Several years ago, I was a high performer. I had worked hard in my career and put myself in a place for a good future. I was even maintaining that level of performance during my first pregnancy, and I honestly thought I would be easy to keep going. Then my son died.
I look back on that time now, and it’s like I’m looking at a different person. That old Miranda lived in a different world, where everything felt like it was possible. And even though it has been almost 3 years since then, I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m not that person anymore. I have had to slow down because I didn’t have any choice. I have had to focus on myself, because I didn’t have any choice. And now I have a second child, and she takes priority in everything I do.
That doesn’t mean I’m not a good performer anymore. I’m still working as hard as I’m able. What it does mean is that I think about my daughter in all of my decisions. While I am available for the needs of my employer, I’m not going to be first to volunteer for the bigger projects or things that take me away from her. And while I have spent money on babysitters when long nights were necessary, they aren’t going to be the norm for me anymore. Everything is a balancing act now. And for me and my family, that’s how it should be.
My employer is an amazing organization. And I am thankful, every day, that I was with this job when my world ended, because they took care of me. But in the end, for me, it’s still just a position. One that I am committed to and love, but nothing that will ever replace what I feel for both of my children.
In my world, my children come first. I will do everything possible to continue to be a good performer, but I will not kill myself to put my job above my family. And maybe that’s a lesson I needed to learn. I just wish the price hadn’t been so high.