When do your kids need you most?
“When they’re little, your kids will accept love from anyone. When they’re teenagers, they need you.”
This is what a friend said to me the other day.
She has older kids and said she said she knew from the start that she didn’t want to stay home with them when they were young, but that she wanted to be there when they were teenagers.
She wanted to make she was the first person they saw after school when they got home so she could get a sense of how their day was while it was still fresh.
She wanted to be the one to spend hours of her day ferrying them between activities because that’s when they talked to her. She said she learned the most about their lives sitting side by side in traffic together.
I’ve thought about her comment approximately a zillion times since then.
A million of those times were yesterday, when my husband and I both had such crazy work days that our babysitter was the one to drop our son off at daycare in the morning and also to pick him again at night.
I thought about how much he loves her, and his teachers. I thought about how the love he needs right now is simple. I thought about how it’s important that I am usually the one to pick him up at night, give him a bath, and kiss him goodnight. But maybe it’s not necessary.
I often feel guilty about being at work and not with him most of the day. My friend’s comment, though, made me think that maybe it doesn’t matter so much right now.
That the rubber won’t meet the road for several more years, and that I can be intentional about what my life looks like then if I start now.
So, I’m asking for your thoughts:
Were you home with your kids when they were young?
When they were teenagers?
When did you feel they needed you most?
Would you do anything differently?
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