The Critical Lesson that ER Docs Can Teach Parents

Check out the the FB Live video I did on this topic instead of, or in addition to, reading the blog post!

People often joke about how being a mom means being a jack of all trades, including being a doctor.

What if a brief study of how ER docs perform could make you a much happier, more effective, and relaxed mom?

Every mom should know the basic concept that ER doctors use to get through their shifts and achieve the best possible outcome over. There are many times when being a mom feels almost as hectic as being an ER doc, so why not have the best tools for dealing with challenging situations?


This analogy came to me shortly after I left my husband for the second, and last time, in the spring of 2014. It was a very hard separation given that I had almost lost my business looking after his parents and had to go on social assistance in order to get the money together to find a place for my kids and I.

Triaging is the cornerstone of how an ER doc keeps their focus. What that means is assessing every patient’s needs to see which ones are most urgent and which can wait.

The patients who can wait may have very important, even painful, conditions. But if an ER doc gets sidetracked from the most urgent priorities, then people can die. So they have to be ruthless at addressing the most important cases first, and bypassing things that could feel satisfying to quickly do.

The patients who they can’t deal with, or can’t deal with quickly, either wait, or are sent off to someone else. (The latter sometimes happens by the patient getting tired of waiting and going to their GP the next day!).

With perfectionism rampant and expectations of moms at an all-time high, more and more moms are finding themselves depressed and overwhelmed. It could help if you apply the concept of triaging to your family. I’ll get to what to do with those less urgent but important tasks soon.

In order to triage, you need to see your to do list very differently. In the moment, drop everything, instead of taking it all on as must do’s. Keeping a to do list is fine, but let go of the expectation that you have to do more than you can! Later you can strategize about how to get other things dealt with.

But how to deal with the fact that I truly have too much to do?

In order to avoid burnout, and keep performing optimally, ER docs NEVER commit to doing it all! They triage, deal with what’s most urgent, then delegate like crazy!

Sound like a tool you could use to adopt?

I will talk next week on how to enlist more people in your life. I will also talk about how to get your husband more on board, as often that’s a key underutilized resource. I will also talk about a powerful tool to help you to reduce your expectations so you can drop some things and be okay with them not being done in the near future. Between these three suggestions, you’ll have the support you need to help you to deal with all the things that, thanks to triaging, you decide not to address at first.

I’d love to hear your comments and questions below! If you found this helpful, share it with your friends and family!


Click below to watch my FB Live recording!