Since V was born we’ve been inseparable, literally. We haven’t spent a night apart. We’ve traveled between our home in Southern California, and my parents’ place in BC twice a year, as well as to Dallas nearly every year, and to Florida. We’ve road-tripped and camped, been to Disney and Legoland several times, and I remind her every day that we have a great life.
Lately though she has been giving me a hard time about the amount of time I spend working. About a year ago, she picked up a framed photo of the two of us taken when she was just a year old, and said, “See this Mama? This is the Mama I want. I want her back.” I asked her why and she told me it’s because I work too much. My heart shattered in a million pieces.
The truth is that I’m at at the very beginning of building my business, and it does require a lot of my time and attention. I don’t stress about money, at all, because I don’t feel like we’re lacking anything in our life at the moment. Sure more money would mean we could travel more, have more experiences, but on a day to day basis the thought doesn’t cross my mind, “I wish I could afford X, Y or Z.”
In September she started full time kindergarten, and I set an intention to being super productive during school hours. I’m also, thanks to my friend Deb and her amazing ability to “frame” a situation, telling my clients that I’m not available to them in the afternoons because of a commitment to another “client”. I’m not saying, hey I’m a single parent and I need to spend several hours a day with my daughter, but there it is.
I have to be the fun factor
As a single parent I’ve found that I have to consciously balance being the parent, the sole breadwinner, and the fun factor. My goal is to provide fun experiences and activities instead of overcompensating with toys and junk food.
Last month (thanks to Groupon) I got to introduce her to something she knows I used to be really passionate about – skydiving! We drove down to Perris, and took turns flying in the wind tunnel. It was a little intense for her, after all she can still barely stand the sound of hand dryers in public restrooms, but she was so proud of herself for doing it. I had a blast and it was pretty cool that muscle memory kicked in and I was still able to fly – it’s been over 15 years since my last skydive! She was impressed by her Mama, and it felt good to have her see that side of me.
There are times I beat myself up about not being present enough, and I feel anxious about the time flying by. My baby just turned 6 and has wiggly teeth! I don’t want to look back on her childhood with regret.
I’m always looking for fun things we can do together. Do you have any great ideas?