I learned a lot today. About myself and my family. I have been on the planning committee for one day conference for work and today was the conference. It went well. And I watched as people were impacted by the content we had brought to them. I was part of making this possible and it was tremendously rewarding.
But it had consequences. I was in charge of logistics today. Making sure one thing flowed to the next. I needed to be at work before the event started – at 8:30. I know that sounds easy to a lot of people, but for our family that’s not always easy. I will admit there are days when we don’t get the boys to the daycare until 8AM and then we still have to drive the rest of the way to work. That gets me there about 8:20. While these are the exception, not the rule, it is hard to predict when they will happen (usually after a night where one or more boys get up in the middle of the night). We didn’t want to play our chances. So we decided it would work better for me to car pool with another committee member. He lives 3 blocks away. It made sense.
So at 7AM, my ride was at the house. I hugged the boys, oldest one twice, and headed on my way. Unbeknownst to me, my youngest proceeded to cry…and cry…and cry. I got to work and received a text from my husband that things weren’t going well. He explained the situation and I promptly started a video chat. The youngest, it turns out, wanted breakfast with momma. So he had breakfast with momma. I laid out name tags for the conference while visiting with him. He calmed down, ate, waved to me, blew me kisses. (ok, yes, this is the single cute part of this story.)
My husband got everything figured out at home then and was able to attend the conference. At the end of the day, we left for home, drained, but successful. Or so we thought.
We had dinner with two very rambunctious boys. Sooner than later it was time to start bedtime. I already figured the youngest wanted extra time with me. What I failed to realize was the oldest was impacted just as much. He was horribly hurt that mommy didn’t stay for breakfast. It wasn’t routine. Seems so obvious in hindsight really.
I don’t travel for my job – I’m not the type of person that likes to travel much anyways. I have never not had breakfast with my kids before we leave for school/work. The only exceptions are major illnesses when the kids have a clear visual that mommy can’t eat breakfast; that’s rare. To my kids, I committed a terrible offense.
Thankfully, they told me. And I’m listening. As a mom that works outside of the home, there are boundaries to my work. All parents (moms and dads) have these in some form and figure out what works best for them. For me, I find the right balance that always puts family first. Today I learned a boundary for my family. Really, I learned something I suspected was true – just to a much greater extent. Breakfast as a family is imperative at our house. So, tomorrow we plan to eat breakfast together. And every day after that.