I am not doing right by my child. And I don't mean that in a mommy guilt kind of way where I'm just feeling down on myself and need a boost from my circle of moms. Right now I am stating an objective fact. An objective fact driven by circumstances that I don't have much control over at this point in time, a problem with no solution, but still...
What am I doing that's so egregious? Simply this: I am not spending enough quality time with my daughter even as we spend nearly every waking moment in each other's company
Bo is a different story. He is enjoying the kind of quality time I wish I could give him, too, just with someone else. I'm okay with that because his daycare is situation is amazing. He gets outside, goes on walks, has lots of friends and toys to play with, and even manages to snag some pistachios (a fave) out of the deal. I'd wager this summer is going to be a great one for him.
But P. is home with me and that means her view is my back as I huddle over my laptop. These days she spends a lot of time playing by herself or doing a craft project (that I've set up) by herself or staring at the iPad before school and then sometimes even again after school because I am on yet another phone call or ghostwriting yet another article or optimizing someone's website and on and on and on forever until...
"Want to play with me, mama?" It's a question that can send me into private hysterics because oh my God, baby girl, yes I do ever so much but no, not now, not today, and I am so, so sorry about that.
Because I want to say yes since I know someday in the not so distant future it'll be me saying "Want to play with me, P.?" but she'll be too big, too cool, too embarrassed.
Summer coming should be like dream - no more five-day-a-week whirlwind of school drop offs and pick ups, no more endless snow - but it's settling in my head and in my heart like a nightmare. I keep imagining the competition between my to-do list and my daughter. Between my many deadlines and the beach and the wading pool and the walks to the playground just like we used to have every day until we couldn't.
When I picture the coming summer all I can think about is having to say no, again and again, until P. finally stops asking me to play for good because what's the use? As hard as it is now, it will be so much worse in three months when there won't be school to fill in the day. I really don't know what to do about it.
It's going to be a pale, white, broken summer when it ought to have been amazing - our first one together in four years. And I'm heartbroken.