This is my petition for kindness, empathy and understanding towards us moms who work.
Please be kind and understanding when you are setting and expressing your expectations of us. We would love to say yes to everything you want and need from us. But my reality is that 5 days out of 7, I am away from my family almost 11 hours out of the day. Weekdays are dictated by schedules, by lots of brain drain at work and at home, peppered with finding time to do life things like pay bills. Also – finesse the non-bedtime hours at home with minimal crying and maximum laughing. Add unending laundry and dishes squeezed in. Please understand that we must choose to say ‘no’ sometimes.
Please understand that we really really really value our weekends and quality family time together. I love my kids more than anything and want to spend as much focused time with them as possible. I’m trying not to screw this whole parenting thing up. I spend 4 waking hours with my children during the week day. Weekends together are so lovely because we can turn off the alarm, not worry about outside demands, and just enjoy our family life. When we start to add in visits and activities, it starts to feel like work and stress goes up. That’s just the way it is.
Please understand that we may not invite you over to our house a lot unless you are within the comfort zone of making your own bed and moving the bath toys. Also we may stay in our PJs all day. Also I have high avoidance instinct for drama and judgment so any hint of those and boy howdy, I do not want that encroaching on my weekend! I get enough slack from society so please avoid thinly veiled insults that relate to daycare, being a working mom, parenting, politics or religion. Can’t we just enjoy our time together and be loving and supportive?
Please understand that we may not always seem eager to jump in the car and come see you all the time. Don’t hold it against us. It doesn’t mean we love you less, or love somebody more. We spend an inordinate amount of time in the car during the week, driving to daycare, driving to work, driving to the store, driving home, driving to appointments and lessons. Hopefully you can see how the thought of a long car ride on the weekend makes us all act and feel a little crazy. However, we are willing to do it for a fun/good time where everybody acts with love.
Please have empathy, imagine what our daily lives are like and see our strengths rather than our deficits. We do not want sympathy: do not feel bad for us or our kids. Happy parents make happy kids – so support us in being happy and avoid bringing us down. And understand that anything you want from us will be weighed to minimize stress and maximize happiness and fun. And I won’t apologize for that.
Photo Credit (homepage): Flickr by rmolnar7