Good morning, girl. Are you ready for another great day? How are you going to connect with your kids today?
My sometime administrative assistant brought her kid to work yesterday, a two and a half year old boy. I was leery at first, but then I thought, if Working Mommy can’t support this, I need to retire as a total hypocrite. So, yes, bring him in, let’s give this a go, we’re only doing three hours today, we can manage that.
Which explains why, at one point during the morning, I found myself typing away with a yellow, plastic Tonka truck on my lap. A large, yellow, plastic truck. Kiddo had given it to me, a gift. He retrieved it shortly thereafter and gave me a somewhat gummed up bear instead. It was delightful.
We had a lovely morning. We got all the work I had set up for us done, and done well. Kiddo played with post-it notes, the truck, the bear, some blocks… I was so impressed at how good he was. He played under the desk his mom was working at for a good chunk of time, but mostly he wandered around the office, occasionally bringing us things. Talking to himself and to us in his cute little toddler speak. When I had to take a call I stepped out of the office, so easy.
I watched this lovely young mother connect with her kid, and manage her part-time job. The easy trust and love between them inspired me.
This morning, I looked back on my own career, the too many times I let work-stress come between me and my children, and I was sad.
You can be a good employee and a good mom. Don’t let fear or stress from work contaminate the too short time you get with your kids at home. Promise yourself that tonight you’ll leave the cell phone and the briefcase in the car when you go into the house with your kids. Carve out an hour or two when it’s just you guys, a little vacation from the rest of the world. Be there.
It’s important. Because one day, you’ll be sitting at your desk, your daughter will have told you that she’s moving out in three months, and you’ll look back.
Live in such a way that you’ll like what you see.