Some days the working mom guilt is intense.
I can list hundreds of reasons that having a working mama is the right choice for my family right now. But when your toddler is looking at you, teary-eyed, and asking to stay with you for the day, those reasons don’t seem very important.
Most days, my almost three-year-old is rushing around in the morning, happily eating breakfast and chatting with her baby sister before skipping off to school. We’ve been in a blissful period of no separation anxiety for over a year now. So, this new phase of crying before school has left me scratching my head. There haven’t been any noticeable, big changes at our house. She loves her school and her teachers. She’s adjusted amazingly to her new role as big sister. Where is this anxiety coming from?
When I slowed down and actually listened to the words behind her protests, it hit me. It’s me she’s asking for. We’ve been busy and spending lots of time together as a family, but we aren’t having much quality one-on-one time. My husband does bedtime with her, so she gets some quality papa time each night, but her time with me is usually split with her sister.
I’m making a conscious effort this week to spend some one-on-one time with my big girl. Our evenings are hectic and bustling, but I’m confident we carve out a few minutes each day to really focus on one another. The weather is nice, so maybe we can walk to our neighborhood playground before it gets dark. We may make a Target run, just the two of us. She would really love to bake cookies with me or read and play upstairs in her room. These ideas are small, and not time-consuming, but they will feel special to her.
Will this work to curb the morning clinginess to mama? I have no clue, but it’s worth a shot. But even if it doesn’t work, I doubt either of us will regret our extra moments together.