I'm a stay at home Mom with 2 kids and I wouldn't change it for the world. However, there was a time I had a real career...one for which I studied many years and invested may hours gaining loads of great experience. Had someone told me ten years ago that all I would really care about now is winning the "Parent of the Decade" award I would've laughed! I'm exagerating, of course, .....but only a bit.
See the truth is that many of us ambitious, previously career driven girls have now chosen (and have the priviledge) of being a stay at home mom and thus, this is now my career. I can assure you, I work very hard and research many hours to make sure I excel at it.
It's amazing the little things I get concerned with like currently I worry that my 5mth old is eating to much solids and that the highest proportion of this is made up of carbs. I worry that I don't have enough quality time with my 4yr old and that I let her watch too much TV during the times I'm kept busy with baby. I try very hard and spend copious amounts of time ensuring that 4yr old has many playdates with ALL her play school friends so that she has a nice, broad and active social life.
It dawned on me today that large amounts of my conversation with hubby centres around opinions and experiences that I gained that day with regards to rearing our kids. He will tell me about potentially succesful sales meetings or "code bugs" and I'll be excited because according to the book "Feeding Sense', I discovered today that I may be feeding our baby nutritiously after all!
I'm not yet sure how I measure success in the parenting career.... Ideally, all I really want is a happy child but honestly, I also want them to be successful, well-mannered and self sufficient (but also with nice sweet husbands!) one day.
Of course, the real answer is that parenting is NOT a career. It's a continuous act of unconditional love and should not at all be driven by our own misguided ambitions. So my real lesson for the day (and it will probably only last a day!) is to chill. There is no perfect in this job.....there is only love!