Mummy guilt; we can feel guilty about the smallest things and I feel like my children know exactly what they need to do to turn it on!
Whether you stay at home, go out to work or try to do both, I think we all suffer from it at different stages in our lives. I get up at 6 am, work until 7.30am, organise kids, breakfast and school run and I'm back at my desk for 9 am until 2 pm when it is off to school pickup I go. I heard a mother yesterday say she is working full time now and she will always cherish the days when she was at home with the kids. Sometimes I find when I am in the moment I don't fully appreciate how good it is!
I like to think my seven-year-old daughter is pretty settled at school. She is capable, diligent and aims to please but is also a sensitive soul. I am lucky that I am in the position to walk her to school every day and collect her most days, that is the time we have the best chats, no distractions, she gets my undivided attention. Except of course when she chastises me for saying 'hello' or 'good morning' to so many people en route! She has never been fond of after-school activities and when I dug deeper over the past 3 years to find out why I realised it was because she didn't want to be without me for any longer than necessary!
She was generally happy if I collected her, we had a chat and then I dropped her off at an extracurricular activity, not ideal for my time management! Even when I carpool with a friend to go to drama class she gets upset going into school that morning saying she wishes it was 'my turn' to collect her. I know she is happy once the time comes but it doesn't stop her trying to put the guilts on me.
Last week, on a whim I decided to put a note in her lunchbox, it simply said "I love you" signed, Mum. When I collected her that day, I had forgotten all about the note but she came running up to me, "I got your note mum, that was so cool!" The next day she asked if I had put a note in her lunch box, so I kept doing it and she kept reminding me as we walked out the door. Some days she was so excited going into the school that she asked if she could check the note as soon as she got in, instead of waiting until break time!
I'm amazed at how such a simple yet personal gesture can have such a big impact. So now while I pack the lunch box I run through my checklist
I'd love your suggestions as to what else I can put on the notes!
To date I have used the following:
I love you
Love you always
Be the best you can be
I'm looking forward to our outing later
I miss you