Good morning, Working Mom! Happy Thursday! Connect with kids day on the Working Mommy page. How do you stay connected with your kids?
I saw the most beautiful thing last night. A mom brought her 6-month old baby to a meeting at our church. Laughing and cooing, but not sitting up yet; adorable. Mamma didn’t apologize, and she didn’t try to hide baby. For a two-hour meeting she dandled cooing baby on her knee, stood and rocked her side-to-side, sat down again and laid baby on her back on the floor at her feet (and would look down and make faces at baby who would kick and wave her arms with joy), took her big, square scarf off, lay that on the floor to lay baby on her tummy, took her shoes off and let baby play with her feet, stood again with baby and rocked again, left the room for two minutes and came back with a prepared bottle and fed baby.
And Mamma participated in the meeting beautifully. Gave her opinion, asked questions. The whole thing was so charming and so inspiring!
It’s the rare and fortunate woman who can bring her baby to a meeting at work, but we can bring them just about everywhere else.
Bonding takes time. It takes substantial time, physically being together, touching and talking (or cooing in this case), making eye contact, smiling. As working moms, we miss so much time. Claim your minutes and hours with your baby as often as you can, doing whatever it takes.
• Stuck doing dishes? Paper plates, Mamma. I buy them by the gross at Costco.
• Grocery shopping? Get a grocery delivery service. The fees will be paid by the Twinkies and doughnuts you don’t buy.
• Lawn mowing? Get a service. I pay $46 a week for mine, about what I used to pay to Starbucks.
• When mine were little, I shopped at TJMaxx and consignment stores to afford an every-three-weeks cleaning service. That was before I had furniture in my living room or blinds on my windows even. The kids didn’t miss the furniture, they used to ride their trikes in the living room.
• I gave up promotions and trips and weekends-away-with-the-girls to carve out more time in my life to just be with my kids.
• I never make my bed. Okay, maybe for parties, but not even then sometimes; the bedroom door does have a lock.
• I work out in the morning when they’re asleep.
• I take the last possible flight to a meeting and am on the first flight home. Optional extra day in Vegas, Palm Springs, Paris? I skipped them all and I’m glad I did.
• Book club? I go maybe once a year – I’m amazed they still invite me, and I’m grateful that they do, but I’m still choosing time with my kids 11 months of the 12.
You have to make choices. We can’t have it all during this time in our lives. This season lasts for a short time and it is so important.
My daughter is getting ready to go to college. She is doing a summer internship (yay!) at a company far from home this summer and so will be moving out shortly after graduation (not yay). This means that I have from now till the end of May to enjoy living with my daughter. This is it. Four months left to have that living-together-mother-daughter-time. Thank God she and I have a really good relationship, or I think this would just about kill me. I have enough regrets as it is.
They won’t be little forever, we do not get infinite chances to build our relationship with them.
Be intentional about it, girl. This is too important to leave to chance.