By Fredrica Syren:
Ever since becoming a mom, I have grappled with guilt — the feeling that I always could and should do more, and that I should spend more time with my kids. It’s constantly a struggle, but the funny part is that I do spend a lot of time my kids. I’m fortunate to be working from home since the birth of our second child 15 months ago, which gives me loads of quality time with my little ones. However, I still have other chores such as cleaning, cooking, doing laundry; and I also on occasion have meetings and other tasks outside the home.
The other day Bella had a play date at our neighbor’s house. Since they also have a child Noah’s age, we came along for some toddler play and mama chatting. Kristen, my friend and neighbor, told me how she overheard the girls playing moms. One of the girls said, “Mommy, can you play with me?” The other replied, “I’m sorry, honey. I’m tired.” Of course, we know their play reflects what’s going on in their lives and, yes, we both admitted that sometimes we are too darn tired to play with the kids. And, yes, there is that guilt trip again.
But one morning my daughter asked me why Noah goes to day care only two mornings a week. I explained that when she was a toddler I worked many hours away, but now I work from home so I can be with them more. She said, “ Well, Mama, that’s why you’re a good mommy — because you want to spend time with me and my brother.” This is how I got validation that my kids know, no matter what, that they are most important in my life.