Strictly a self-imposed rule: Do not work in front of my daughter.
Not only because she has a killer side hustle brainstorming ways to increase daily screen time limits and playing on mama's computer totally qualifies as winning, but also because I don't want to be that mom.
My nose buried in my phone when she looks up excitedly, wondering if I watched her latest dance move.
My brain pre-occupied composing an email so it's instant mac and cheese for lunch again.
My energy dedicated to copy and strategy instead of books and tea parties.
And most days I do a pretty bang up job of parenting. Not to toot my own horn (alright, I'll toot it) but I consider myself loving, kind, and above all, patient with my kid. She makes it really easy. The child is more or less sunshine in human form. Ask anyone who has ever met her.
Granted there are rainy days.
It has been a tough week. You wouldn't think small breaks in routine would have such roiling impacts on day-to-day life. But it's Friday and I found myself scrambling for work time that I wasn't able to drum up Monday through Thursday due to various life circumstances.
Which meant the Tigger movie for her while I scrambled through a list of tasks I knew I had to complete before we could go to the park.
Listen—I don't want my kid to grow up thinking she's the center of the universe. But I DO want her to grow up knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that she and her daddy are at the center of MY universe.
I don't want to be a Lifetime movie "working mom" but I DO want to set a powerful example for her, proving that it's possible to run a business and still be a human who makes time for life and the people in it.
I don't want to spoil her with travels, but I DO want to teach her the beauty of running your own shop complete with location independence.
Today, when I prioritized my business over my little—something I strive to never, EVER do—I didn't feel like a good mom.
I felt like crap.
Today I was not the mom she deserved.
I don't think she suspects this inner turmoil, of course. Tigger movie? Hell yes, Al, pass me my juice and cheesy crackers and GTFO.
For which I'm eternally grateful.
All of which is to say that if you've ever felt like this? You aren't alone. It's a constant struggle wondering if you're doing enough or too much, isn't it, mama?
But then I take a breath.
Remind myself that an extra hour of Tigger today is unlikely to be what puts her into therapy 30 years down the road.
Complete my to-do list.
And walk the two of us over to the park.
Moming is tough. But if you're giving it your best in that moment then you also have to love yourself enough to forgive any slips and move forward.
She still smiles at me like I'm the best thing since that slice of pita I let her have last week.
So I must be doing something right—even on the days I feel I'm doing it all wrong.