I was not one of those little girls that grew up dreaming about motherhood. I was academically driven and thrived from the affirmation that I received from the accomplishments I achieved. I was in everything a child could take part in and felt loved because of the attention I received from my achievements. Being an overachiever and working so hard often caused me to lose the enjoyment out of most of what I did. Everything became work to me after a while. I’ve had 10+ years of piano lessons and still own the beautiful piano that my father refurnished for me in my home, but I never play it.
My dedication, however, did not fail. When I put my mind to something, I did it well. The downside of this is that people never saw the effort I put into this success. The hard work, determination, and pressure that I put on myself to not fail myself or others contributed to migraines and meltdowns. I was afraid of letting go of the standards that I had set for myself and for what I felt people were expecting of me. These standards were high, definitely higher than I wanted them.
This continued through college. I was top in my class and senior of the year in my department. I became the first to publish an undergraduate research project in a nationally recognized nutrition journal and received many grants and scholarships for my work. I hired into and became a highly respect dietitian at one of the greatest academic hospitals in the country. I married a physician and we were an unbeatable team.
Then, life took me on a different path. One that involves a tremendous amount of work with little affirmation or appreciation. A job you can’t burn out of, because you can’t quit, leave, or retire. It’s a job that being an overachiever is not highly recommended. It often involves sitting back and allowing things to happen, even though it may go completely against your grain. It’s one that means letting go of control at times, and we all know how well I handle that. Welcome to being a stay-at-home mom.
Everyday I wake up trying to balance this internal transition of what my hearts says versus my natural instincts. Slowly, my natural instincts are changing. It will take the full-time that my children remain under the roof of my home for me to become “good” (not perfect) at what I now do. It is by far the most challenging position that I have ever had, but one that I have no question has the biggest rewards. In this process, I am blessed to now watch my children play without the pressures I remember so clearly. This gives me all the affirmation that I need to continue…