Yesterday was the best day I’ve had in recent memory.
I have been writing professionally for nine years. During that time the universe has blessed me with some amazing opportunities. But yesterday, I got to bring my daughters with me while I was working. We covered a trade show for female gamers at a comic book store. They weren’t interested in what Mommy does. They bough trinkets for themselves, a Captain America ornament for our tree, played chess & drooled over the Brie & Nikki Bella Pop Vinyls their collection desperately need.
We then went out to my full time workplace in the hunt for Xmas decorations @ their behest. I feigned annoyance, but I was secretly delighted that they wanted to meet my coworkers. During the Target Mobile days, they often came to visit me at work & I would live for the days that I could show off my beautiful, witty & funny children. I think they missed that too & enjoyed that brief return to the normalcy we were used to.
Lately, I’ve been so exhausted & burned out from the commute, the job itself (retail @ Xmas is taxing), and the lack of free time to focus on my girls, the gym & journalism that I’ve just been overwhelmed. I’m starting to feel like I can provide for them or be there for them & I want to be both. So, it was awesome to be able to integrate them into my work life a little bit.
Sometimes I feel like a bit of a failure as a mom. I’ve been a single mom for five years & I still haven’t found that work/life balance? Then I find myself thinking maybe there isn’t one. Maybe it’s about rolling with punches & changing the dynamic as the needs of the house change & just doing the best that you can. Maybe it’s just about teaching them how to be responsible adults by being one & devoting as much time as you can. Maybe that’s all I can do & by doing that, I’m still the mother I want to be.
This past year, I’ve scaled down the material items & focused on being present. I’ve made more of a point to enjoy their interests & encourage them to pursue them. Get to know their friends. Sometimes I’m the mean mom who says no to the beloved material item that they think that they need (like the giant plush fox or the aforementioned Pop Vinyls), which used to make me feel guilty, but now I know that I can’t make up for having to work with stuff. I can give them the time that they need to do stuff that they want, even if it’s travel to work on a Sunday to find a wreath that they might like or embracing the power of positivity with the New Day because they just want me to watch TV with them…or throwing a birthday party for the cat.
All weekend, I’ve beaten myself up for everything from Xmas shopping later than usual to taking a Walmart cashier’s comment about expecting my daughter to do the laundry personally & her doing her own laundry meant I failed as a mom. But I’m not failing. I’m doing the best that I can for my family, while still making them the priority & trying to be a role model. Our bills are paid, we have a warm home. They’re doing well in school. And every day we’re learning how to make our family better. So, I think we’re doing okay.