When Lexi was sick at six-months old, she needed me, but now as a sick 13-year old, she wants me. What a heart-breaking, heart-soaring feeling. No one wants their child to be sick, but sometimes in dark moments, rays of light shine through.
As a working mom, I always looked forward to when the kids reached an age that they could stay home when they were sick, so I didn’t miss work. Missing work sucks. First, I feel bad for not being there. Secondly, I get behind! Work piles up! I need to be there! So, I’d find myself at home nursing a sicky back to health, all the while stressing about work and feeling guilty.
The kids have reached an age that they can stay home alone when needed. They can wipe their own bums, they can make their own chicken noodle soup, and they can tie their hair back if they are puking.
Since reaching this pinnacle age group, I have left them home sick. I had their lunch ready. Made sure they were comfortable. And headed into the office, checking in every so often. So, there I sat at work… not falling behind, not letting the work pile up. But, still feeling guilty.
Trying to wear so many hats… sometimes it’s hard to consciously acknowledge which hat is the priority. Which hat needs to be cared for diligently, and without compromise. Sometimes being a working mom means I have to choose whether I am going to be the best mom or the best employee. I HATE choosing. I want to be the best I can be at everything I do! It’s a hard pill to swallow. But on the other hand, I have come to realize that when I know that I am being the best mom I can be, my life just kind of falls into place. I’m more comfortable and content being an employee. I am OK taking time for myself. Life is better. I’ll never be a perfect mom. But, I can make sure that I keep my priorities straight.
So today, I am sitting on the couch with my sick 13-year old. Work is piling up at the office. We just watched a movie together, and we’ll probably watch another.
My boss once told me how she remembers getting an earache at school and her mom’s assistant picked her up. She said she just wanted her mom so bad. That story has stuck with me for years. When my kids grow up, I want them to KNOW that I was there for them. I want their to be ZERO doubt in their minds that they were my priority.
The girls should never have to tie their hair back when hovered over the toilet. I’ll be there to hold back their hair, no matter what age.