How do I juggle being a good mother and running Filihood?
I can tell you this... I definitely do not always succeed! It is obvious that when you regularly have to "downgrade" your child, because of a business trip or a meeting, it is associated with extreme guilt and deprivation. I try as much as possible, to plan meetings and travels in the weeks where I haven't got Simon (we have 50/50 agreement) and whenever possible, I take him with me on my trips. Recently he joined me in Copenhagen, where I had meetings on two consecutive days. I asked one of my siblings to join us, so he was entertained while I was in meetings. I scheduled the meetings so that I could meet Simon and my sister for lunch. We booked a room for the 3 of us in a hotel with a pool, and went out for dinner in the evening ... that he enjoys very much!
I am fortunate to have a large family who all want to be with him, and all live in a radius of a few hundred meters in Aarhus where we live. I'm even more privileged to have a lovely husband and bonus dad for Simon. He is kind to provide the convenience of getting Simon off to school if I have to leave early. He and Simon enjoy running together, and he gives Simon some great experiences when I can not be here. Simon's father also has a business that requires a lot from him, so we understand what is being demanded of us in our jobs, and try to help each other as much as we can to make ends meet. Simon has been a devours child since he was eighteen months old, so he is used to having to navigate in being sent back and forth. He's very good-natured and accept much more than most people probably would. I am certain, that the most important thing for him is that he knows (and can see) that his dad and I get along, love him equally, and have a good time together. I think children can cope with much turbulence if they feel that there is peace in the relationship between the two people they love the most.
Simon and I have a confidential relationship, we talk a lot about everything, and I have always been very conscious not to talk TO my child, but WITH my child. It makes me feel that we have a very close bond and great confidentiality. I know he would tell me if he felt that the deprivation to me was too big ... It has happened that he has expressed, that I have been absent for too long. Whenever he expresses that, I drop everything at hand, and take a Time-out to be with him. I am not a "Tivoli" mom (a Danish term - not sure it translates like that in English? - it means filling the "gap" from being absent, by filling it up with exiting things like going out to eat, movies, expensive games etc. :-) I am convinced that "purchased presence" only provides a temporary gratification for children. We do not have a lot of Quantity time, but we DO have a lot of Quality time. We cook together, play cards and ran together until I became pregnant. I believe those moments lasts longer...hopefully forever and I hope fervently that this will be what he recalls, when he becomes an adult, and not all the hours I was not there.