Being a mother means being pulled in all directions… it’s our home base. We are multi-taskers if nothing else, and proud of it.
Technology means the office is only an email or text away. There is more flexibility than ever before, but there are also more expectations.
When my work cell phone rings, I try to answer on the first ring. My son could be happily playing away, but the second that phone rings, he senses it. He wants me, too. NOW!
“Hello,” I answer in my most empowered-businesswoman voice, only to be undone by a certain little someone shouting in the background.
“MOMMY!!! MOMMY!! EXCUSE ME?!! I’M TALKING TO YOU.”
“I’ll be two seconds,” I plead in a whisper, hoping whoever’s on the other line can’t hear my little guy or at least has children, too, and understands.
It’s a dilemma— I want to be there for him, and I want to be there for work.
“We know that as women we want to be everything to everybody,” points out Amy Schroder, manager of parent education at Hartford Hospital. “It’s as though we can’t allow ourselves any less than the very best in every one of our roles.’
“You want to give everything to your employer, to your job, to your household, and of course, to your children.”
But it’s not easy, especially when your children are at an age that they can’t really understand why you need to work. Schroder suggests being honest, and explaining in simple terms before you have to take a call… so you’re not pleading with your kids during it.
“Say something like, ‘I’m really sorry, but right now I have to do this. When I’m done, I promise that there will be time for us to spend together.’ Then make good on it. Spend some time doing something that’s important to him. So that you’re setting a pattern and next time, he’ll trust you. Next time, it won’t be such a big deal.”
I’m willing to try it. Because our time together is very special, and I don’t want to think about the column I’ll write when he tells me he doesn’t want to spend time with Mom.
Uh oh, the phone’s ringing. I think I have to take this…