Yesterday, I pulled into the driveway after a long day at work and my daughter came running out to my van. She flung open the driver's side door and before I could barely say hello, she put her arms around my neck saying, “I missed you so much. I thought of you all day. Did you know that the note you put in my desk at orientation I still have there? I read it every day and think about you.”
You see, at her classroom orientation, all the parents were asked to sit at our child's desk. While sitting at Adeline's desk, I tore out a piece of notebook paper and wrote her a little note that said that I loved her. It took just a few seconds and I hoped would make her smile the next day when she found it. It was literally just a little, cute tip I read in the ex factor guide and wanted to try once.
It actually has made her smile every day.
As I've been interviewed for dozens of podcasts for the release of my new book, Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive, the question I am asked over and over again is how can you not feel guilty for not being with your kids because you have to work.
My answer – it is not about the quantity of time you have with your kids, it is about the quality of that time. Moreover, one of the best things you can do for your kids is showing your love through being intentional and fully present when you are together (put away your phone).
When I wrote that note for Adeline, I knew that it would be meaningful because words are very important to her. I didn't realize it would be something she would hang on to and look at every day. I didn't realize that it would be a daily love letter to her.
So even when I am at work, she knows my heart is with it. Even though I am working to provide for our family and miss out on things like field trips and lunches, I love her deeply.
If you are a working mom, do not feel guilty about the time you don't have with your children because you are working. Instead, be intentional about your time that you do have. Show your love in other ways.
I promise. It makes a difference to our kids.
This makes me cry… It’s a perfect reminder for every working mom. Thank you for your words.
I’ve done this too. Also, I’ll add an extra treat to their lunch box with I love you written on the bag (I have found piles of those bags stuffed in their backpacks!). If we do art together I’ll put my piece of work in the back cover of their school binder. ANYTHING to let them know all I do is for them!
We talk regularly about the fact that I cannot attend every event, but we discuss which ones are important to them and I make it work. For others I’ll ask hubby, grandparents, or aunts to join in. I cannot wait to get your book!!
April Spolnicki says
My mother always left a quick few word note on my napkin in my lunch. I still remember those, so I do write them for my girls when I make their lunches (Dad does more of the lunches than me these days though). I’ve found those smashed down into the bottom because they have to keep them all. And I was given a large sticky note to write a note one year in elementary school and she left it stickied to her desk for the whole year. I was very surprised too. They remember what seem like the small things, but they’re important. I still remember the lunch notes left for me too. Thanks for all your insights, love reading you every day!
Missy Robinson says
Love hearing from all the mamas working our hearts out!
So needed to read this today!! Thank you Jessica!
I was reading some of your content on this site and that i agree with this internet website is very informative ! keep on putting up.
I am currently looking at putting my oldest into day care to allow me to work and I have been torn. I love how you said it’s about the quality of time not the quantity!