It’s Monday night, and I arrive at gymnastics early. I drag my enormous bag from the trunk of the car and head inside. My daughter doesn’t mind that she’s 30 minutes early, she loves to watch the competitive teams practice, but I’m here for another reason. I’ve got to grab a table, or at least a chair, before the other parents get here.
I see the sneers and the eye rolls as I drag out my Macbook and 3″ thick paper planner. I know what they are thinking, I’m guilty of the same thing. How on earth can a good mom spend her time playing on the internet instead of watching her kid? My case is a bit different than most. This actually makes me a BETTER mom. Not better than anyone else, but actually makes ME better. I’m using this 90 minutes to work. I’m not scrolling Facebook. In fact, my Facebook feed is disabled. I can only access my own sites and pages. I’m not going to let my life slip away just so I can monitor the lives of others from afar.
I have to do this so that I CAN spend time with my kids. I own multiple businesses, and I often have a lot of work to do or delegate. I’m able to streamline this into the few blocks of time I get each week without my toddler. He spends around 12 hours a week at daycare, and on gymnastics nights, my husband is able to meet us to get him so that I can have this uninterrupted time.
Even though I have a separate office at home, I’m still wracked with guilt for not doing the millions of things that need finished. You know, the dirty laundry, phone calls, dishes, clean laundry (which is much worse than the dirty), messes, and unlimited access to the refrigerator.
I am watching my daughter, it’s just over the top of my screen. In fact, as I’ve been writing this, she is doing the funky chicken across the balance beam because she knows I see her while I’m typing.
There are several kids in her session, so she’s not practicing constantly. She dresses in the brightest clothes you’ve ever seen, so it’s pretty easy for me to see when she’s moving. I can stop what I’m doing to watch her latest trick and when she’s done, I go back to work. This 90 minute block twice a week gives me time to plan and get my week on track, which makes me more efficient- which in frees up more of my time to spend with my kids. Gymnastics are the only nights that I am able to wrap up my work from and enjoy the rest of the evening with my family.
My daughter is also very active in softball, volleyball, basketball, and school clubs. Those activities are packed with non-stop action that I can’t always look away from, nor expose my computer to.
I don’t regret my decision at all. I’m able to be with my children during summers, after school, school holidays, and never miss a single thing they do. Not many parents have that opportunity, especially without financial worry. I’m lucky. Damn lucky.