Does this sound familiar?
In addition to showing up at work, doing a fantastic job, keeping hearth and home moving along with enthusiasm and brilliance (and looking great all the while,) you maintain a second career as social secretary to your children.
This is the reality of many working moms and for the most part, all is well.
We handle it with grace and flexibility.
And then, there are times when our child throws another ball into the collection that we are juggling, and we must say no in order to maintain our sanity and the equilibrium of the family.
For the most part, my “no’s” are met with acceptance. But there are times when my “no” is met with a litany of complaints, whining, pleas and begging. You would think that I was denying my little darling food and shelter based on the severity of the emotion employed and guilt attempted.
When this happens, it takes everything I have to remain reasonable. I manage to say things like “I know it is disappointing honey, but we can’t go,” or, “hmmm, I wonder if we could make a plan to do that at some other time in the future?”
But inside I am thinking “How ungrateful!
Doesn’t he know that I arranged 3 play dates, purchased the Chanukah gift he has been wishing for and signed him up for softball this morning? How is it possible that he would be so unreasonable now just because I am saying no?”
A profound sense of disappointment comes over me. I feel unappreciated. There is a part of me that wants him to know all that I do for him each and every day. Now who is being unreasonable?
It is in those moments that I realize I am stretching myself too thin.
Everything I do for my children is done because I adore them and I want them to be happy, well taken care of and healthy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If my child is upset because I say no, it is not an indictment of my mothering skills. He is not telling me that he doesn’t appreciate me. He is simply reacting to his own disappointment in the moment. If I am taking care of myself, then I can calmly care for him.
Do we expect our children to appreciate what we do for them?
Absolutely! Just as we expect them to appreciate their world, all that they have been given and the opportunities ahead.
And you know what?
They learn the art of appreciation from watching us. If you are appreciating your world and taking care of yourself, the rest will follow. Doesn’t that sound reasonable?