This is something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile now. Can you have both: family and career. Some says yes and others says no. Both are full time jobs. Due to my husband position I was the one who had to be extremely flexible and sacrifice. With that being said, I knew I wanted to be present mentally and emotionally for my kids. I only have them for a short amount of time before they expand their wings and go on their own. Conversations with those of my generation, one of the common themes was lack of emotional support. Having a parent interested them, their thoughts, feelings, interest, views, likes, and dislikes.
First we have the one parent that says I have to work and pay the bills. This parent works two jobs. By the time she gets home her children are in bed. She hasn’t seen them since they left for the school bus. She says they’ve text throughout the day and they are ok. Are they really? Also she believes they love hanging out with their friends and they don’t care if she goes to work. But for some reason one daughter is always calling her at work saying she’s sick. She wants her mom to come pick her up and stay with her at home. She sends dad.
She says they have everything they ask for. That’s why I’m working so much. I take them on a vacation every summer. We have a lake house. I have to work and have my life. She’s right. But is there a cost.
Then she says there’s no need to go to parent teacher conference. Her kids aren’t failing. She thinks her kids doesn’t want her at events, they don’t care. She and her husband told their son because they had to work 2 jobs he couldn’t join baseball because they couldn’t commit. 3 SELF CARE MISTAKES I MADE AS A STAY AT HOME MOM
On the other hand, we have the one who says I’m going to go to every event, game, show, award ceremony my kid have. I’ll live a subtle life to spend time with the kids. They don’t need name brand stuff all the time. She works just under 40 hours and leaves at 4pm because she says getting off at 5pm is too late for her to start her evening with the kids. They have TV shows they watch together. They eat dinner together. She’s the carpool mom and is very inquisitive about their friends and social life.
Yes kids love having “stuff”. But at the end of the day they want mom or dad there. Not necessarily engaging, but available. They want that comfort and security of knowing you’re around. Or else the risk of the kids learning and finding their way without you can hurt them and the relationship.
A couple weeks ago my daughter had an award ceremony because she was nominated for Student Of The Month. During this ceremony there were also other awards given for different categories and grades. Sure the ceremony was on a Friday morning at 9am. They had coffee, donuts, milk and water for us to snack on with our kid until the ceremony started. We were able to mix and mingle with the other parents as well.
However, it broke my heart so bad that a couple of kids didn’t have parents to show. These were huge awards that all teachers and counselors voted on for a particular student. They were eating donuts alone. Looking so sad. At one point I even told my daughter to go tell one student to come sit with us. I just couldn’t help it.
When their name were called up, the counselor read the loving note from the teacher that nominated them. They received their award and took photos. The body language and the barely there smile killed me. At some point I heard a little guy say, my mom couldn’t come she had to work.
Yes you have to work. May not be able to get off every time. But unfortunately, the only things the kids see and remember is being alone at some pretty great moments. No material thing can get rid of that.
Be you so you can be free.