I Need ‘Me Time’. So I Leave My Kid Behind?

The concept of Me time has perpetuated thwarted priorities for some. ~Dr. Shelly Cameron

True Story

A colleague of mine has a young-adult daughter who has a child. Mid-weekly she leaves the child overnight at the sitter. It drives mom crazy when she realizes what has become the norm to leave her 2-year-old son overnight at the daycare to spend time with a ‘new guy’. One day mom asked her daughter; “where is the baby? Why did you leave him?” Her daughter replied “I need me-time”. In disbelief mom quickly retorted, “so you leave your child behind”?

Self-Care

As I reflect on this situation I realize the changes in society. Personally, I am a supporter of self-care initiatives and often encourage it. Self-care is an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy… basically taking time out to recoup, so you can be of use to others. But isn’t self-care equally important to the well-being of our child(ren)? It is believed that some young parents are getting this twisted. Depending on the situation they hold different views. If it is to get childcare tax credits, then the kids are embraced. If it is to go partying or such, then the child(ren) are seen as a distraction from ‘joy’ in their life.

Exceptions

Let’s hasten to say that this does not happen in all situations. There are some cases such as those when parent(s) have to travel for work and have little or no support. In those situations leaving a child behind is certainly understandable. However, in the cases where it is to have a good time on the town in the middle of the week, then the child is seen as a bother. Could it be that such parents have things twisted? For most of us, we have peace when we know that our kids are safe in our homes under our care.

Does this resonate? Do share. We would love to hear!

Cheers!

Fragile: The Art of A Child

The natural creativity of a child inspires us to dream, to expose the feelings of the heart. The heart of a child is not afraid, not Fragile. A child steps out in confidence to do what  he or she wants to do.

Today let’s be like a child. Let’s be bold! Let’s reach for those goals, dreams, and aspirations buried deep inside our soul.

Go ahead. Unveil the Dream. Bring it to reality.

In Mom’s Shadow

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Mom, in your shadow is where I choose to be. I reflect on how much you sacrificed, how much you cared. I used to hate those calls which came sporadically. Calls that seemed to come at the wrong time… when I’m in a meeting, or at a function, or just plain busy with work. Yet all you wanted was just to say hello, I’m thinking of you.

Years later when you became sick, restricted  by the pains and incapacitation of physical movements brought on by a stroke, I longed for those calls. I longed just to hear you say hello…, but it was hard for you. All I had was the look in your eyes which said, I still love you my child. I still care. I returned the love and care with more force than I ever could. This warmed your heart and brought the sparkle in your eyes. You were happy. You were pleased.

Mother, mama, Ma, madre, mom, mommy, whatever you may call her, spend some time today reflecting on the special moments you both shared. Better yet ….show her, tell her, memorialize her…. And whether you gave birth or not, mothers in any capacity, we appreciate you.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sacrifice/”>Sacrifice</a&gt;

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/shadow/”>Shadow</a&gt;

My Mom…My Journey

The nerve! How could she? But her question stayed with me for years

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I’ll never forget the sight. Standing in line more than a decade ago with hundreds of graduates awaiting the march into the ceremony, I saw my mom and dad walking in together a little late. She, with a basket of fruits too heavy for her to bear, but far too precious not to. Him, adorned in a bright red jacket as if to say “nobody is going to make me miss this special occasion when my daughter receives her Masters degree!” I must Confess
that I thought to myself…should I acknowledge them or should I shy away from this somewhat humorous sight? I dismissed the very thought and rushed to their side hugging them both. My action was met with admiration, claps, and with sounds of “awww”, as the waiting graduates stirred. Needless to say that this achievement was for both my parents as neither had college degrees. After the ceremony, my mom hugged and congratulated me with the question “when are you going to get the Doctorate?” The nerve! How could she? But her question stayed with me for years, even after the receipt of yet another Masters degree.

Years later, I finally succumbed to fulfilling her dream. She couldn’t do it so I decided to do it for her. A year into the program whilst en route to a mandated summer conference in Orlando, I received a call that she (with whom I spoke an hour earlier), had suffered a massive stroke!

That was the start of a year-long journey to be by her side through thick and thin. Ironically both our journeys were paths of learning. Hers being to learn to talk, to walk, to eat, to do life’s simple things, and to learn the basics of living all over again. Me, to face the reality of the situation that my mother was in, and to learn the skills to adequately provide her care. Along with my two sisters (one ailing with the ravages of cancer …now passed), we brought her to live closer so we could adequately care for her return to ‘normalcy’.

As I reflect on my Dissertation journey, on one occasion I remember receiving an important call from a professor while attending to her needs. I answered the call, got the coaching from the professor then returned to finish her care. This became a routine.

I remember being by her side at the hospital for hours, days, and weeks. She was my morning motivation. I couldn’t start the day without her knowing that I cared. It was the same at nights. I couldn’t end the day without visiting her, without her knowing that I was there for her. At work, the leaders knew that if they wanted my best then I needed an hour to be with my mom which was the fuel for the rest of my day. I happily worked that back during lunch or after hours. This went on for a year but sadly she never recovered. We later discovered that her body was wreaked with cancer unknown to our family. It was too much for her to bear.

After she passed this was my driving force. I had to finish my studies for her. I had to accomplish her dream, something she couldn’t do herself. I had to finish to show my two girls that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. I had to finish and leave something tangible behind.  This culminated in my research that tracked the paths of immigrant leaders and their journey to success to achieve the American Dream. I accomplished that feat two years after she passed away.

My mom was someone who wanted and accomplished much, even after she had gone. She remains my motivation. Today I salute her. Today she receives my standing Ovation!

As you reflect, is there anyone that has influenced your life? Do share, we would love to hear!

Cheers!