The time has come for me to return to my job as a registered veterinary technician (RVT). I have had one incredible year with my first child and can’t help but be completely grateful for this time with him and, if I’m being completely honest, the time with myself. 

Mastering New Goals

I am coming out of this maternity leave a completely different woman than I was just over 12 months ago. Is it just me or did any other mommas feel SUPERHUMAN after creating and giving birth to a child? The realization that I could get through anything my body or mind asked of me was the boost I needed to start pursuing more of my goals. 

I quickly dove into my first dream of becoming a vegetarian and not just eating like one on Meatless Mondays. Then I crushed my fitness goals with a combination workout of HIIT and weight lifting which was super motivating! 

The next dream would be the most challenging one yet and require me to test my faith as I had never tested it before. I honestly didn’t even recognize it as a dream until my friend “dragged” it out of me. We spent every Wednesday together with our babies who were born 10 days apart and one day we got talking about our careers and goals. My friend, being the go-getter she is, encouraged me to share any career aspirations I might have had. 

She managed to breathe life into this tiny spark of an idea I had lodged in the depths of my brain. I had never let myself sit with this idea or legitimize it in any way. However, once I had spoken of it out loud I could not put it to rest. It became absolutely imperative to start pursuing this goal. After all, my time on maternity leave was proving to me that I could do just about anything I set my mind to. 

It’s been less than 8 months since I committed to starting my own side hustle, as a Pawdoption Guide, and there’s no turning back! My mission is too important! I want to shout from the rooftops to #adoptdontshop and empower pet owners and future pet owners with knowledge and tools to cultivate amazing relationships with their pets. I will see to it that more people choose pet adoption because they feel supported and educated in their efforts to become pet owners. 

Getting Back in the Clinic

It’s no wonder I’m feeling a bit apprehensive in the last few days of my leave. What an amazing road I’ve had to get to where I am now. What an opportunity for reflection and self- development.

My anxieties seem to revolve around less time with my son (how that will impact myself and him) and how our family will handle the displaced housework and the morning/evening change in routine. Can I just say that it’s okay to FEEL! I am a rational person, I can reason out why I must return to the clinic but it doesn’t make it any less difficult. Just so you know, the best thing you can do when talking to a mom is just listen and let them feel their feelings. I know this transition is necessary and the time is right but it’s still stressful and I’m not going to pretend it’s going to be a cakewalk.

The role I am returning to as an RVT will also be a big transition. In order to have more stability and routine, I have taken on new responsibilities at the animal hospital. This decision was not made lightly. Previously my day to day revolved around surgery; admitting patients, prepping for, monitoring and aiding in the recovery of surgery. I will now be assisting veterinarians with appointment flow and spending much more time interacting with clients and their pets in the exam room. 

At first, when thinking about this, there were a lot of tears, I couldn’t control the emotion pouring out of me. How could I be an RVT and not do surgery? I had come to love surgery and that feeling I got from keeping our patients safe and comfortable. After I calmed down, I realized I had come to define myself by these skills. My self-worth was totally wrapped up in surgery. The ability to place catheters, monitor surgery, adjust anesthetic gas and fluid rates, even bond with the veterinarians in surgery – these things defined me as a tech. If I think less of myself without surgery, what would others think? Will I still be respected?

I had no clue that I was so attached to one aspect of my job. However, it took me very little time to decide that my family took priority and that I needed stability in my life right now. This is probably one of the most selfless choices I’ve ever made – giving up something I love for the people I love. But I’ve come to think of it like this; it is what you make of it! If I go into this new role kicking and screaming I have no doubt I’ll dislike it, but if I choose to give it my all, start honing new skills and become an expert in something completely different I could really grow. It’s time to redefine myself as an RVT. I am responsible for who I become and I am limited when I define myself by one thing. 

It’s almost impossible to prepare yourself for this transition. You just have to live it and feel it. Going back to work means less time with my son but it’s an opportunity for career growth. The growing pains are inevitable but it’s time. It’s time for my son to have more independence and it’s also time for me to relinquish some of my control and dependence on him. 

Moms everywhere are amazing for going through this crazy, emotional journey that is motherhood. We are warriors in all we do and all that we have done! I have never felt braver than I did following my son’s birth or now in my choice to go back to work. All I can say is that it’s time… 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the DrAndyRoark.com editorial team.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bethany is a Registered Veterinary Technician from Kitchener, ON Canada. She proudly serves as an RVT at a small animal practice for 6+ years now. Rescue pets are near and dear to her heart; heck, she’s got 3 of her own! She launched her very own side hustle Pawdoption Guide while on maternity leave, in order to connect families with the RESCUE pet of their dreams! Please join the #adoptdontshop movement and find out more at www.pawdoptionguide.com.

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