I stayed up late last night.
I had a lot of work to do, yes, but the work ended at 11:30 and then I just couldn’t fall asleep. This week has been crazy with deadlines and projects and new things creeping up from previous clients. I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down, much less to sit down and relax for a bit.
What was eating up my mind last night? My daughter’s upcoming (tomorrow!) four year birthday.
I know that you as parents understand what I was thinking: How did she get this old?!
I remember her as a baby. She was a loud one, always screaming (at least for the first four months), never sleeping (she dropped her second nap before the age of one and her only nap by two), and she is still loud to this day: She never stops talking, and if she has nothing to say, she makes something up. And oh, how I love her! She is social and athletic and beautiful and she has so much waiting for her out there, in life. Sometimes I can’t wait to watch her grab it.
It’s hard to watch the kids grow though. Last night as I sat up and thought about the good times I also thought about the times in the past few years when I’ve told her that I was too busy to do XYZ and that I had to get some work done. Because that is the way that it goes: When you are a working parent, you have to get stuff done.
I try to schedule the majority of my work when she is sleeping or otherwise entertained at a friend’s house, but if you work this type of schedule you know that it isn’t always possible. So yes, we may have a great morning at the park or with some friends, but there are also days when I have to take a mid morning phone call, or something just has to be done NOW.
I felt a bit guilty, I must admit, even though yesterday on the View Whoopi assured everyone that we have to teach kids that we do need time to ourselves.
She meant alone time; but as a working parent, I have sacrificed most of that alone time. I have kid time, family time and work time. I’m okay with that. I knew that going in. I could have not worked at all. I am doing so because I want to do so, because I love what I do. I am lucky in that, I know: Some parents have to work because they have to work even though they want to be at home. I have always ached for them for that.
Still, at times the fact that I choose to work really makes me feel guilty. I feel selfish for needing what I get from work: the accolades, the self fulfillment, the gratification of doing something that I do well and making people happy while doing it.