There are some days that if I am sitting on the floor for a second, playing with blocks or stacking cups, that I feel the nagging urge that I am procrastinating, that I am not being productive. That I should be at my computer, I should be answering those emails dinging my inbox, or I should be cleaning up the kitchen.
While working from home, I need to utilize every minute of nap to sit at my computer to get an hour or two in. A quick bedtime means more time to finish up what I didn’t during nap time. Early mornings- if I skip a shower- I can cram in another hour or two before the girls wake up and the day starts. Then while they are (IF they are) sitting still to eat breakfast I can empty the dishwasher and maybe get to the dishes in the sink. Throw the baby a few more puffs- turn the TV on for the 3 year old just to get through the rest of the dishes and breakfast clean up… and so on.
There is always something else that needs to be done. The laundry just doesn’t stop. The floor is messy before I even finish vacuuming. The baby pulls toys out faster than I can put them away. It’s constant. Then there is the work. I only work part time from home, but even that is a struggle most days. I know that I plan my day around what needs to be done. I am constantly running through a long mental list. Then there is the mom guilt. The guilt for turning on the TV to finish up that email or to prep dinner. The guilt of saying “in a minute sweetie” a few too many times in one day. Those times that I am sitting on the floor, enjoying myself while playing with the kids- it is really REALLY hard not to feel like I am being a terrible employee or slacking on the home duties. It’s those times that I need to remind myself that the most important goal on my list, is my children. These beautiful creatures standing in front of me that grow way too fast. I do not want to miss a minute yet I spend too many minutes worrying about what I haven’t gotten done for the day. It’s those times that I need to remind myself that playing with my kids also counts as being productive.
“It’s those times that I need to remind myself that playing with my kids also counts as being productive.”
“Mom” is my number one job- first and foremost. Yes dishes and laundry also fall under that job title, and yes I am an employee and hold myself to certain standards, but I’m a Mom. My job is to ALSO play with my kids. My kids NEED the playing, it means they are learning, growing, stretching their minds. They NEED the interaction with me, it’s good for them, it’s good for me. It is important. It is necessary. And it’s productive. So those days that I am chiding myself on not getting more work hours on the books- I need to relax. The dishes can wait, the emails will get answered after bedtime. I shouldn’t have to add “play with kids” to my to do list, but sometimes I need to mentally do so.
These are the days I’ll never get back. This is a time where they love me, I do not embarrass them yet, they are dying for my attention. Soon they will be teenagers and I will be begging for them to look me in the eye and give me five minutes to tell me about their day. These are the days that I will cherish long after they are grown. These are the days I will regret missing if I don’t take the time to sit on the floor now. I need to be present. I need to absorb the moment. I need to hold on to their childhood. I need to remember that doing all those things is also productive. It means I am making the most of my time with these tiny humans- these tiny, incredible beings that are full of wonder and giggles and light. These tiny humans who together with my husband, are my whole world, and no pile of dishes, clogged inbox or dirty laundry should stand in my way of remembering that.
Meet Sarah C.