About a week after I began work, my three-and-a-half year old son came up to my while I was getting ready.
"Mommy," he said and sighed. "I'm so proud of you."
"Aw, thanks, bud. Why?" I said.
"Because you're working now. I'm so, so proud of you now, mommy!"
"Ummm, thanks bud." I said. But I really thought, "Huh. Does that mean he was 'ashamed' when I 'wasn't working' taking care of him and his little sister all this time?" Of course, it was a funny moment I didn't take too seriously. But he did bring it up again today out of the blue. "Mommy, I'm so proud of you. You go to work ... and I'm also proud you got your nails painted."
(Sigh. Always a critic.)
Actually, he's fascinated by the whole new "working" mom thing. He loves to pretend he's going to work with my team and pulls out imaginary smart phones and pretends to text and leave work-related voice mail messages to my team members.
And I love that he's always trying to help and support me in this new role. Every morning, while we're all getting ready, he asks what I'm going to do that day. The other day, I was a little stressed already in the morning. I had a lot on my plate (both at home and work). When he asked what I was doing that day, I went through the list. "Mommy!" he practically yelled. "You can't do all those things!" Then he lowered his voice seriously and said:
"You just have to do them one at a time."
"Huh," I thought again. Here I am, 30 years old, and I haven't figured out what my three-year-old already knows. People pay big bucks for therapists and coaches to give them the same sound advice.
Simple, innocent, and honest-to-goodness nuggets of wisdom. From a three-year-old.