Let’s talk about the juggle. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Whether you are a parent or not, we all have to juggle multiple responsibilities in order to get what needs to be done… done. As a parent, you are now adding someone who is looking to you. And that’s when the fear and guilt starts. Are you doing a good job? Are you making what is really important a priority? And unfortunately, with no crystal ball, we have to use our brains and hearts to really determine what is a priority.
I understand your fear. Having children is terrifying as much as it’s beautiful and wonderful. Both of my children help me grow to be a stronger mother every day, and I can say, a lot of the crap I put up with, the things I strive for, etc., is all for them. Everything has an unknown. Last year, I took a promotion at work which would help our family financially, but resulted in a later schedule, which meant dinner without me. Everyday, I have that fear weighing on me how this decision will affect my daughter, my son, and my husband. Hell, sometimes I worry how it will affect the poor dog. And with no crystal ball, I’m unable to know how long this will last. Financially, it was the right move. In my business world, it was the best decision and a fantastic experience and promotion. But I fear how my children feel about it. Should it matter how they feel? It’s two ½ hours each day. How can that really affect them?
And then the guilt starts. Man, why should I feel guilty? Why should you feel guilty for being a working momma and having to put your children in daycare? You are doing the best you can. Being without a job would probably cause a lot more stress and risk to your child’s life. But still, that guilt weighs on you. What could I have done differently 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 1 year ago, to not have to work now and lose these precious years with my child.
With already having the “juggle” to deal with (Full time job, school, business, bills, being a parent, etc), I think we need to give ourselves a little bit more credit.
Does your child want? Do they have food on their table? A roof over their heads? Do they get the medical attention they need? If they are in daycare or school, are they well cared for and loved? If you are providing these basic needs, give yourself a pat on the back. There are many people who choose to not do this for their children. There are parents who have abandoned their children, who choose (keyword) not to provide for their children.
Are you present? We are busy and there are things that are going to have to take priority over spending every waking moment entertaining their child (and honestly, it’s probably best if your child is a little independent). During time that you do dedicate to your child, do they have your full attention? Make time that is solely for your child. That is part of the juggle that you need, not only for their emotional needs, but for your own. Those moments when your child is important to your well being, to know you are making the right decisions.
Remember WHY you made the decisions you have made. Whether it’s going to school, taking a later shift for financial reasons, putting your child in day care so you can work, ending a relationship, whatever, remember why you did that. Did you do that for yourself or did you do that for your family. Hold that tight. Look for opportunities to find the best balance for you and your family. But, let go of the fear and guilt. Appreciate it, because truly good parents will feel that fear and guilt, but once you feel it, let it go, and be confident in your decisions. Remember, those little ones are looking to you as a role model.
A Fellow Momma