Prior to having children, I obtained two university degrees and then worked full-time as a teacher. Throughout my schooling I earned multiple scholarships and awards, consistently held a GPA higher than 4.0, and received exemplary evaluations from my supervisors and employers.
Now I am a stay-at-home mom of two under two-and-a-half, and the majority of my days are spent changing diapers, nursing, planning activities for my curious toddler, preparing suppers, doing laundry, etc. There’s nothing in my life that would explicitly highlight a great accomplishment. There are no scholarships to be awarded or A+’s to be given, no “best of” rating to earn or “top 10” list to make, there is no trophy to win.
For someone who is very accustomed to working towards and obtaining these types of external rewards, and basing my success (or failure) on them, this motherhood thing was a difficult adjustment. How am I supposed to feel accomplished now that all of these rewards are removed?
A while before having my second baby, my husband asked me what so far has been my proudest moment. I went quiet as I started to reflect on all the major milestones in my life so I could make an informed decision. My husband looked at me, dumbfounded, and said “Having our son, I would hope!?” I grinned sheepishly, slightly embarrassed that this hadn’t even crossed my mind. This little conversation helped me realize that raising kids is no trivial task.
At night I take a moment to sit on the couch, look down the hallway towards the rooms where my boys are sleeping, and remind myself how amazing my children are. They bring so much joy to my life and to others. Therefore I, as their mother, am highly successful indeed.
“We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”
– Mother Teresa