It’s with a grateful heart this year that we sent our daughter off to Kindergarten. She’s our last (of 2). Time is quickly passing by as she grows into a smart, sassy and not-so-little girl anymore. She’s still 5, but witty and comical. And with an older brother, she’s bound to be exposed to things above her age. I’ve very aware of my actions being an example to my little girl too.
A few years back I bought one of those “1st day of school” signs and it’s my go-to every year. (Thank you to all of those creative Etsy sellers for always saving the day)! As we sat down that morning before school started, I began asking her questions. What is your favorite food? What is your favorite book? Then came the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I love asking this question to kids. My son (7) has already changed his mind from garbage man to fireman and now like many young boys- a major league baseball player. I love that their aspirations have no limitations. That is inspiring.
She thought for a moment. And then responded that she wanted to be a mom AND a pilot. My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe my ears. Despite all of the guilty moments, every overnight trip and Facetime calls before bed, none of that seemed to matter at that moment. The ability to be both a mom and have a professional career seemed attainable for this little 5-year-old girl. I felt so grateful that through her eyes she saw what she wanted for herself.
When they were babies it was easier. But now as kids in elementary school, it’s harder. I try to minimize the guilt. But some days are harder than others. I try to explain how my working pays the bills. And now they are starting to understand. I try to be there for most games and special events. But the reality is, work is a big commitment. Sometimes it means leaving before they get up, showing up late, or missing out on activities altogether.
It’s easy to let doubt and mom guilt creep in. but my kids are learning important life lessons and I’m grateful for that.
But being a present mom is equally as important. It’s been the biggest struggle over the last 7 years and I know it won’t get easier. Laptop open while watching a night game? Yup. In the car on a conference call after dropping off at practice? Yup. And when I can’t be there- – I tell them why.
Those little people are watching us. So working mamas, give yourself a break and know just like I’m an example to my little girl, so are you. It’s time for less guilt and more gratitude. Ever since that moment, I’ve felt more grateful for living a life that my little one aspires to. It wasn’t always that way. We’ve turned a corner and that aspiration of hers has now become my inspiration.