One benefit that’s come from starting my own business and working from home has been the time I’ve been able to spend with my children. When I had a longer commute and worked a corporate job, I was occasionally able to attend important school events like awards assemblies or field trips to the zoo.
These events are planned in advance. I always looked forward to witnessing first hand how my children interacted with adults and their peers. Kim handled the day-to-day activities while I cherry-picked the best activities which I could join.
But now that I’m home during the day I see events for how they actually are.
Yesterday my daughter woke up sick. Two years ago, I would have patted her on the head before darting off to catch the train, hoping she’d feel better. But now I found myself sitting next to her as she threw-up whatever medication she’d taken 10 minutes earlier. As I headed to the bathroom to dispose of the meds that had thankfully found their way into a large plastic bowl, I said to myself, “This is what it’s really like.”
Mothers will probably laugh at my naiveté. Of course that’s what it’s like!
So while I now understand that I’d make a miserable nurse, I’m also learning to connect with my children in ways that were not possible when I was away 12 to 14 hours a day. Like last week when I took Luca to get fitted for contact lenses.
Our oldest daughter is nearly 14 years old. She’s the first to remind me that I’m not earning myself any coolness points by wearing shorts, flip flops and a hoodie around town.
I found myself sitting in the lobby while Luca was escorted back to the exam room. I figured I’d see Luca in about 30 minutes if everything went well. So I was surprised when the receptionist approached me and said, “Luca asked if you’d come back to the exam room to be with her.”
I was surprised. The door to the exam room was open, and I could her chatting with the doctor. But I made my way to her and took a seat in the corner. “Are you ok?” I asked.
I sat there for the rest of her exam, wondering what my daughter will grow up to be, but thankful I still have a few years with her before he goes off to college. Between friends, schools, and music, I’m not left with a large chunk of time to spend with her. I know the time will come when she’ll leave home to make a life of her own.
But it felt good to feel that there are times when she still wants me by her side.