To balance motherhood and dental hygiene, make a plan
Latoya Blandin, RDH, a mother of two young children, shares how she survives (and thrives) as a working mom.
Being a mother has absolutely changed my life. There are two more people walking the Earth because of me. They are my contribution to society, and one day they will grow up to be influential people who do amazing things, with families of their own. Beautiful motherhood comes with the daunting thought of responsibility and stability. It’s coming to the realization that I am responsible for making sure my children become productive people. I am their provider, and planning for their future means maintaining a lifestyle that will one day pay for college.
As I become more adjusted to being a mother of two whilst settling in to a new dental hygiene job, I realize that your survival as a working mom depends on your preparedness for the week! It’s all about having a plan and sticking to it—planning every detail of the week for my family and myself, all the way down to school clothes and dinner meal prep. Neglecting to plan for the upcoming week ahead of time can set you up for failure, especially when you’re scrambling to get your children dropped off just an hour before your first scheduled patient! Here are some strategies I use to stay on top of everything.
Being extremely productive on Sundays is crucial to having a successful work week. Sure, I’d love to sleep in. But the fate of my week depends on what I accomplish on the weekend. Working moms, you have two jobs and they both require you to be efficient! So, I wake up early Sunday morning at around 7 a.m. and I begin to prepare for the week ahead.
First things first—the never-ending task of laundry. I always start by throwing a load into the washing machine before making my way downstairs to the kitchen. Making breakfast early on Sunday morning before the kids wake up is vital to having a productive day. After all, the early bird does get the worm!
Another thing that is seriously helpful to a working “momgienist” is teamwork! I make a point to help every single person in my office. From the assistants, to the doctors, to the front desk, to the person dropping off the lab cases, it takes the team to be successful. I make myself overly available and I let everyone know that I am here to help. Then, on a day that my last patient arrives 15 to 20 minutes late, and I have to pick up my kids before 6 p.m., so many people are willing to step in to help me clean my room, or to help me sterilize my instruments. This works wonders for me. When you are good to your coworkers, they are good to you.
Don’t wait to do it
Time management is everything when you’re a dental professional! I always make sure to have all of my notes completed by the end of the work day. I utilize every minute of my time to my advantage, even if it means jotting down a few notes during the exam to assist me when I’m writing notes. Even when I have a cancellation, I jump right into my housekeeping chores. I start by restocking my entire room, emptying my trash, heading into the sterilization room to run any dirty instruments, making patient goody bags, and setting up for next procedure.
This is the life of a mom who works in a dental office with other dental professionals who are also parents. It was imperative that I found an office that was supportive of my lifestyle. I knew my office was for me when the hiring manager told me she too had two small children. I knew immediately that I would be in an understanding environment.