You've been working yourself to the bone for as long as you can remember. At work, you shine. That's where you take charge. Work is where you feel your most competent. It's too cringey to say out loud, but sometimes you feel like a damn alchemist.
Then you come home (or leave your home office). Thud. You enter a space that sucks the life out of you. You can't remember the last time your kid smiled at you. They're still mad about that time you missed their big performance, or their birthday. You don't know who their friends are…and at this point, you're too embarrassed to even ask. That new iPhone you bought them for Christmas already has a cracked screen and no one seems to care. This isn't the parenting dream you imagined for your family.
Were you "today years old" when you realized that there aren't enough shopping sprees in the world to make your child love you? How old was your kid when they started treating you like their personal ATM?
How often do you struggle with that nagging feeling that your child doesn't appreciate how hard you work to provide for them?
When was the last time you and your colleagues had an honest conversation about how hard this parenting thing is? When was the last time you and a colleague were sincere about the struggles of raising an imperfect human during a global crisis? How many of them are honest about their kids being in therapy?
Every parenting expert is telling you that you need to spend more time with your kid (hell, maybe I've told you), but having the spare time doesn't mean you'll have the energy…or that your kid will want anything to do with you when the time avails itself.
For myself, being the child of high achievers–especially one who has done some messy relationship repair–gives me the lived experience that is rarely captured in textbooks. While I vividly remember the rage and sense of abandonment that I felt as a teen, I'm now an adult with the wisdom to see my own parents with an empathic lens. The same way I've worked through my own "stuff," I enjoy helping families move through the torment that often plagues them when there's a demanding career that sucks up all the energy in the home.
If you're ready for a therapist who can give you a non-judgmental space and help your family figure out how to make sense of a demanding career and rapidly evaporating quality time,
Beyond Diagnoses: Children of High-Achieving Parents