I usually tell people that I’m a stay at home mom, but that’s not really accurate.
I am trying to build multiple businesses.
I have the blog. E-courses. Public speaking engagements. I repurpose furniture. Coach the swim team. And teach private swim lessons out of our pool in the summer.
So I’d say I’m a work at home mom too.
In fact, I have been trying so hard to work from home that I have been spending every free second trying to get work done around the kids’ schedules and while the kids are home.
I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about making an effort to spend at least 5 minutes a day, one-on-one with each of the kids.
I know. 5 minutes a day seems like a joke.
But how many of us really do this?
Driving in the car doesn’t count. I mean, I guess it could, but that’s not the five minutes I envision.
The bedtime routine doesn’t count either.
How often do you sit down with each of your kids each day and just spend time with them?
Maybe it’s just me.
Maybe I’m the only one who, when the kids wake up from their nap, hopes for just five more minutes to get a couple more things done.
Maybe when one of the kids comes into the office and wants to tell me a story, I’m the only one who says “Give me five more minutes. I’m almost done with this.”
And then that five minutes turns into fifteen. Or thirty.
And then it’s time for bed.
So I pledged I was going to make a change and spend one-on-one time with each of the kids starting a couple weeks ago, and I totally dropped the ball.
I have been kind of in panic mode.
We need money. Desperately.
And I’m really struggling with not using every spare second to try to get work done.
And so the kids have, again, fallen by the wayside.
This morning I was at the gym.
Add that to the list.
Because I’m running the Boston Marathon For Swim Across America and so I have to fit training for a marathon into the schedule also.
And while I was in the locker room, a mom rushed in with her little baby.
He was probably about 5 months old.
He was in his feet pajamas and she was running late for his swim lesson.
She put a towel down on the ground and put him on his back on top of it.
She unzipped his pajamas and was getting him dressed and I just stood there and watched.
He was so smiley and cute.
And he just lay there on his back, flapping his arms and legs up and down in excitement.
I love that stage.
Where their happiness comes out not just in their smile, but also through their bodies.
And then I got sad.
Because I’m done with that phase.
Because my baby is now three and a half.
She doesn’t smell like a baby anymore.
Her skin doesn’t feel like a baby’s anymore.
And I was trying to think back to what Number 6 looked like when he was that age, and I couldn’t really remember any of it.
I had to stop looking before I started bawling right there in the locker room.
About an hour later, I picked up Number 7 from preschool.
One of her teachers told me that for the last half hour or so of the day, she was a little weepy, which was uncharacteristic of her.
I got her out to the car and buckled her up and we headed home.
I asked her why she was sad at school and she said, “Because I just wanted to sit in the chair with you at home.”
Maybe I had seen that little boy in the locker room for a reason.
So we got home and it was just the two of us. Number 7 and me.
Normally I would rush through lunch and then get her up into bed as quickly as possible so I could get some work done.
But not today.
Today, we hung out.
And I didn’t worry about making a craft or drawing a picture or reading a book or doing something productive with her.
We just sat in the chair.
She may not really be a baby anymore.
But she’s still my baby.
And today was a pretty good reminder to take advantage of any of those baby moments that still remain.