I was raised in New York City, with a proverbial silver spoon in my mouth. My parents only had one child, and they were both very career-driven. We lived very well, and employed a revolving door of nannies and babysitters. My parents, although loving, were mostly driven by other pursuits. They wanted me to be happy, of course, but ultimately they put things—their jobs, travel, intellectual pursuits—before me. They loved each other and enjoyed each other’s company; their marriage was first and foremost. And so, when I said my first word—“mamma”—it was to my nanny.
I never consciously rebelled against this way of being. I grew up and went to a great university, and then a better graduate school, where I met and married my husband. I cultivated a career in my twenties and then abandoned it in favor of a different one. My husband was supportive and patient.
When I turned the corner into my thirties, though, my priorities shifted. I’d always thought of myself as very career-oriented. I defined myself by my work and was proud of what I’d achieved. I think the pressure from basing my identity on my job caught up with me and I found myself often indulging a harmless escape fantasy—“Would it be so bad if I defined myself as a mother and wife? Would it be the worst thing if I put my family first?” Those are leading questions.
Read the rest of the story HERE, on Quartz at Work!