“Good morning, Mommy.”
“Mommy. Can I have some cheerios and vitamins and watch Nick Junior?”
That’s usually how every weekday morning starts for me. My sweet, 4-year-old darling girl stands by my bedside as I try to shake from my slumber and get the day going.
It’s not 6:00 a.m. It’s typically after 7:30. Baby sister usually wakes up soon thereafter. I’m in my pajamas til around 9:00, getting the kids fed and ready for school.
If you would have told me a year ago this is going to be my life, I would have never believed you.
One year ago, mornings began before 6:00. I only got to spend minutes with my children. “Mom guilt” was constantly in my vocabulary. I was tired of the time-consuming job I once lived for. I missed so much last year, but my kids were taken care of, were happy, healthy, and nurtured. I worked hard for my family. I sure as heck didn’t do it for myself.
Now that I’m working part-time, I’ve felt much more present. We’ve gotten to take our time in the mornings. I don’t feel rushed. I don’t feel tugged in a million different directions. I don’t forget the class Valentines.
The other day, I was cuddling the littlest one, studying her fingers, eyelashes, and nose. All I could think about was this extra time I had with her. I thought things like,
“Thank goodness I am with her now.”
“I have to take this in.”
“I am finally making up for lost time.”
This got me thinking. As moms, we always feel like we have to “make up for lost time.” We let guilt get the best of us. Sometimes it’s our instincts, but sometimes it’s the pressure.
If we direct our attention or focus away from our children, we feel guilty.
If we work full-time away from the home, we use the weekends to be super mom.
If we have a total “off” day at home with the kids, we chalk it up as a “mom fail.”
If we’re away from the children later than we expect, we’ve got to make up for it somehow.
How? How does one even make up for lost time? The fact is, we don’t. We start brand new days and make them better. We’ve got to stop playing the comparison game and letting guilt find its way in. Start living in the present and not in the what ifs or should have dones. We all have bad days, but those bad days don’t define you.
At the end of the day, we’re raising humans to be acceptable members of society. We care. And because we care, it means we’re doing it right.