As this annus horribilis draws to its close, I find myself reflecting on the meaning of achievement.
Since moving down to Wiltshire seven years ago, my career focus has changed. The move was for the kids, for schools, for space. We could ensure that we'd be present parents who could drop the children off and pick them up from school every day, we could sit with them as they did their homework. Life was very different in London, where long hours in after-school clubs were the norm.
We want to keep that balance, without using au pairs or other childcare. This means that it's not possible for me to work full-time, and it's far less likely for me to have a glittering career. Like the many (usually) mothers who choose to take part-time employment, the rewards are different, more internal rather than out in the world.
I still want to make a difference. I still want to have an impact. But I need to remember that I can measure my achievements in a different way.