Monday, December 3, 2012

Mommy Mondays: things I would have missed

When I was working, I didn't think I was missing much. I figured the kids were in school anyway when I was at the office. By the time I got home, they had already done the "chores" - homework, dinner, baths. And I was left with the moments that mattered - the "quality" fun bonding moments with them before bed. I thought I wasn't missing much.

But now that I'm on sabbatical and am around all day, everyday, I discovered there are things I would have missed, had I been at work.

Like seeing Noah enjoy his after-school karate class. Had I been at work, I would not have seen how much he was smiling through the session. Sure, my mom would likely have told me that his stance was really good for a beginner. She'd probably have told me that he learned to block or kick that day. But I would not have seen him beam with pride at the punch he just blocked. How his eyes danced with delight at each stance. How the corners of his mouth would turn up ever so slightly when he was pleased with his move. These things I would have missed had I been at work.

Last week was no exception. I picked up 15-year-old Isabella from school and I had to wait awhile because, as the guards had explained, "Napasarap sa paglaro!" (She was having so much fun playing!). Turns out, Isabella had been busy chasing a friend around the waiting area. I loved that that incident showed me she was still a kid. It was a side of her - that child-like side - I would have missed completely because she would be her quiet, glued-to-her-iTouch teenage self again at the house.

Had I been at work, I would have missed these subtle little things that speak volumes about my kids. Big realizations about their character from tiny observations that only a mother will notice. Yes, there are many things I would have missed had I been at work. So I am ever so grateful I am not missing them these days.

Working moms, don't fret. It isn't necessary for you to be there every minute. What I realized is the importance of observing an everyday, mundane moment. So make sure to reserve one or two of your VL (vacation leave) days for following them around on a normal day. The rest can be used for actual vacations or family trips or the necessary PTC (parent-teacher conference) or school program. But make it a point to take a day off to do nothing special and just observe your kids go through their usual day. I am certain you will witness those subtle little things that mean so, so much.

Photo from pinkwallpaper.

Click here for previous posts from the Mommy Mondays series. Watch for the downinthedots version of this post here tomorrow. 

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