Good Thursday morning, Mamma! Kid Connection Day.
You know that moment when you get home from work? When you show up at the daycare center or arrive back home, you walk through your front door where Grandma or babysitter has been watching kiddo, and first see that beautiful little face? I love that moment.
That first blast of “Hi!!! There you are! My favorite person in the world!” My kids, when they were little, would catch sight of me and run to me. Big smile and big hug. The tears or the stories might come after that, but that first moment was gold – and continues to be gold, even now that my three kiddos are significantly older. (They don’t run to me anymore, but I do still get the “Hi!!! Mom! Welcome home!” And I love it.)
It’s the first moment of reconnection.
I try to be careful not to walk through the door grumpy. That first moment sets a tone, and the tone I want my kids to experience is that I adore being with them. When they were little, I would get down on my knees when I walked through the door at their Montessori, and hug them and then look at all their little projects done that day. Smooth their hair, retie their shoes, kiss them and hug them again. Touch is important. Real, live attention is important. That first moment of connection was my priority. I would vastly rather ignore and offend the other moms there to pick up their kids than to ignore and offend my kid while making small talk with the other working mommies. There is not one of those other mommies I am in touch with today. My kids will be with me for life.
The times I do regret, were those times I blew through the door fifteen minutes late and grumpy, and let my bad mood knock my kid over before we’d even spent thirty seconds together. THOSE TIMES I regret deeply, deeply, deeply, even today. When I would snarl at kiddo to hurry up and see them just deflate. God forgive me, and thank God it didn’t happen very often.
According to the PEW Research Center, we working moms spend, on average, eleven hours per week taking care of our kiddos. This is surprisingly just seven hours less per week than full time stay-at-home moms. (We also sleep less, do less housework and have less just-for-me leisure time then they do… you knew the hours had to come from somewhere, right?) I found these numbers to be quite heartening. I like the picture of my life that this paints.
So, with my eleven hours, what am I going to do to reconnect with my kids?
Take care to protect that first moment of reconnection, touch them, look them in the eye, listen to them. Then head home and do whatever it is that your family does. Dinner, reading, going for a walk before bedtime. The treasured bedtime routine of bath, jamas and story telling.
Whatever it is, enjoy.