I went to Target for the first time by myself with both kids the other day. No one had a meltdown. No one forced me to leave earlier than I intended, and I only had to buy one dollar aisle toy to ward off the whining. The whole time I was in the store, I was silently fist pumping because things were actually going okay. The moment I left Target I felt just as much, if not more success than I did when I landed my first job out of grad school. Yeah, it’s true, I seriously felt like I had a runner’s high as I was driving home.
Who would have thought my definition of success would change so drastically after I had kids? Back in my pre-kid days success was defined by grades, degrees, and other peoples’ opinion of me. Now, surviving a Target run is right up there with “graduated college in the top 10% of my class”. Am I downplaying my other achievements? No, of course not. My priorities have changed, my lifestyle has changed, and my job has changed. I can no longer base my success on my patient satisfaction scores for the quarter, so I changed my parameters for successfulness. These days the scale is less about how many patients I can see in a day and more about “number of toddler tantrums” and “number of things I can accomplish during nap time”. I’m okay with that because in all honesty, getting the dishes done, folding all of the laundry, and vacuuming while the boys are asleep feels just as good as winning the county spelling bee in 5th grade (if you know me, you know how highly I regard that).
So no, I am not going to get a raise, a diploma, or even a handshake for my “successes” these days, but I will give myself one of my son’s potty training stickers and maybe have an extra piece of chocolate tonight.♥