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The Dilemmas of Mothers Who Are Physicians and of Physicians Who Are Mothers

Heidi Thaens
JAMA. 1986;255(4):465-466. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370040034013.
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To the Editor.—  To Anonymous, who in the Aug 16 issue of JAMA1 expresses anguish over the conflicting claims of motherhood and her career (as well as "social and athletic activities"), I would like to say the following. Being grown up means, among other things, knowing how to set realistic priorities, and this naturally involves making some sacrifices. (To imagine that one can "have it all" is simply immature and greedy.) As the mother of two now fully grown, exceptionally sane, much loved children, I can look back on some years of severe financial disequilibrium, stress, and anxiety during our family's first decade. Throughout that period of unanticipated adversity, my husband and I both often felt "melancholy, inadequate, guilt ridden," and desperate; certainly social and athletic activities never entered the picture. The difference between me and Anonymous is that I had been dreaming of becoming a mother since age 8


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