Posted on March 5, 2016
Some of you know who this little girl is, others don’t. She is part of the reason why I get up early every morning, have set up my business to be based from home & find myself constantly striving for more.
I am the first to admit being a parent and operating a business is far beyond any full time position I’ve ever had in my life. Not only are you juggling the hats you wear daily in your business but you’re now juggling the Mommy hats too (volunteering for school trips, helping with School Community Councils, chauffeur to whatever lessons they are currently taking) and somehow, you find the energy to do it all while keeping your business responsibilities met. Honestly, I love (almost) every minute of it!
The February break was a pretty emotional week for me.
My daughter is school age now so we have a break mid February each year and low & behold, I had a ton of work to get through (Yah!). Well, my 6 year old was not so impressed…”Mom! It’s supposed to be Family week!”. Oh how kids don’t understand the world beyond their limited vision…they so live in the moment seeing beyond what they are doing is always a challenge.
Everything came crashing down on Friday.
She came home from swimming with her Dad and was mad, like I mean, MAD. She stormed off to her room and began the meltdown (parents-you know what this looks like…you know what to brace yourself for). After about 5 minutes of being alone she came into my office & laid the biggest guilt trip I have ever witnessed (but according to my Mom not the first I was a part of-Sorry Mom!). Through tears she told me “You never spend any extra time with me when I have time off & you’ve been working so much…I feel alone!”
Worst. Mother. Ever.
This is how you feel in that moment. How could I not have anticipated this? How could I have made her feel that she wasn’t important? Hold on a second….after a good cry (we’re talking ugly face cry), talking to a few friends about what the situation was I realized that I’m not an awful parent, I’m just one who didn’t set clear expectations for my daughter & that we desperately needed to have a conversation about how we communicate. Through more tears (come on-we’re girls) we talked about how we need to talk about how we feel & not use manipulation to get life to go our way (a tactic that she is quite willing to use, and again, a tactic I was a master of at that age). In the end we came to the conclusion that Mom should have taken at least another day off to spend as a family so we compromised, this would be the plan for the break coming up in March.
But here is where I’ve come after some thought & reflection on the whole situation. The truth is this… kids crave time with their parents. They need it to feel balanced, loved and accepted. They don’t care that your busy at work, or that your working as hard as you are to make sure they can be in all the activities they want, they just know they aren’t feeling important enough. As many other business owners will attest, this is a constant challenge to find harmony. I don’t expect to ever have this figured out, I’m just going to keep trying.
I consider ourselves incredibly fortunate…3 months after our daughter was born I went back to work (at home) full time. My husband made the brave decision to stay at home with our daughter. Seriously!! Not a job every man would take on but I am grateful every single day that he did. What this decision has allowed us to do is be present in our daughter’s life. We were there for the first words, first steps, first days of school…everything. We are now entering 6 years of approaching life a little differently & our hope is that one day, this will make a difference in how our girl sees and functions in the world.