The Anatomy of Mommy-Guilt
By Liesl Garner on September 29, 2012
We read about the different bones that make up the human skeleton tonight. The passage in the book What Your 3rd Grader Needs to Know, was fun even for my 4-year old. Within the text, there were instructions to feel this bone, and move that joint, and wiggle that toe to feel the connections between bones here, and bones over here. My kids were bouncing around and dancing and then reminding me of the Bone Dance that I used to let Ben watch at my desk.
That reminded me why YouTube has become such a big part of how I introduce concepts and material to the kids. First, it's fun. I had my office in the home when Ben was a pre-schooler, and he would wander into my office throughout the day. Even though he had someone in the home we'd hired to play with him and watch him, rarely did I get to focus on work for even a few minutes without him wanting to be with me. Which helps explain some of my mommy-guilt. I would love nothing more than to be home with him all day long to play and work on projects, build things and paint things and be a witness to all that his wild imagination can create.
I am a working mom. In fact, I work several jobs. I work in an office from 8-5, then I come home and work on my husband's and my business, calling leads and setting up estimates, building his website and managing our social media. In the early morning hours, and all through the weekend, we are farming, and I'm a mom.
That is four full-time jobs simultaneously, not including that in the wee-wee hours, I get up to write because that is what I love, it's what keeps me balanced and whole-hearted, and it feeds my soul. Being pulled in so many different directions all the time is either going to age me quickly or keep me young. I really haven't figured out which.
I try to be present and focused on family time from dinner through stories and playtime and getting them ready and into bed. That is also the end of a very long day for me, and my nerves can be a little fragile. I can lose it or just be exhausted by days' end. And that is when they have waited all day to be with me, and they're fired up and excited, and have a million things to tell me. I want to hold them and snuggle, they want to sit in my lap and wrap their arms around me. It is the best part of my day. It is a very short period of time, and they are growing up fast.
As easy as it can be to be short with them because their room is a mess, or because they won't stop picking at each other, I want to constantly be keeping it in perspective, that these few hours at the end of the day, are their childhood and my time with them means everything.
They pick at each other because they are brothers and best friends. They play every role. They will be enemies in the morning, and after breakfast be building a new car in the barn out of scrap wood, by mid-afternoon, they are digging a ditch to China, and in the evening, they are swinging from limbs in a tree and chattering like monkeys. They have a crazy, fun world. They operate at full speed ahead every moment of the day, except when it's time to get ready for school of course.
I want to capture their energy in a bottle. It is good for me to remind myself of all the joy they add amid the chaos that they bring, the whirlwind that can be our world. We are in this together. I love all the jobs that I get to do in order to put my two cents in and keep this merry band of crazies going.
The sun is coming up - I need to get my muck boots on. It's time to start farming!
Here for your viewing pleasure, is the Skeleton Dance. Warning - not all moms will agree with me that it is suitable for children. My kids have loved it for years.