Until recently, I worked a split schedule at work. I did three 10 hour days from the office and two 5 hour days from home. This allowed me be balance work and mama. It wasn’t always easy, but it worked and worked well. Then it had to change, I was needed in the office more.
I like my job. And I think I am pretty good at it. And I will admit it is easier to be all employee and all mom when separating home and office. But I miss my girls. It is a physical ache. And it leaves me feeling like I need to be completely engaged as a mom when I get to be with them.
I have been trying to really be with them, especially when we are in the car heading to daycare. I want them to know how important they are to me. So I have been praying with them each morning on our way to the daycare and then listening to them talk and sing.
My almost 5 year is currently obsessed with I spy with my little eye. Have you ever noticed how hard that is to play when driving on the expressway? There is blue for the sky, green for the grass, yellow for the signs, that is about it. Drives me a little batty. I told her it is too hard to play on the expressway, so as soon as we exit “mommy, want to play I spy with my little eye.” And since I want to be engaged, I say yes.
Well Friday morning, my mind was screaming “NO!!!” I just wanted to retreat into the music on the radio. I just wanted to enjoy the silence that comes with not talking, just listening to the radio. So I told her that today I didn’t really want to play I spy, rather she could tell me a story. She started to, but then trailed off into silence.
After a few mintes I turned the radio on softly. And tried to enjoy it, but instead I felt guilt and sadness. I had failed my daughter and myself. I had chosen what I wanted over a few minutes spent with her. And I have been feeling bad about it ever since.
Now I am left to wonder what to do with this mama guilt, how to balance it all.
How do you balance it? How do you engage your children?