How Things Change: New Priorities
I grew up with a stay-at-home mom. She was always available, always there. As a child I was blissfully unaware of her role as an adult, as a member of society. And I suppose my kids are exactly the same!
While my mom didn’t have an actual ‘job’ or ‘career’, she was not only busy but a valuable resource and contributor on many levels. It would be ridiculous to say that she didn’t work, because she certainly did.
She ‘kept the books’ for my dad’s business, and (I now realize as an adult) had a far better business head than him. She also had a couple of volunteer positions, and helped Grandma, her mom to look after Grandpa, who suffered from early onset Alzheimers.
However, while she was, without a doubt, a busy woman, she was also a great a mom! In that respect I have her to thank for being a fabulous role model.
Strangely, I never imagined myself in the same position. When I left home I was heading out to conquer the world. I imagined myself following a career path that would lead me to a job which would give me both money and status. I was determined to be ‘somebody’, and I guess for me that involved having a serious career.
Heading to Boston University was a big step towards my ultimate goal. Because, I reasoned, everyone who was anyone had a degree or two under their belt. I got a great education, and it did indeed set me on the right path for a career.
Deciding to take a year off to travel the world was the first crack in my plan to be rich and famous! I’d begun to realize that perhaps the life that I was pursuing wasn’t going to be as satisfying as I’d imagined. That was the first hint that my priority had shifted somewhat.
I came to realize that what I really was striving for was a full balance life that was full of meaning.
Once I was back from Australia and forging ahead with my career, I made a point of reading self-help style books. In an attempt, I suppose, to make sure that my life was more than something resembling a rat on a treadmill.
The outcome of this is that I began to appreciate what I could potentially have with Allan, and ultimately, with a family of our own.
When the time came to have children we were both pumped and ready, and had spent a lot of time discussing what family life meant to us.
Once the children arrived we were really on the same page. We knew what we wanted our family values to be, and we were on the same page with most of the important questions that all parents deal with.
This isn’t to say that we didn’t argue about things along the way! But these weren’t the big relationship busters that many couples are faced with when disagreements over parenting crop up. But for the most part we’d worked through these issues before the kids even came along.
So, these days I try to make my top priority my family. Not my only priority, but it does sit at the top. And I find that if this part of my life is ticking along, the other things that I find important in life seem more achievable.