Welcome to Mommy Mondays, my weekly exploration of parenthood.
From my bedroom window I can see the children's play area in the backyard. As I finished getting ready for the day, my sweet daughters voice floated through the open balcony doors, some version of the alphabet song with made up words.
I shouted down and waved to her, acknowledging the late morning breeze. She was clapping along to her song.
"Want to come down and clap with us?"
I hesitated. I had a lot on my plate that morning. We were about to travel and I am working on my time management. But everything I'd ever read about "staying present" and "living in the moment" and "you won't regret a minute spent loving on your kids" elbowed forward in my mind.
"Sure. I'll come clap with you."
I went downstairs, clapping and smiling my arrival into the yard, my sweet girl smiling in return. She was sitting on the dusty wooden picnic bench.
"Want to sit down with me?"
I bit my lip. I had on silk pants.
"Um. Okay, I'll sit down with you."
"I can only stay a minute," I said, as if she was a friend I was returning a casserole tray to, hurrying through errands.
"A minute?" she frowned. "What's that mean?"
I don't feel guilty for having help with my kids. I don't feel guilty for pursuing my own interests and goals.
But I need to take more responsibility for what comes out of my mouth, how I frame my time with my children and elsewhere. It makes a difference to how she sees it, and, frankly, how I see it.