I knew something was up this morning when our second son kept saying he didn't want to go to school. I listened and checked-in: He wasn't sick. He wasn't being bullied. He still has the same friends. He's in preschool, so there are no tests or teachers he is avoiding. He just didn't want to go today. Over and over, all morning, "Mom, I don't want to go to school today. I just want to stay home."
Having spent the better part of six years coming to the realization that my job as a parent is about setting limits but knowing my kids' limits too, I quickly came up with a solution I presented to my 4-year-old.
I told him that I was really going to do some amazing work today, and I would need him to go have an amazing time with his best friends today too. But I asked him if he would like a little extra Mom Time before he went.
"YES!" He practically jumped out of his car seat. "Yes! I just need some time with my mom without my brothers around. And to play Legos."
"Well, since we're already on the road, I can't make Legos happen until after school, but what if we stopped for coffee? But it will mean that you're a little late to school today, and I know how much you hate to be late."
Thinking it over, our very pensive 4-year-old responded, "Yes, Mom, I think some coffee and some time together would be just the ticket."
And it was. For 30 minutes we shared a scone and discussed the stream-of-consciousness thoughts that flow into the mind of my ultra-creative preschooler. When he had had his fill (of both pastry and Mom) he let me know and we headed out. He was so happy, a totally changed little boy for the fact that I had made time just for him in my amazing day.
My kids are amazing. They are talented and thoughtful and loving and hilarious and powerful forces of nature. They love life and school and each other, and it is my greatest pleasure to watch them come into themselves. But as much as I love them, I love my business in a different way. It fills my cup and provides a different joy and fulfillment than I found when I was a stay at home mom. I get to go out and be the best me, so I can come home and be the best Mom.
Finding balance isn't easy though, as I adventure into this world of former teacher turned Mom turned doula entrepreneur AND Mom. But today, a little bit of playing hookie was indeed, just the ticket to the best of both worlds.