Moms and Dads, can I just take a minute here to tell you how awesome you’re doing? I think every now and then you need to hear that, especially if you don’t have someone telling you.
I had an emotional month as my kids went to back to school this year. My youngest went to second grade and started riding the bus for the first time. My oldest is going into 11th grade and starting the program College Credit Plus though Kent State University. The first day of school was full “firsts” this year for both of them. And to top it off, my oldest daughter’s 17th birthday fell on the first day of school.
I love every second with my girls and I don’t like missing anything, but as a parent, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s just not possible. And that’s OK. We can’t beat ourselves up when we can’t do it all. The first day of school for my girls this year was one of those days.
I get up at 4 a.m. for my job at 95.5 The Fish and our radio show runs from 6 to 10 a.m., so I am always away from home in the mornings. This year, I did find myself bumming that I had to miss my youngest getting on the bus for the first time and making them breakfast, and being the first person to wish my oldest daughter a happy birthday. I’ve learned to improvise, and with technology it’s great; I was able to FaceTime with my youngest at the bus stop and watch her get on the bus. Wouldn’t you know it, too — I was live on the radio as the bus was pulling up and as I narrated every detail, I just couldn’t hold it in as I watched and the tears came gushing. That morning, I also snuck into my oldest daughter’s room and arranged 17 helium balloons for her “golden birthday” for her to wake up to since I couldn’t be there. (Fun fact: a golden birthday only happens once in your lifetime, when a person turns the age of their birthdate.)
My husband was great and sent me videos and pictures of the morning — but I also reminded myself why I work and why I wasn’t going to beat myself up over not being there that morning. I work because I want my girls to see that women can do anything. I want them to know that hard work and dedication can lead to amazing things. And that working and serving others is a gift, too.
So, mom and dad once again… you’re doing great. Stop with the guilt. Our kids are going to be just fine if you can’t squeeze in that extra hour of playtime together, or yes, you even have to miss some of those little moments like first day of school send offs.