Being a Mother in the Veterinary Field

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Not so long ago, men were the dominant gender among veterinary professionals, but the trends change and in 2012 with 53% for the first time women veterinarians and nurses became more numerous than men in the USA and the overall practice demographics are still changing.

Being a veterinary professional is a hard and demanding thing enough by itself. It’s a profession where it’s really hard, even sometimes impossible to maintain a good work-private life balance. Making the decision to become a mother will put you in a position where you will be forced to sacrifice your personal needs in order to be an accomplished professional and a great mother at the same time. So the real struggle is going to be keeping the balance between motherhood and work, while the personal needs fall in the background.

Now, the first few months after becoming a mother will be the most demanding ones, especially for mothers having a baby for the first time. This is the time of sleep-deprivation and the maternity leave is pretty short in some countries of the world. For sure a dedicated veterinary professional will feel guilty during this period for the fact they are absent from work. Again, when they return to work they will feel guilty about not spending time with their families.

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You cannot escape that magical circle of feeling guilty wherever you are or who you are with, but this will teach you a great lesson. You will soon learn that every second you spend at home with your child is priceless and you shouldn’t take it for granted. On the opposite, at work you will put your mind and focus on finishing the daily activities as best as you can.

Because of the fact that nowadays mostly women are employed in private practices, it’s not a coincidence that more associates are either pregnant or with a baby at the same time. That means that there is big acceptance inside the institution and the mothers cooperate with each other and share advices.

The practice owners must face the news of pregnancy of staff with joy, even though this puts a burden on the practice work. However, this is only temporary and on the long run keeping valued associates is the most important thing.   

With this attitude it will be possible for the staff to cover each other. For example when a mother has to temporary spend more hours with her family and then cover someone else when they need some extra hours spent at home. This flexibility is possible and of benefit for every team member, so don’t be afraid to talk to the practice owner and your colleagues about all the possibilities. When the baby is a little bit older, it’s always an option to get a nanny or take it to a day care center.

All mothers, regardless of professional occupation must sacrifice a lot of their spare time and energy in order to earn a living and raise a child, so being in the veterinary field and being a mother isn’t much different than the rest. But when you see the big picture, you will realize that it was all worth sacrificing for.