Progress Report

I have my “review” today at work.

I fill out some paperwork regarding what I think my accomplishments have been over the last year — my manager solicits “360 Feedback” from my peers — and when all is said and done, I know where I have excelled, where my “opportunities for growth” are, and what my “clearly defined” goals are for the next year. We both agree, we sign the paper — and off I go.

I like this sort of thing. I like defined goals, reflection and purposeful growth.

Today, while finishing my paperwork, I thought: Professionals spend so much time “assessing ourselves” in our careers, reading books on success and business, scheduling meeting with “mentors,” learning how to give and receive feedback. But when it comes to our most important jobs as spouses and parents, do we put the same attention to “performance?”

The thought inspired me.

If I had to be reviewed on a biannual basis by my children and husband, how would I do? What would be my opportunities for growth — or my 5-year plan? If I spent as much time perfecting my skills as a parent as I do polishing my job skills, would I be an expert in my field?

And when we start applying a “work ethic” to our home life, it’s also easier to not be grumpy about getting up in the middle of the night, folding an extra load of laundry, or vacuuming up the dog hair — it’s my job, after all. I get paid for it — and richly. The salary? It’s better than any paycheck: it’s a happy, healthy, thriving family.

So maybe this year I’ll add  “grow a vegetable garden” under growth opportunities — and “pray more” under time management. Oh, wait. My goals need to be “specific, time-bound and measurable.” So, let me restate: I’ll grow some rosemary this Spring and take time for a devotion every night before bed. I’ll ask my husband how I can make his life easier. I’ll read books about motherhood. And at the end of the year? I’ll reflect, renew and try again.

Many Americans may be workaholics. But if we applied that same work ethic to our ultimate reward – our families – just imagine how truly successful we could be.


  1. Nicely said. I have my annual review next week as well, so I’ve been musing all these questions professionally – but not personally! Good inspiration to brush off some practical goals for improvement on the home/mothering front as well.

    • Lauren

      Yes! I’ve found that since I’ve become a mama, “annual reviews” have got me pondering all aspects of life. Hard to separate the two anyway!

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