Whether a single Mom or Dad, or a married Mom or Dad- as a parent- we all work. We work physically tiring and mentally strenuous jobs, we work long hours and spend a lot of time away from home- and it takes a lot out of us each day. Time spent sitting in the car on our commute thinking about the day's events and the things we have yet to get done, or the resolutions for a current issue at hand, and wondering what our family might be doing in our absence. Often, what gets us through the toughest of days, and makes all the work worthwhile are the hugs around the knees and the, "Yay, Mom's home!!" cheers when we walk through the door. The excitement from our children to see us again at the end of our day can wash away the tension from even the worst and most hectic workday anyone can trudge through.
Because we need to work, to provide for our family and to give some offering to our sense of accomplishment and personal ability outside of being a Mom or Dad- often we grapple with the reality that at some point, we miss out on some of the things that mark our child's development or a milestone of their growth. Sometimes it can be difficult to work through the guilt we may feel over missing a school field trip, our toddler's first step, our baby's first word, or any number of achievements that our children grow from in their young lives. Many times I have stood at my own grooming table, methodically working on grooming and trying to keep back the tears and the thoughts about the call of announcement that I just got of some great happening, or the things that I know I am missing out on that day, and feeling pretty regretful that I wasn't there to share in it all. At times, the guilt that I have experienced over being away from my home and family when I felt a deep need and even a biological draw to be there with them, was so overwhelming, I considered giving notice at work, or going out at the end of the day, and just not coming back. Sometimes it would take being back at home and seeing the fruits of all my labors there for my family to have that they needed, and having the time to spend one on one with my kids to help ease the frustration over what I'd missed during the day, and to make me feel any better at all about going back and doing it again the next day.
And some times, I just took a few days off.
Over the years, I have learned to accept that sometimes the need to provide for my family must supersede my need to always be part of their daily lives. I still feel regret over missing things, but I have grown to realize that with motherhood- or parenthood overall, we always feel that we should be doing more, going the extra distance to cover all that we can, to be the best Mom or Dad ever. And when we do that- we spread ourselves pretty thin. We can begin to forget who we were before we became a parent, or to loose sight of what is really important in this already hectic and short life that we share with our loved ones. We do need to remember and hold tight to those parts of ourselves that don't have a thing to do with being a Mom, and more to do with being a unique person, displaying our talents and our skills, and give us a definite fulfillment in our sense of self.
I have always been very fortunate in being able to work close to home and my regret over what I had to miss I know is less than what some Moms and Dads have had to endure. Being a working Mom has helped me to grow, helped me to realize that it is OK to miss out on some of the things, so long as I work with diligence to my efforts to set an example for my children, to provide for their needs, and to earn their respect and admiration, and therefor respect and admire myself.
So, to set out for all, my family included, I have a list of the things that I hope and wish for my children, and will give all that is in me to help see them fulfill as they grow and go out into the world on their own. My hope is that perhaps knowing that us working Moms share a commonality will help us to all see a greater perspective and give us comfort when being at work is difficult. To help remind us of the fact that it is possible to work hard, to be away sometimes, to do special things for ourselves, and to still always be a wonderful Mom to our kids.
Things I Want for My Kids....
~to understand the concept of a promise & to respect the value of following through on them as part of honest character.
~to believe in the freeing power of honesty & of avoiding engaging in actions that would cause one to feel they need to lie.
~to feel the confidence of high self esteem & true pride in their physical and mental personalities.
~to never, ever stop using their creative positive imaginations. And to believe in the possibility of making a dream a reality.
~to feel a sense of accomplishment in everything important that they do- even if it is only the accomplishment of learning from a mistake.
~to experience as many new things as the scope of their lives can fit in.
~ to cherish and honor life- especially its fragility, and to value the world and nature around us with their actions.
~to feel the sense of never being alone in the world because we are all connected and can help or hinder the lives of others in all that we do.
~to relish in the healing power of laughter- especially when things seem at their worst, and in the importance of giving laughter to others.
I wish for all my children to have this peace in life that comes from understanding they can do anything they set their minds on, they can be the person they really are and find grace and honor there. To be good and honest people, and to never loose sight of that. To know that they can always rely on family to love them no matter how large the world might seem, and to go out into that world with the drive and perseverance to do great things.
I love you.