Meghan Martin is a pediatric emergency room physician, a mom of four, and now, a TikTok star, with 1.3 million followers and several videos getting picked up everywhere from Good Morning America to Scary Mommy.
She’s built her robust audience by giving crucial and easy to understand medical advice to other parents, during the pandemic and after. Most recently, posts about the danger of wire grill brushes and the fallacies of dry drowning have gone viral.
For this week’s Meet a Mom interview, The Local Moms Network spoke to this busy mom about her social media success and motivation, her day job, and how she manages to do both—while parenting four busy kids.
Can you please tell us a bit more about yourself?
I’m married with four kids and four cats; the kids are 5, 7, 11 and 13. We live in St. Petersburg, Florida. We had our first baby while in medical school; a lot of people wait until they’re further in training, but I knew I loved kids and wanted to start our family. It was challenging [being a parent] going through the stages of becoming a doctor. But I’m thrilled with our kids and they’ve managed through all of the busy times.
What’s your typical day like – you’ve shared online that you often work nights?
There’s no typical day and zero consistency in my life – the kids do have some though. Last night I worked until 2 am and then I was able to sleep until 9 am. I had a meeting, gave the kids brunch/lunch and then I went back to sleep for a few hours. Now I’m doing this interview, going for a walk and heading into work again. I try to pack a healthy lunch and squeeze in some movement when I can.
Busy busy! What’s your working mom mantra or strategies you use to make it all happen?
I always say get help when you can. We have two nannies, a mother and daughter that switch off weeks. I am lucky enough to have a very supportive spouse. My daughter has a soccer game tonight and I’ll work and he will manage all four kids at the game.
We also focus on priorities—keeping everyone fed and happy and not necessarily worrying about the dishes getting done. They can be done tomorrow. The laundry will get done when it is necessary – the soccer jersey will get done now but the rest of it can wait. If you see my videos, my house is not one of those that are perfect homes on social media; it’s messy. There is laundry on my couch, but the bathrooms are clean.
Love that – parenting is all about prioritizing. What are 3 things you never let your kids do, as an emergency room physician?
They’ll be in the safest car seat they can be until they physically don’t meet the size limitations. We will never own a trampoline. (I will occasionally let them jump at a friend’s house but one at a time.) And lastly, my kids will never swim in a pool unattended. Water safety even with big kids is important.
What is your favorite part of your job? And of the social media platform you’ve created?
The satisfaction of being able to handle a difficult case and get them where they need to be. Seeing that sick kid back walking and talking, and come in for a normal thing like an ear infection—that feels great. With TikTok, I would say similarly, someone commenting or sending a message that they learned from me, or were able to talk to their doctor about something I mentioned — that makes it worth it.
Speaking of TikTok and helping others, is it ever frustrating trying to communicate your messages?
Yes, always…whenever you’re saying something to a large group of people there are people that will twist your words. They hear what you’re saying but they hear something else or misconstrue the intention. Somewhere in the middle of the journey I decided to focus on the positive. If people ask questions sincerely I want to do my best to answer them because there is a lot of information out there and false news.
Do you know when a story will go viral?
In generally have a sense that a video will do well or something won’t do well but I’m just sharing information. I didn’t expect the grill brush video to have over 40 million views and hit every major network. But it’s a good case and I’m happy it went viral rather than something that wasn’t informational.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be honest I don’t really know. The way my life has worked things have happened naturally. I plan to continue to make content and it’s an outlet from the bad things I see every day. I’m not sure where this will go!