As the more astute of you may have realised by now I am a SAHM… that is parenting forum speak for Stay At Home Mum. It hardly encompasses my role but, hey, that’s a post for another day.
In the days BC (before children) I had a job. Actually it was a career of over a decade in duration. I earned more than my husband. It was really quite high powered and despite constantly feeling like an imposter I was surprisingly good at it. Annually I would fill in those endless, tedious forms about my achievements over the last year and sit in front of a manager- whose only real interest was in my sales results- and receive feedback. And hopefully a bonus and possibly a pay rise. Occasionally over that 12 year period I was promoted which meant a definite pay increase and more people to sit in front of every year and provide feedback to.
And usually if the manager could see past my slight ‘oddness’ – variously described as scruffiness, dislike of networking, lack of killer instinct- I got positive feedback, maybe a few development areas too, but generally a lot of good stuff.
And also I had grateful clients, colleagues who needed me to help them out, managers whose butts I saved.
And I miss it. I miss sitting down a few times a year and being told I was good at something. By someone other than my mother. I miss the cards from clients. I miss the gratefulness of colleagues.
Now my days are ruled in large part by small people and a house. They are not that good at feedback. Really. So for instance I take it as a positive if the food I provide is eaten by everyone without comment. That is a win. Comments are usually only negative. The abode of course doesn’t speak. It cannot thank me for being dusted. The wall cannot provide gratitude for being painted.
And so the job is long on tedium and drudgery and short on thanks.
Therefore when my off spring achieve something amazing I feel not only the usual mother’s pride but also a slight sense of validation. I know this is wrong. In my heart I know that I am in no way responsible for the wonderful things they achieve. That they are their own people who work hard at something or are just (lucky them) naturally good at something else. But I feel it anyway.
This blog has helped. People like reading it, or so they say! I certainly feel less of a need to post about my children on Face book as a result. (Which incidentally is such a hot topic of debate- I personally love hearing about my friend’s children’s achievements because otherwise how would I know?-but I know opinion is divided).
So there you have it a mostly silent readership is providing that little bit of validation. I will still feel pride at all my kids achieve, who wouldn’t, but maybe I will see those achievements for what they are and not as a reflection of how well I am ‘performing’. And I will just be able to enjoy the moment.
Yep. When fellow bloggers leave feedback, it does give one a sense of achievement and belonging. Validation, as you put it.