It’s hard for me to recognize sometimes when I’m pushing myself too hard which is why it’s been important for my family, particularly my son to be open about when he needs me. I’ve always made time for his special events, and we usually had a weekly date night where just he and I had dinner together and talked.
But, if I’m to be honest, I usually put my career first. I’m wired to be driven. I was miserable as a stay-at-home mom, and I have always loved working. I love my family, too, but for me, I needed achievement that came from reaching my professional goals. I’m just not wired to feel fulfilled living through the accomplishments of my husband and son.
And although it wasn’t perfect—I was still working from 6AM until 11PM way too many nights, I had more flexibility than before. I could help my son with his homework at least 3 days a week, and I had time and energy on the weekends to spend with my family. Then, when I finished school, I got a great full-time job doing what I loved, working only 40 hours each week, and still working from home 2 days each week.
Fortunately for me, they get me, and they’re proud of me for my achievements—just as I’m proud of them for theirs. We each have our own areas that we’re focused on. We each thrive in our own way, and we support the growth of one another. None of us are threatened by the successes of the other, and we take joy in congratulating each other on a new accomplishment—whether that’s getting 100% on a test, getting a new job, a promotion, or learning a new skill.
Sure, it’s hard keeping so much organized which is why we rely heavily on Google’s calendar function on our phones, but by this point, we pretty much have organizing our lives down to a science (it probably doesn’t hurt that we’re all 3 Virgos).