A little while ago one of my kids came up to me while I was working on the computer and asked if I could play with him. I told him I would play with him in a little bit. He said, "That's OK. I know your work comes first."
My other kid wrote a letter to me. It was a sweet letter telling me how much he appreciates me helping him with music, coloring and puzzles. He thanked me for cooking meals for him and taking care of him ever since he was a baby. He also wrote that he knows sometimes I can't help him because I'm working.
Before having kids most parents swear that they will always be there for their kids. Parents promise to make their kids their number one priority as they cradle their newborns in their arms. We read articles about how playing with kids, cherishing the short 18 years you have together, and making memories is more important than writing an email, cleaning the house or watching that TV show.
The reality is, though, that emails must be returned, the clothes have to get washed, and sometimes I just wanna binge watch a series on Netflix for my own mental health. Sometimes work really does come first.
I started my own children's theater company this year. It's something I did for me. I miss being on stage. I miss performing for children. I had hoped that this business would explode onto the scene and provide a decent income for my family. I'm also working as an interpreter. I love that career, too, and my income is needed to keep us afloat and help provide music lessons and trips to the pumpkin patch and (ridiculously expensive) birthday parties.
What that means is that my work keeps me busy and I'm not available 24/7 for my kids. I'm returning emails and making invoices between cutting up veggies while trying to play Uno and listen to a story about who did the monkey bars backwards at the playground today. Some days my brain and body go on overload. I'm often stressed out trying to balance my work, my kids, my home, my husband, my family, my friends, my social life, and whatever else pops up. In 2018 I think we almost always feel like we are disappointing someone or dropping the ball on something. It's not a good feeling.
One day I hope to get this parenting thing down. I hope I'll feel like I have time for both me, him, them, us, it, those and everything else. Until then I'll just hope someone finds a way for humans to have eight arms. Science is making great strides so pretty soon I hope to be like an octopus and have the ability to fold laundry, play a game, cook dinner, fill out school forms and brush my teeth at the same time. Right?