Yesterday, I pulled into the driveway after a long day at work and my daughter came running out to my van. She flung open the driver's side door and before I could barely say hello, she put her arms around my neck saying, "I missed you so much. I thought of you all day. Did you know that the note you put in my desk at orientation I still have there? I read it every day and think about you."
You see, at her classroom orientation, all the parents were asked to sit at our child's desk. While sitting at Adeline's desk, I tore out a piece of notebook paper and wrote her a little note that said that I loved her. It took just a few seconds and I hoped would make her smile the next day when she found it.
It actually has made her smile every day.
As I've been interviewed for dozens of podcasts for the release of my new book, Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive, the question I am asked over and over again is how can you not feel guilty for not being with your kids because you have to work.
My answer - it is not about the quantity of time you have with your kids, it is about the quality of that time. Moreover, one of the best things you can do for your kids is showing your love through being intentional and fully present when you are together (put away your phone).
When I wrote that note for Adeline, I knew that it would be meaningful because words are very important to her. I didn't realize it would be something she would hang on to and look at every day. I didn't realize that it would be a daily love letter to her.
So even when I am at work, she knows my heart is with it. Even though I am working to provide for our family and miss out on things like field trips and lunches, I love her deeply.
If you are a working mom, do not feel guilty about the time you don't have with your children because you are working. Instead, be intentional about your time that you do have. Show your love in other ways.
I promise. It makes a difference to our kids.
For more on working motherhood, preorder Jessica's new book, Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive (available September 18).