I was en route to what felt like the thousandth meeting I had that day, stuck in traffic, sleepy beyond control. My mind drifted off to a cool air-conditioned room and a toddler bed with a handsome little love and a mini ballerina tucked inside. How I wanted to give up everything I had at that moment to snuggle in with them.
I’d like to think that all working moms felt this way – the agitation from having to choose between climbing the corporate ladder or raising a child, the twitch after an award-winning achievement is washed over by the guilt over what we had to sacrifice to get there. And I reminded myself over and over again of why I did what I did.
I realized soon enough that I was tired of playing the pretend game with myself. Sure enough, the thrill of rolling out a new project, the supreme satisfaction that comes with every sales target being achieved, the planning, the meetings, the people – it was one package that revived me. Not to mention the compensation I got that made me feel secure and independent. But I wouldn’t deny that it felt like there was always something more, something bigger.
I focused on purpose and priorities. And after months and months of self-reflecting, self-discovery, and self-convincing, I finally admitted that work has been a part of me for so long that I was afraid of what was going to happen if I had to let it go.
It was a liberating statement. And I knew right then what I had to do.
My days are now filled with a whole set of new challenges. Finding creative ways to make the wonderbabies eat their vegetables is one of them. Well there’s that, and helping them to do their homework, potty train, and getting them to say “please” and “thank you”, among other things. And I’m also always on the lookout for new ways to burn their energy after their naps so they can get in some hearty dinners and go to bed on time.
This is a whole new ball game. It’s about learning new things, implementing new kinds of strategies, thinking in a different way, and practicing a new form of self control. (It is often unbelievable how persistent the wonderbabies can be in trying my patience.) It’s about finding out that closing my eyes for a second while I take a deep breath can save my child (and myself) from having an entire day ruined. It’s about setting up that foundation for a lifetime of emotional connection.
Life is a choice. And I know this one is completely worth it.
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