As a working parent I struggle with all types of parenting guilt. The list ranges from as simple as feeding them breakfast for dinner when I lack energy at the mid-week mark. It is my step up from fast food, but really not that much healthier. To the bigger concerns about spending enough time with them, supporting their interests, helping curb their desires, and modeling strong character. I know: even as I type the unfinished list it sounds too lofty to attain. I am not writing this to bare all, but to say that as much as these ideas assault me I am able to combat them with knowing that my family is in a good place.
My kids love their school and teachers. For Olivine, the baby girl who has spent the least amount of time at home and the most amount of time at the Child Development Center- I am endlessly thankful for people who love their jobs. She gets so much time to explore, develop, and grow in an environment I trust and believe in. This type of peace is priceless.
Then there are friends.
The kind of friends who love my kids like their own. The kind of friends I can laugh with, stay up late with, and leave mid-sentence to intervene in sibling rivalries.
And will take the older boy, while I keep the younger boy, and feed him lunch, treat him to a Dirtbags game and I don’t feel any guilt or favors owed. I know that this is how folks care for one another. Particularly busy moms.
And no I am not perfect, invincible to fears, or able to avoid all the subtle messages about how I “should” parent. There are plenty of comparisons being made in all variety of conversations now that my children are in elementary school. The conversations over breastfeeding, cloth diapers, and homemade baby food have now evolved into scouts, sports, and any number of ways in which parents can be made to feel like they don’t measure up. However, I am learning that with a little self-reflection, some journaling, a quiet evening, long talks before bed with Joe, an engaging new cookbook to read (thank you Jenny), and the fast approach of Spring Break- it is very possible to find a peace of mind in the modern world.