A few weeks ago I wrote about worrying that I’m giving my daughter the wrong impression of what it means for her mom to work. I come home tired, I complain (too often) about having too much work, that kind of stuff. Well, I think I discovered one solution to making sure that my kiddo doesn’t think that my work is all about making me tired or that all it involves is my sitting in front of a computer:
Bring her to work with me.
OK, this isn’t a brilliant revelation — I’ve brought her to work with me many times before and she loves coming to the office (scooters, treats, playing with the iPad.. it’s a pretty fun place to be). But today when she was with me at the office I did something I hadn’t done before: I actually brought her with me to meetings where she saw me work. I also showed her some of the Power Points I was working on and we looked at my calendar together when I had to figure out my next business trip.
Of course she didn’t understand anything I was saying in meetings or writing in my Power Points, not the least because our iPad came with her everywhere. But I saw her watching me and people I work with and be engaged in a different way than when I’d bring her before and she would hang out in my office watching cartoons. And you know what? It felt really good to show her that my days are busy, dynamic, involve lots of people and conversations, some of which clearly make me smile and some of which make me tell her that we’re going out for cupcakes NOW because mommy needs a break. I want as much as possible to be a good, strong, positive role model for her and while I have no idea whether seeing me work accomplishes this, my gut tells me that it does.
As we were driving home at the end of the day I asked her, after seeing me work all day, what would she say I do at work. “You talk, a LOT. I mean, a LOT a LOT,” she said, adding some emphatic hand gestures to illustrate me talking (and yes, I do talk with my hands). “But people do listen to you. I know because I saw them all look at you and not interrupt when we went to meetings.”