, she taught me patience in a major way.
I am a dentist. I am also a solo owner of a practice. Having employees rely on me to support their families had me delay starting a family. When I announced I was pregnant and was needing time off for recovery, my hygienist announced she had found another job because I could not provide her the stability that a single parent needed.
Doing the research, I thought I could come back to work in 10 days after having her. No problem, right? I am an overachiever finishing dental school and college In a record amount of time. I set a goal. Of course I could master breast feeding in his amount of time as well. Millions of women do this around the world so how hard could it be?
Ha! This was the hardest time of my life! After 7 days of trying to get nutrition to her, the pain and suffering matched no task I had ever attempted. Yup, nothing the matter with formula supplementation at this point. OK,time to use the breast pump. Trying to get laundry done and her calmed to take a nap led me to believe I was going crazy.
I am a task master. I don’t like being interrupted. Didn’t she know this? Wasn’t she hanging out with me for 9 months she should know my routine. We needed to get on to the next phase of business. She was crying, I was crying. I couldn’t keep track of the math of when she ate, how often she needed changing,when she slept, when I slept. Who knew. What a blur.
Then I realized I needed to get back to work, people depended on me. I shortened my maternity leave and came back slowly-3 days per week compared to 4. What a knucklehead and missed opportunity.
I was worried about losing my business and my employees and my patients because I had lost key employees. My hygienist came back and stayed taking good care of my clients for 5 more years following her brief stint at another office.
I had a choice to make and unfortunately for both of us,wasn’t her at the time. I missed that magical bonding time and falling into a routine that is deep seeded on love.
My teaching to her is this –
time is the most precious commodity. Once it is spent you can never get it back. If you don’t have the time to do it right the first time, you won’t have the time to do it over.