Updated: Jul 15, 2021
You Can Have an Amazing Career AND a Family
I have a confession…it has been a number of years since I have been to a national physical therapy conference. I could say it is because I have been busy raising my kids. Or maybe I tell myself that I only work part-time and justifying the cost to fly, stay at a hotel, and pay for the conference is not worth it when I can get my CEUs online. Or my favorite excuse…it is too cold in that city at that time of year…really? I have lived in many cold climates and have enough winter gear to go most places.
When I get to the heart of the matter, the real reason is that I have gone to conference after conference and watched the speakers and think to myself…where are my people?
Yes, we are all physical therapists, but where are my moms who are in the throes of busy life, raising kids, and doing amazing things? I watch keynote speakers and think to myself, someday that will be me or any one of my amazingly talented, smart, PT friends. But why does it have to be “someday?”
I understand that excellence takes time. I understand that we go to conferences to be inspired to dream big and make our profession better. But I don’t want to wait for “someday” to dream big.
I don’t want to wait for “someday” to realize that I can be great at what I do.
I know that I am not alone in this thought.
Every time I teach a class, I am blown away by how many passionate and talented therapists think that dreaming big and being awesome at their job is not possible while raising their kids.
Do you know why they think this? Because there are very few of us out there showing them that it can be done! During class breaks, I get as many questions related to how did you handle an infant while studying for your fellowship as I do related to what I just taught. Or questions such as how did you manage your caseload while having to pump at work. Or how did you find time for self-care while working and having babies?
So, I guess my frustration with listening to others speak was that I felt like I was barely hanging on. What they said sounded great…but I could not relate to them.
How to Dream Big and Deal with Reality
Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” When looking at my physical therapist friends, I am beyond fortunate that I am surrounded by smart, confident, amazing women.
These are the women who inspire me because they know what it takes to be one of the best therapists out there…all the while running physical therapy practices, driving kids to school/sports, cooking dinner, spending the night in the emergency room with a sick kid and then showing up to work, taking the dog to the vet, and yes, the list goes on and on and on and on.
These are the women who inspire me to dream big.
Who remind me that having a family and life outside of the clinic are not mutually exclusive to becoming excellent at what they do. These are the women I call when I need help with a patient, need a word of encouragement after a terrible day, and need an idea of what to cook for dinner.
These are also the women that helped me along the path to my doctorate, my fellowship, and to my position as faculty teaching other physical therapists.
I know many women think “Having it all” is an impossible dream. And it is.
Having it all is an impossible dream - only if you’re trying to do it alone.
Don’t wait for “someday” to dream big. Find your tribe. Surround yourself with like-minded people and start dreaming. We here at Aspire would love to help you achieve those dreams.