This is the follow up to my post He Wants Me To Quit . Here’s how the conversation continued.
I’ve always encouraged my children to talk to me, tell me how they are feeling. I want to be their outlet for letting go of bad and ugly they are holding inside. At 5 and 8 years old, their problems aren’t like adult problems but to them, those problems are gigantic. Things that happen at school with their teachers or friends can feel tremendous to a child just learning how to understand who they are. Add in some changes to their home routine and now you’ve created an emotional science fair baking soda volcano inside their little minds.
Based on all of this, I took what my son said to me about quitting me job with validity.
We can quit our feelings but feelings never quit us. They evolve into memories and I, for one, would like the memories I give my children to be happy ones.
He will be 10 years old soon. Then 20. Then 30. He won’t care if I’m at home or at work because his life will be his to manage. Mom will be needed…wanted…less and less.
Maybe it’s not just him that feels that loss when we aren’t together. Maybe I’m feeling that ache that we are apart as well. This time I have with him will be gone in a hummingbird’s heartbeat. Doesn’t it make sense that I take pause based on my son’s concerns?
Honey, I know I am working a lot. More than I had planned to, actually. The reason I took the job is so I would have time to be with you and your sister because it wasn’t a full time position like your Dad has. I guess it doesn’t feel like that since I’ve been gone more than I said I would. I’m sorry you feel I’m not around. How should I fix that? Remember, I can’t quit my job but I can try and make some changes.
“Don’t take extra days, Mom.”
What if you are in school while I’m at work?
“It doesn’t matter. You aren’t there to say goodbye in the mornings.”
So, that’s it. You need me to say goodbye.
“It helps me be better in school. I remember your words when we leave each other.”
Well, crap. If this is a guilt trip, it’s working. Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for my kids. They want me around. How can I say “No” to that? But, still, a compromise should be made.
Buddy, listen… I won’t be there every morning. I just won’t be. If it’s not work related, it’ll be a school meeting or a doctor’s appointment. Stuff happens. It’s just how life is. I can be there on some mornings to say goodbye but then you have to make sure those mornings count. Tell me your feelings. Talk to me. Let’s discuss the day and what the expectations are. Does that make sense?
“What about hugs?”
What about them?
“I need the hugs.”
I do too.
What about giving extra hugs on days that I’m with you? Well, try it out and see if it works. Deal?
And then we sealed it with a big, long, squeezing hug. A hug to seal all those feelings inside of both of us.
Done and done.