Remember when you were a kid and you had all kinds of dreams of the places you might go and the things you might do? Truth be told, I envisioned an apartment or condo, all plush and modern, in a high rise in NYC, Chicago or LA. A sports car. Expensive suits. Fine dining. Travel to exotic and cultured destinations. And a high paying, powerful job in business. Partner in a CPA firm or CFO of a Fortune 500 company. There was no husband or kids in my plan. Instead, I’d expected stock options, expense accounts, and, of course, minions.
Funny, but somewhere along the line I seemed to have run off track. Big time.
I guess the detour started when I fell in love. I don’t remember when or how my expectations changed. They just did. Somehow the seventy-hour-week CPA job became the fifty-hour-week accounting position. The condo in the city became the home in the suburbs. The me, me, me became us, us, us.
The biggest detour of all, though, happened when I became a mother. And I’m not talking about the pregnancy part – the entire time I was pregnant I assumed post-baby life would go on pretty much as pre-baby life. I’d intended on going back to work and making my career happen. I’d just have a little kid toddling after me, right? Wrong.
Three months of maternity leave with my daughter pretty much nixed the remaining part of my plan. It just so happened that I couldn’t figure out how to be a mom and an accountant at the same time, and we were fortunate to have enough in savings that I could stay home for two years and we’d be fine.
You can guess what happened next.
Two years at home turned into eight. Eight turned into eighteen. The sports car became the van. The expensive suits fell by the wayside to make room for jean and T-shirts. Dinners consisted of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. And my travel plans revolved around state parks and camp grounds. Disney World was as exotic as it got. And minion? Right.
I sometimes regret having given up what would’ve likely been a great career to be a full-time mom, but sometimes plans change. So do we. I wouldn’t change the way things turned out for anything in the world. Except … I’d still like a minion. Or two.
A belated happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there!