Moms Make it Work: Erin from Oklahoma

Today we have Erin posting about her life as a physician with three (adorable) kids, and Erin is someone I've 'known' pre-motherhood via the wonderful internet;) When making my list of bloggers I wanted to include in this series, I tried to keep it fairly equal between working moms and stay-at-home moms. Although Erin doesn't blog anymore, I really wanted her take on being a working mom in the healthcare field since she has a different work schedule that most. I'm glad she agreed to post and was not disappointed by her words of wisdom! Enjoy, and find the rest of the series here.


Hello!  My name is Erin, and I can be found IG as teamcorbin.  I'm a has-been blogger (teamcorbin.blogspot and who met Julia through our nesting days.  I love that I've been able to keep up with my “internet friends” through IG, blogs and facebook.  I'm a little intimidated about doing this post because all of the ones before me have been so good.  What else could I possible have to offer?  So, feel free to just scroll through to look at my adorable kids – I won't be offended ;)  Also, WOW – this turned out to be long!

-What is your background story? What was your career/schooling before you became a mom? And now where are you?

Aside from a brief period in high school where I wanted to be a mortician (yes...a mortician), I always knew I wanted to be a doctor.  I'm not sure I ever  seriously considered any other field.  Luckily, college was mostly a breeze and I was accepted into medical school after earning my 4 year degree in biology.  I completed medical school in 2008 and finished a three year pediatric residency in 2011.  I am currently practicing as a pediatric hospitalist which means I only care for kids admitted to the hospital and don't have a clinic of my own.  It has been an ideal schedule for us until more recently, which I'll get into later.  I currently work ten to fourteen days a month, with each of those days consisting of 24 hours of being on call. 

My husband, Heath, and I met the week before I graduated college.  I knew pretty much right away that he was “the one”, as cliché as that sounds.  We moved in together 7 months later and got married Spring Break of my second year of medical school.  We will celebrate our 8 year anniversary next month.  Our infertility/failed adoption/fostering journey is (and was) a blog all of it's own.  The short version is that we struggled for two years to get pregnant the 'ol fashioned way, had three failed private adoption placements, and decided to give the foster parent thing a try out of desperation for wanting to be parents.  At the time, it was more of something to pass the time until we moved forward with in vitro, but looking back I can see how we were clearly placed on that path for a reason.  Thru the difficult journey of fostering, and the beautiful gift of adoption, we now have three amazing children.  Sam, our 5 year old, came into our lives amidst the chaos of my intern year as a gorgeous, joyful 7 month old.  We adopted him two years later.  His half sister, Nora joined us at 4 days old and is our spunky, independent two year old diva.  Their brother Jack, who just turned one, followed only 11 months later.  They are a constant reminder that God's purpose doesn't always match my plans.  


-What are the best parts of your situation? What are the biggest challenges? 
The best thing about my situation is that I get to do two things that I'm very passionate about – practice medicine and be a mother.  My schedule is amazing in that, even when I'm on call for those ten to fourteen days, I have the flexibility to go to my kids' school parties, take them to doctors' appointments and even take care of them at home when they're sick.  Ironically, I have my sick two year old sleeping on my chest while I type this post and simultaneously answer pages.  Talk about multi-tasking!  On my days off service, I still have a few work responsibilities as the medical director of our program, but it allows me to catch up on the normal things that get cast aside while I'm on service (i.e. laundry, dishes, pinterest – ha!).  I found very early on, that I really need a few days of alone time in order to feel like I have everything under control in an otherwise stressful house!

The biggest challenge in our situation is finding a balance in it all.  I'm sure most working mothers would tell you that regardless of how many hours a day or how many days a week they work.  I try to give 100% of myself to everything I do, which makes it difficult if my pager goes off four times while I'm trying to cook dinner and have two toddlers hanging onto my ankles.  My weeks on call can be very demanding and I never know when I will get called back to the hospital. I find myself wishing away my weeks on service knowing that I will be so consumed with work, and likely have so many work-related interruptions, that there is no reason to even try to plan fun activities or even leave the house.  I often wish I had a job that I could leave at the door when I came home in the evenings or at least address at my own convenience rather than one that constantly pulls me away from my family.    


-Is this your ideal situation? If not, what is?
Yes and no.  I have never had the desire to stay at home, and given my career choice, I knew I would always have a job that demanded a lot.  My children are my world, but my identity outside of that is important to me too.  I get so much joy in being able to take care of sick kids and really love what I do.  Thankfully, my kids go to a daycare with providers that adore them and I have an amazing support system takes up where I have to leave off.  In that way, this is ideal.  On the other hand, doing life with my little family is so important to me and I hate having to miss out on the little things.  I'm often absent from lazy, weekend breakfasts and Saturday morning cartoons because I'm rounding at the hospital.  There are many dinners where my husband and kids sit and wait for me to answer pages before we can all enjoy our meal.  As I mentioned above, I'm ready for better boundaries between my work and home life – which leads us to the next question...


-Do you see yourself making a career change (whatever that means) in the next 5-10 years, or is this current set up staying put for the long haul?

We are actually in a transition period right now.  We sold our dream house in the big city and are in the midst of building a home and moving away to a more “simple life” on the lake.  I'm hanging up my hat as a hospitalist and joining a clinic in an under-served part of the state as an outpatient rural pediatrician.  I never imagined I would move out of the city or leave my dream job as a hospitalist, but having kids certainly changes things.  I will always practice medicine, but I'm looking forward to something that allows me to give more of myself to my family.  This move will allow me to work four days a week, no evenings, no weekends.  We will have a nanny that keeps the babies in our home while I'm at work.  My husband will be able to work from home and continue to have the same amazing, flexible and supportive job he has now.  I'm nervous about the transition and how we will adjust but I'm so excited about the things to come.  At the end of the day, I'll gladly trade the convenience of a Starbucks and Whole Foods to remove the distractions and get back to what really matters to us: our family.   

-Tips on how you make this work for you?

I absolutely, without a doubt, could not do what I do if it weren't for my husband.  He is such an amazing father and is quick to pick up where I have to leave off.  He does at least half of the parenting (sometimes more on an exceptionally crazy week at work), a good portion of the housework and rarely makes a complaint.  We have a partnership that just works.  It makes a huge difference to be able to look across the table at the end of the day and know that no matter how wild the kids are, how many times a drink gets spilled, and how many hours the bedtime routine takes us, we will get through it together.  He's been my solid supporter and encourager through so many difficult life transitions and I wouldn't want to do this life with anyone else.  

Also, lots of tequila.  Kidding.  Kind of.  

-How do you handle mommy guilt that comes with each role? Advice for new moms struggling with returning to work outside of the home? 

This was something I worried a lot about before even applying to medical school.  Ultimately, I know I wouldn't be fulfilled if I didn't have a career.  So, it's a continuous struggle to maintain a balance at being a good physician and an even better mom.  I think ultimately you just have to try out a few things and figure out what works best for you.  Rather than beat myself up because I am at work during the day, I think about all of the fun projects and activities my kids get to do while they're at daycare.  Also, our two-income home allows us to go on fun trips and hire a nanny.  I also try to be really intentional with the time I do have.  Two hours in the evening can be gone before I know it if I am too worried about dishes and laundry to sit and enjoy my children.  I certainly don't have it down and it's a constant work in progress, but I think we're finally setting into a routine that works for us – right before we move and it all changes again!  My biggest struggle is not feeling like I measure up to other moms out there, but constantly reminding myself that I just can't do it all.   Comparison is certainly the biggest thief of my joy.  It's hard to get through an exceptionally trying day with fussy children while you see that your IG friend just baked a homemade rhubarb pie with her well-mannered three year old's help in a spotless kitchen.  While I love the community I've developed through social media, it's so hard to not compare to the Pinterest moms who seem to have it all together.  I think it's important to remember that while you're scrolling through instagram, you're only getting a peek at everyone's “highlight reel” and not their “behind the scenes”.  Embrace the kind of mom that YOU are and do it with a smile.  My kids may not have had the most creative, homemade valentines or eat gourmet meals each night but we sure do have a mean dance party while we wait for the pizza to be delivered.  


Thank you, Erin! The entire Moms Make it Work series is found here.


  1. Julia, is it just me or do you have a LOT of friends named Erin?!
    Another great post! Thanks for sharing, Erin :) Your children are beautiful and how blessed they are to have a mother like you. While the guilt of not being able to "do it all" can creep in, think of the gift you are giving them by practicing such a noble career. You are an amazing role model to your children!

    1. Ha! I thought about all the "Erin's" too! Must have been a popular name in the early 80's ;)
      Thank you so much for your sweet words! I feel like I've gotten a great big social media hug today!

  2. Loved reading your post, Erin! I can't wait to watch on instagram as you transition into your new life - it does sound pretty amazing!! I have a physician friend (internal medicine) with 2 kids who chose that track (4 day a week clinic work vs hospital) and it has been a great balance for her. Her husband is also a physician so I think that part is a little tough because he can't pick up the slack as much, but I know she is loving her schedule and the only part that is hard is the paperwork and no time to complete it, but I think that is true in many roles in medicine.

    Also, I definitely chuckled at the image of an IG of a perfectly baked rhubarb pie made with a toddler - yeah right :) Giving up completely on the idea that I can "do it all" has been very freeing and helped my mentality a ton over the past few years!

    1. Thanks, Erin :) Glad to know your friend likes her role in clinic - I'm definitely nervous since it's so different than what I always thought I'd do. But, if it leaves me more time with my sweet babes, I'll take it! And you're right, realizing that you can't do it all is absolutely freeing!

  3. Loved your post, Erin, you are one of my favorites! It's funny - while you feel insecure looking at other moms' IG feeds, they probably feel the exact same way when looking at yours! You are a beautiful, professional woman with three gorgeous kids and a gorgeous husband and a great house - you've got it going on, girl!

    I feel the same way about myself - I feel insecure sometimes when looking at other people's pics, and yet I remind myself that those are 2-second glimpses at life, and that people could feel the same way when looking at my pictures - which of course mostly show the good among a lot of not-as-good!

    I really enjoyed learning a little more about your background and daily life, and the changes ahead for your family are SO exciting! I look forward to following along. :) Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Erin -- girl, I'm a huge fan of YOUR'S! You sure know how to make a tired, overwhelmed momma feel good about herself! More than all the other posts, I related so much to what you had to say. There's nothing wrong with being a momma who loves her kids but loves her time as a working, independent woman away from them! So glad we've found each other in this small social media world, I love following your sweet life!

  4. Another great post, I really enjoyed this one because I work in health care myself and it's tough to not be able to always leave the office behind because of the after hours calls, etc. Your kids are adorable and I hope your transition to your new job goes smoothly. Sounds heavenly to build away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get "back" to what really matters!

  5. Kinda wishing my name was Erin ;-)

    I've been a longtime fan of Dr. Erin :) for a while now. We also connected in our pre-motherhood days back when she was still blogging & my view of her hasn't wavered after all these years! She constantly handles a full plate with grace & humor & sass. I mean if I ever complain that I'm exhausted or have too much on my to-do list, you all have full permission to yell in my face: ERIN!!! And her outlook on life is incredibly inspiring, all the while keeping it real.

    And hello, she's HOT & STYLISH! I mean, look at her! We also share a love for margaritas, so there's also that. Best gal pal I have yet to meet.

    Best of luck with the life transition, E!!! It sounds glorious & the ultimate best thing for your family. Thanks for featuring a fab interview/series, Julia!


  6. I loved reading this post. I'm so inspired by every mom and Erin is definitely inspiring me. I love how she talks about wanting to be a great doctor and an even better mom. I think she's obviously succeeding. I wish her well in her next chapter.

  7. This is one of my favorite entries. Agreed that Erin is quite the inspiration! I shared this with my cousin who is a med student and is doing a pediatric residency and she loved it too. It gave her hope to what her life might possibly look like for her in the future.

  8. Love me some, Erin! What an awesome and beautiful story getting all of those cuties to be yours forever! Love it!


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