Growing up as an only child, I was often “bored.” Ask my mother and she will tell you that there were countless times I approached her in my youth with the ever worn phrase, “I’m bored!” So it should not surprise me that as a twenty-eight year old, I often find myself “bored.” There are so many things I have yet to check off on my list of things to do in life, that I often do not know where to begin. The one thing I do know is that I am always striving toward self-fulfillment; doing something that makes a cliche’ “difference.”
Though I work as a family law practitioner, I often find the day to day work of muddling through someone else’s finances, someone else’s personal history—boring. The days that I am not bored consist of brokering agreements for two able bodied adults who once spoke and thought clearly enough to decide to marry and produce offspring and have just recently devolved into back biting, irrational creatures who refuse to compromise on whether little Johnny can be picked up at 6:00 or 6:30 and if he is to picked up, should it be at the front or the back of the Chase parking lot. I kid you not.
Not all days are like this. There are days when significant, life changing events are at issue in a family or criminal case, and I cannot believe I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of that significant positive change. But once I believe I have reached a plateau, I am simply ready to tackle the next career obstacle. Which brings me to my point: Why can’t just being who I am, a wife and a mother, BE enough?
For many reasons, I never thought I would be able to have children. And then one unexpected day, my son came along and made me incredibly happy and fulfilled. I also was unsure if I would ever marry, but I did that too. So check and check, I have completed two things on my list of “things to do” and yet, I am professionally unfulfilled. Talking to my husband the other day, he told me all he ever wanted was a family. So if I needed to chase a dream that I had, no worries, he would follow, with the baby in tow and settle down into whatever job in his field because at the end of the day, he has already achieved that one thing he always wanted.
While this made me feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for having a husband like him, it also made me feel deficient. As if I were missing that gene he possessed that enabled him to say family was enough for him. I felt like a terrible mother and wife. But then I stopped to think. This is me. Becoming a wife and a mother, did not change my DNA, it simply added to it. I am the same “me” I was as a child who became easily restless and the same “me” as a young adult, who constantly sought volunteer opportunities and anything new that would bring a challenge. Becoming a part of a family did not change what I have always wanted.
So over the last few days, I have reminded myself that it is completely okay that being a mom and a wife isn’t enough for me. I need more. I need to feel like I have propelled my talent, my education, my thoughts, into some macro level that reaches beyond my life and into someone else’s. So while I have drifted away from the lazy days at home, reminding my mother that I am “bored”, I am now tapping my husband on the shoulder or messaging him on Gchat with my latest brainchild that involves us moving half way around the country so I can teach underprivileged children or litigate on behalf of an under served population. Here we go.
Is starting a family your biggest dream? What other goals do you have that will make you feel complete?