Child's Drawing Has Powerful Impact On Mom Trying To Balance Work And Home Life

When a child hands you a drawing they did themselves, it's not very often that your response is anything beyond the usual "Wow!" or "Beautiful!" or, in Priya Amin's case, an automatic, "That's so good, buddy!"

But as she explained in a post on LinkedIn, a recent drawing given to her by her 7-year-old son warranted a much different reaction. After a closer look at the picture, the Pennsylvania-based mother-of-two's enthusiasm was replaced with heartbreak as she realized what he was trying to tell her.

Or, perhaps, what he had inadvertently made perfectly clear.

The hand-drawn picture was of two stick figures — a mom working at her computer, and a boy standing behind her.

A speech bubble from the boy asks, "Mommy are you done?" to which the woman at the computer simply replies, "no". When Amin's son handed her the picture, she herself was sitting at her own laptop.

"I looked at the clock — it was 6:05 PM," she recalled in her post. "Then I looked at my to-do list which seemed to be a mile long. My heart sank — although I don’t like to admit it, this is the situation almost every night."

In that same post, Amin admitted something else, something which many parents everywhere are likely experiencing as the world continues to deal with the realities of the coronavirus.

Unsplash | Standsome Worklifestyle

"My ability to separate work from home life has become more and more challenging as the pandemic has worn on," she wrote, adding that technology has only furthered her inability to separate the two, as she's constantly receiving work notifications on her devices.

While some "tips and tricks" for working from home as a parent have helped her in some ways, she still feels like she's constantly falling short in some ways, either at her job as the CEO of her own company, or her other role as mother to her two children.

And of course, with those feelings of inadequacy come feelings of immense guilt.

Unsplash | Charles Deluvio

"Guilt for not doing enough work in the day," Amin explained. "Guilt for not being at my best mentally or emotionally. Guilt for spending transactional time with my kids instead of intentional, meaningful time with them."

She added, "That last type of guilt is what fell on me like a ton of bricks when this sweet drawing landed in my lap."

Indeed, the pressures associated with remote working as a parent can take a serious toll, especially when someone feels like they're failing to keep up with these new-world demands.

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For many parents, they aren't just working from home, either. They're looking after their children while daycares and schools are closed; they're having to make themselves available to help those of their children who are now learning remotely; and they still have to run errands needed to keep their house and family in order.

When you put all that together, balancing work and home simply seems like an impossible juggling act.

Amin said that getting such a poignant drawing from her son has certainly had its impact.

Unsplash | Mikey Harris

"[My] kids ask me almost on a daily basis when I’ll be 'done'," she wrote. "This was just the first time it was articulated in such a heartbreaking way."

In an interview with Good Morning America, she explained that she has continued to work on her computer while her kids are completing their own schoolwork. But once they've finished their classes, she logs off for the evening, too.

While she wants all parents experiencing similar feelings of guilt to know they aren't alone, Amin also said she doesn't think it's possible to "balance" work and home the way we wish we could.

Unsplash | Jordan Whitt

"It does feel really good to know that your kids miss you and want to spend time with you," she told GMA. "But as far as 'balance?' It's more of a crazy juggling act, where all the balls are on fire."

h/t: Good Morning America, LinkedIn

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