Being a working mom is hard, and running your own company is even harder – because, in a way, you become everybody’s mom. So much so, that sometimes I forget who my real family is.
That was hard to write, but it’s true.
For the last three years, I have been pushing and pushing and PUSHING at work, sacrificing so much of my time and attention in the hopes that I can build something for my family. I tell myself that I don’t have the luxury of “switching off”, that it will pay off big in the end. I’ll be able to buy my family a decent house; I’ll be able to send my sons to even better schools – and Travis the Lionheart? Maybe I’ll finally be able to afford that full-time au pair who can assist with his special needs.
And so, I’m not really there when my boys are chattering about their new Hot Wheels track or this cool ramp they built in the backyard for their bicycles. I mean, I am there physically, sitting on the couch next to them, my arm around them, making all the rights sounds in the right places. But my mind is focused on work, on my employees, on my clients, on the projects we’re working on.
So, I’m not really there at all.
It’s not like I’m working crazy hours. I leave the house at 8am and I’m home by 4.30pm. But I do have a habit of working over the weekends, which is time I SHOULD be spending doing cannon balls in the pool! Baking dinosaur cupcakes! Digging up earthworms! All that boy-stuff my kids love so much.
It feels like the boys are growing up so quickly and I’m missing out. I have so many photos of them and their shenanigans, but I’m so focused on taking the perfect photo that I’m not in the moment, sharing the giggles.
My promise to myself and my family this year is to be a more present mother. It’s not enough to be physically present, I want to be mentally and emotionally there, with my boys in these precious moments that are slipping away so quickly. “Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of our lives.” Hah.
Which reminds me, this means less TV. I’m so bad when it comes to TV these days, it’s like the moment I come home from work I need to numb my brain from all the intensity of the day by watching something mindless.
I’m going to #playmore with the boys, build more blanket forts and play “pretend”. Even if playing pretend means eating 20 different invisible cupcakes that Oliver keeps “baking” for me. Ryan is always bringing me different Hot Wheels for inspection, so I can choose my favourite before he draws me elaborate tracks on printing paper he steals from my desk.
Who knows, maybe all this play and imagination will ignite something in my work? Maybe I’ve had it backward all along!?
If you’re looking for some ideas, I found this awesome age-by-age for playtime over at Fisher-Price. We’re teaming up with Fisher-Price for the next few months, and Ryan, Oliver and Travis are all beyond excited. I guess I’m going to have plenty of opportunities to #playmore this year 🙂