Session 66: Balancing Private Practice and Parenting

Welcome! Today’s guest is Dr. Robin Norris, LMFT, in Sterling, VA. Robin works hard every day at being a parent of two young children AND being a clinician in private practice. She’s here to talk about the practical steps she has taken to perform well at both roles.

Here is what Robin has to share:

  • In balancing private practice and parenthood, there are two main goals:
    • The flexibility with both kids and the practice
    • The back-up plan for emergency coverage for either one
  • Robin shares how she reached out to colleagues to plan ahead for maternity leave.
  • Robin’s schedule is a “work in progress,” as the kids’ needs change as they grow.
  • Robin intentionally lives in another town than where she practices, so that her children are not growing up in the community where she practices.
  • Robin has flexible and “as needed” childcare in place, both from her mother-in-law and from other babysitters.
  • Robin shares how she schedules out blocks of time each week: some hours for clients, some hours for business needs, and some hours for her kids.
  • There is a need for flexibility and a “cushion” for snow days, sick days, and school delays.
  • It’s helpful to find other parents who want to swap out childcare hours and tasks.
  • Robin’s two biggest mistakes have been: 1-Thinking she could “do it all,” and 2-Thinking “down time” from the kids at home is good for work.
  • Ask yourself, “What support do I need?”
  • Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your scheduling needs often.
  • It takes a good team in place to make it all work. Robin explains how an online babysitting service came to her rescue when she was new in town.
  • Striking this balance as a clinician has helped Robin understand clients’ needs and given her new appreciation and perspective on hardships.
  • Robin says, “Everyday should have humor, hugs, tears, and talk.”


Email Robin at


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