Motherhood is the most all-encompassing job in the world. You’re always on duty, you draw on a wide and varied skill set every day and while the pay rate may be negligible, there is a singular capacity for on-the-job joy.
It’s not surprising, then, that motherhood influences so many aspects of a woman’s life. Here’s perspective and advice from some City of Hope Orange County moms – physicians, executives and staff, all dedicated to their families and to building the future of cancer care in our community.
Annette M. Walker, president of City of Hope Orange County, is the mother of six and grandmother of 13. She says being a mother requires her to keep her priorities straight and understand competing demands on her team.
“They are the fuel, the inspiration for what I do,” Walker said of her family. Her advice for new moms? “Relish the time, as many people told me (and I didn’t believe it.) It goes by so fast!” Laura Grant says her adult children motivate her to create a better world for them in her job as executive director of strategic implementation.
“As a mom who is a cancer survivor, I work tirelessly to not have my children experience cancer in the future. It’s not work, it’s a passion,” Grant said. “As an experienced mom, I also find that I am able to help staff who are juggling work with raising small children to prioritize their time and always put family first.”
Tingting Tan, M.D., Ph.D., a medical oncologist at City of Hope Newport Beach, said being a mother shapes how she approaches patient care.
“It makes me understand my patients better, and understand my patients’ parents or my patients’ children better,” she said. “It makes me understand that not only is it important to attend to the patient, but it is important to attend to the family as well.”
Linda Buck N.P., a nurse practitioner at City of Hope Newport Beach, added that the skills she’s honed as a mom translate to her work.
“I’ve learned over the years that ‘listening’ and ‘being present’ are some of the best qualities in motherhood and patient care,” she said.
Sarah R. Sasman is the senior executive director of City of Hope Orange County’s office of philanthropy. She hopes to inspire her daughter in the future as she charts her own path in life. “I’m proud of what we’re building and share it with everyone, including my daughter,” Sasman said.
“I want her to see how successful and intelligent women work together so she has that base to build from for her own career.”
Katie Mayberry, City of Hope Orange County’s director of digital marketing, strives to model a healthy work-life balance for her children.
“When my kids see me working hard, learning and growing, I hope that inspired them to do the same,” she said. “And when I’m present with my kids and prioritizing time with them, I want them to know they are deeply loved and valued.”
These busy moms agree that motherhood is a privilege.
“For me, being a mother is the most important and rewarding job I could ever have,” said Cynthia Powers, Vice President, Associate Chief of Nursing at City of Hope Orange County. “From the moment I looked into my first child’s eyes, I was changed forever.”
In honor of Mother’s Day, some words of advice on raising children
“Your children will find their own way in life. Provide them with a strong foundation and they will grow into strong, loving and productive adults. Finally, tell them it’s OK to make mistakes – just don’t make the life-changing ones!” Susan Fox, Senior Physician Relations Liaison.
Explore life together.
“Our favorite thing to do is hiking together and exploring nature.”—Tingting Tan, M.D.
“Give lots of love and listen.”—Tingting Tan, M.D.
Go easy on yourself.
“In the end, we’re all just making it up as we go. So trust yourself, your pediatrician and your ability to Google very odd questions in the middle of the night.”—Sarah R. Sasman
“Let go of the guilt as a working mom and make the most of each moment you spend with your children. I can testify that your kids will remember the quality time you spend together and not even touch on the time you spent at work.” - Laura Grant
“Use the gifts God has given you to assert creative energy in the world. Try to not let mom guilt keep you from expressing your talents because your kids will benefit from seeing your unique contributions.”—Katie Mayberry
Motherhood is an investment in the lives of others, and the same holds true for City of Hope Orange County’s dedication to patients and their families. Discover safe and expert cancer care for the Orange County community. Call 949-763-2204 or click here to make an appointment.