I love my job. I am a psychiatrist and am very lucky to be able to listen to and offer suggestions to individuals and families in crisis. Yes, medication is sometimes part of the recommendation but not always. “Talk therapy”, while not utilized by psychiatrists as much as they would like due to insurance demands (I am out of network for that reason) goes a long way in healing a situation. I love my other job of being a mother but often feel it’s the more challenging of my two careers. I was very pleased this morning when my daughter was brushing her hair which is SO hard to brush due to its texture….. She gave me the LOOK and said, “Mom, you know it doesn’t have to be perfect! Nothing is perfect!” Yea!!! Success. Sometimes I have wondered if perfectionism is genetic as I have often struggled to ease up, relax, chill out (in both healthy and some unhealthy ways at times) and then cringe when I see my daughter having a meltdown for simply coloring outside the lines. I think: “I didn’t teach her that. She’s just too hard on herself. Great, we need a therapy fund and an education fund.” Isn’t it interesting how the times change? I thought if I worked really hard and was successful, THEN and only THEN I would be happy as a byproduct of that success. I want my daughter to be happy and productive. I see that her life will produce success — in a way that I can’t predict– if she finds her own way to that happiness. Sure, I will teach her values, take her to church, teach her to respect others, support her choices provided they don’t hurt other people but I know I can’t instruct her in how to become happy anymore than I can tell my patients what to do to make themselves “happy.” It’s a joint venture and I simply facilitate the process. I don’t tell my patients “Quit that job!” or “Get a divorce!” I do not know what is best but I help them come to conclusions from a more objective, less emotional perspective. Motherhood, or parenthood I should say, is far more complicated. I already sort of don’t want her to be a doctor….simply because I know how difficult medical school is and I want her to have more fun during her 20′s plus get a little more sleep! But, that’s her choice and if she chooses medicine I will support her 100%. I also know some lawyers who are frustrated with “the system” so ….. if I could pick I would hope my daughter is a happily well-adjusted school teacher. Now, that WOULD be putting my very subjective input on her (I wanted to be a teacher) so I think I will continue to just ask lots of questions and give lots of love and support and watch in awe as she continues to grow into her own, very different little perfectly imperfect person. She is still perfect to me. Oh, yea….tell us, do you love your job? What’s harder…your “job” or parenting?