Ruling My Empire from My Couch
Jun 29, 2018
When deciding what career to choose, you should only be concerned about two things. One, finding a job you will enjoy. Two, ensuring you can earn the income that you desire. Right? Not so much. I discovered that as a woman, we are faced with obstacles that may make this decision more complicated. Can we have a professional career, own a practice and still have a family? Can we have it all?
The last thing on your professional mind when pursuing a career is having a family. At least for me while in college, having children was somewhere in the back of my mind. My primary goal in school was to secure a job using my degree. I worked so hard my whole life earning good grades, scholarships and a graduate degree that upon graduation I was fully prepared to finally put all this effort to work.
Needless to say, I hit the ground running. I graduated on a Friday and had an associate chiropractic position lined up to begin on Monday. With student loans piled high and my motivation even higher, I did not want to waste a minute. Fortunately, I was able to triple this practice within one year and like a dream come true the owner sold the practice to me.
For the next three years I continued to build my dream and experience amazing personal, professional and financial growth. My debt was low as I managed to pay off my student loan and the note to the bank for purchasing the practice. Practice numbers were high as I had built my practice to be very healthy and stable. To top it off, I meet the man of my dreams and now it is time to create a family.
As a professional woman having a child should not be that difficult of a task, considering everything you have been through up to this point. Well, for a female chiropractor, having a complicated pregnancy can put you and your professional dreams on the couch. The obstacle becomes can you still have it all?
Week 22 of my pregnancy my husband and I went to the doctor for a routine ultrasound. This was the first ultrasound and we would learn the sex of our baby. I remember the tech telling us the baby was a girl and my husband and I welted up in tears. In her same breath, the tech tells me that I am in labor and asks if I can feel the contractions. It's crazy how happy tears can turn to sad tears as they are falling from your eyes. Being my first pregnancy, I thought the feeling was the baby moving. In fact, I was barely showing. The OB/GYN confirmed this and I was sent directly to labor and delivery.
Later that day in labor and delivery, the OB/GYN visited me. She said to me, "good news and bad news. The good news is we stopped the labor. The bad news is you will be on bed rest for the rest of your pregnancy." Here comes the happy and sad tears at the same time again. This was a Wednesday and I had 160 patients to see by the end of the week. So I responded to the MD, "I have to go to work tomorrow." Her response, "not if you want to have this baby."
Closing my practice was not an option. After all, my practice was really my first baby. This practice was way too successful to let go. So I put my best pregnancy jumpsuit on, set up my couch workstation and began to figure out how to rule this empire from my couch. I closed the office for two days and began conducting interviews from my couch. I was able to hire my first associate by Sunday. Sunday evening I called every single patient and shared my story and plan for the coming months. Over the next five months, I managed my empire from my couch while managing to stop labor three more times with the help of Western medicine.
Thankfully I carried full-term and my baby girl was born naturally on week 42. The relief the moment she was born was immense. I expected to hire help when I got pregnant. I knew there would be some obstacles. What I did not expect was to be forced to hire help so abruptly and be forced to rule my empire from my couch. I also did not expect my pregnancy to be so complicated. These are obstacles that as women we are forced to overcome. My dream of being a professional, running a successful practice, while having a family was almost shattered. However, looking back, this obstacle only challenged me to become a stronger female mom professional. My daughter's birth signified to me that I am strong, both as a female professional and a new mom. And yes, you can have it all. Even if it has to be ruled from your couch.
About the author - Dr. Nicole Lindsey owns a successful chiropractic office and is the founder of Dominate Chiromarketing, inspiring Chiropractor's to build relationships with MD's.