This week, the flu hit my house with a vengeance. All of my carefully laid plans went out the window, and I found myself canceling appointments and dropping everything to run to urgent care. I know that I'm not unique in these things, but it takes times like this to really make me remember what is most important in my life.
I often have appointments scheduled weeks in advance. Sometimes though, I'm trying to work with someone who needs me tomorrow. I've learned that although I'm the type of person who likes to live with a careful and thorough plan, others don't. To make a living, I've had to adapt to the people I'm working with, and we have to learn how to do the same with our families. Sometimes it's so easy to pick work first and to have all the excuses necessary to justify it: if I don't work, how will I pay the bills; I want my family to have this kind of a lifestyle, so I have to work this much; by working, I'm really giving my family what they want/need.
I used to think that this domain of conflict between career and family was purely the domain of women, but I've come to realize the concept of "mothering" is not purely held by mothers. This week's flu in my house was the perfect example. My daughter is parented by myself, her father, and my husband - her stepfather. She spends time with all of us every week and every other weekend we switch off for the entire weekend. This week she got sick mid-week, but was due to go to her father's on Friday. She went for one night during which her care was a constant round of texts and phone calls with status updates and joint consultation meetings. When she needed to go in for an IV drip, the three of us made the trip. After that, she came home to our house because of a desire to be near her "stuff." I will be the one to stay home with her for the next few days, but is it any easier for them going into an office knowing there is a sick child at home who they can't help?
The concept of mothering and the relationship especially between mothers and daughters is one that filmmakers love to explore. This clip on FilmAnnex is especially intriguing to me.