“No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].” 

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich

What is a DMD Mastermind and why did I start it?
by Shawn Stratton

Have you ever had days where you feel like you are not cut out to be a dad? Ever get to the point when you wonder why you had kids and how easy life would be without them? How about days when as a dad you feel like you are being a jackass to your kids because you lose your cool on them? And, of course, there is the feeling of isolation many of us dads go through. It’s hard for me to even write this because I love my kids dearly, but honestly, these are feelings I have had over the last few months and that saddens me, because it’s not who I am.

Every day, when my wife gets home from work, I seem to vent about the brief moments when the kids caused me a little grief in the day, instead of talking about the fun/learning moments and asking how her day was.

Stratton Family

This is a note I posted to a dad Facebook group a year ago. It was at this time I wondered if there was a dad mastermind group I could join. I had been involved in masterminds for years, mostly focused on different aspects of businesses I was involved in, but I had never considered a mastermind for dads until this moment.

A Mastermind Group is a small group of like-minded people who meet for mutual brainstorming, support, and accountability sessions.

At the time I wrote this, note we were living in Oxford, England, our third city in four years. My wife, an orthopedic surgeon, was completing her second and final post residency fellowship in spine surgery. We also just found out she was pregnant with our soon to be third daughter. My other daughters were 3 and 5 at the time.

Compounded with the stress of managing the kids, was the move to not only a new city, but also a new country and managing all the logistical nightmares that these moves bring. I had to put my business pursuits on hold for a year while in England, and quickly found myself isolated with very little adult interaction in the run of a week. All the while getting set up in England, my wife was heavy in the job search, looking for a permanent job for when her fellowship ended in 9 months. Yes, once again, we would be moving and we had no idea of what city or even country we would end up going to shortly after our next daughter was born.

Stratton Family

My search for a mastermind for dads led me to Larry Hagner and his Dad Edge Mastermind group, along with his outstanding Good Dad Project podcast. I reached out to Larry and after a few good conversations; I joined one of his groups starting in January 2017. In the group, there was great camaraderie, self-development and genuine connections. There were also many aha learning moments and I developed a deep gratitude to the fortunate position I was in after hearing some of the significant challenges several of the other guys were overcoming at work and at home.

Despite all the support I received in that mastermind group, I felt that my position as a Dad Married to a Doctor was hard for the guys to relate with. You know, putting your life on hold for the moves, supporting her through the years and years of training on a modest income, the hours she spends at work, the solo parenting challenges, explaining that mommy is ‘on call’ to a 4-year old and that you don’t actually know when she will be home, and the eventual reward of a significant income boost with a massive stress load, which in midlife goes to paying down debts, mortgages and all her business expenses.

Yes, there are many positives to being a DMD, but for most of us we never imagined not being the main breadwinner of the family, or being the primary care parent, running the household, doing most of the household duties and being the one to drop everything the second a child is sick and can’t go to school, even if it’s just pink eye for the 5th time.

These are not complaints, just a fact of life for most DMDs, but the fact is we don’t have many people to talk to that can relate to these unique challenges. And don’t get me wrong, there are massive benefits to being married to a doctor, especially my wife 😉

Shawn and kids

These ‘in home’ challenges posed by my DMD status caused my business to suffer and in turn my confidence, and self-worth. The level of accountability to my goals, aspirations and passions were also affected. These challenges led to frustrations that became bottled up inside of me and occasionally came out on my kids.

At one point, I was concerned with my kids’ behavior. I even went to my GP asking for some parenting classes to help curve their behavior. In doing a little research on anger management and talking out my challenges with the mastermind group, I realized that I was the one with the poor behavior. I learned or re-learned that if I am not taking care of myself, I am not going to be great at taking care of my kids.

Having the accountability and sounding board of the mastermind group helped me gain greater self-awareness along with many business and parenting tools and tactics.

This is the reason why I decided to start a mastermind group devoted to DMDs.

LiveMore Masterminds for Dads Married to Doctors is a mastermind group of DMDs who are looking to maximize their potential through accountability and peer support while navigating the unique challenges and rewards of being married to a doctor.

Shawn - subway with kids

If you are interested in joining or want more information on our mastermind group for DMDs, please visit LiveMore Masterminds for Dads Married to Doctors

If you have specific questions or would like to speak with a current mastermind participant about their experience, hit me up at sstratton@livemoregroup.com.