I visited a fellow mummy blogger's site where she pointed out this article she read.
Just after I had written the post before this one (see post below), I started reading the article - a good reminder to me that in all that busy-ness these two months, it's also the school holidays for Caitlin. That means while as a stay-home mum I already get to spend time with her on 'normal' days more than other employee* parents do, the school holidays now present the opportunity to spend even more time with her. How shall I make that count?
*(I prefer to use 'employee' or you can substitute that with 'wage-earning' or 'businessperson' parent instead of 'working parent'. 'Working' parents also refer to people like me in case some forget that stay-home mums do work too!)
The writer of the article shared that he had chosen to take sabbaticals and time off to spend time watching his kids grow, foregoing big-time jobs and remuneration. Maybe not all of us dare do such a thing. Actually we are only limited by our thoughts. We say we can't due to financial commitments, situations etc. Changing our mindsets and fear of the unknown, insecurity about how the next meal will appear on the table are the usual hindrances. But the writer has a point when he said this:
I have two important things to say: Firstly, I want my kids to remember me as being a big part of their lives. Not like my own Dad who regrets every day that he never spent any time with his family when we were still young. The best time to spend with your children is in the first 10-12 years of their lives. As teenagers, they begin to distance themselves from you, so make the most of it when they are young, when they want to hug, sit on your knee and love every minute of your company. (Teenagers, I believe, are less inclined to participate in these fantastic things!). Secondly, careers can wait. We live in a world of plenty, unless you are so greedy that you want a plasma tv in every room of your 20-bedroom mansion. Live within your means and value time more than anything else. (No man on his death-bed says that he should have spent more time at work!) And, do you know what? The great job will still be there when you are in your 40's and 50's. If you want it enough and have the humility to start from scratch every now and then. And this applies to women as much as men. Don't get in the "I'll get left behind" trap. You're only fooling yourself.
Set goals for the kind of parent you'd like to be and work out what you have to do to be that in the eyes and heart of your children. (And remember to do some customer research every now and then to assess satisfaction. You may find that they want something else from Dad other than the latest Playstation or Mobile telephone.)