Musings + Essays

It’s Their Day, Too.

By: Jen Shoop

*In snap above, micro is wearing shortalls by CPC. This style runs a bit big and boxy. I love the patterns they offer. This pair is on sale!

At some point over the last year, I came across a post or essay whose provenance I now regretfully forget in which a mother shared the perspective that although some days feel like a progress-less wash of repetitions, “it’s their day, too.” By this she meant that her children, active participants in the very day she had just heaved a sigh over, might have a very different outlook on the day’s happenings. Where we might see piles of laundry, meltdowns, and too many refills of the snack cup, they might remember playing magnatiles with you on the floor, your soothing voice talking them through a blowup with a sibling, and “the day my mom finally let me have those snacks I’ve been begging for all month.” I have been treasuring this perspective. It has left me feeling better about slow weekends during which the highlight is a trip to the public library and no one is out of pajamas until 10 and though I might lose my patience enforcing this or that rule (currently: staying seated at the dining room table), I have made my point through tedious correction after tedious correction and trust that these rules of decorum will eventually percolate because I am putting in the time. I wrote not long ago that “Maybe I have done the hard work of motherhood and not even realized it because I tend to mistake “progress” for “folded laundry” and “a completed to-do list” rather than the hundred tiny and un-notable interactions of love that go into parenting every single day.” This feels doubly true when I remember “it’s their day, too.” My children do not care if my bed is made or I have crossed everything off of my to-do list. They care that I listen to their rambling stories about the bunny (“Thumper,” we call him) that traipses through our backyard, and murmur empathy over skinned knees from earlier today (“look, mama!”), and permit them to flop into my lap with a stack of books, and speak gibberish while playing “Barbs” with them.

Too often, I tell my children: “in a minute” or “not right now.” I feel appropriately chastised at this moment by remembering “it’s their day, too.” My children are not inconveniences, or afterthoughts, to be worked around or ushered from Point A to Point B. They are at the heart of my day. They are its heart. Of course, it is not possible to arrest all housework and play all day long, and I semi-resent the television program “Bluey” they so greedily watch because it portrays an unrealistic idyll of parent-child interaction, but still. I could stand to say “yes” more often. I was made keenly aware of this last night when mini asked us if we could play “Ariel” after dinner, and, though we are normally afluster during that crescent of time before bed as we rapidly clean the kitchen, clear the plates, feed and walk the dog, and retire toys to their appropriate bins, we both said, “Yes.” For fifteen minutes, we accommodated her labyrinthine rules of play, donning strange voices and spiraling around the family room. For fifteen minutes, she absolutely beamed. It was her day, too.

Post Scripts.

+Long days of parenting.

+A tiny relinquishing.

+Remembrances of my grandfather.

Shopping Break.

+Just reordered glowscreen for like the fourth consecutive time in a row. I love this product. I’ve replaced tinted moisturizer with it. It offers minimal coverage but I love the glow and SPF, and will then supplement with concealer and/or blend with foundation where needed.

+This Carloline Constas dress is absolutely darling and, I think, so versatile. (AND on sale.) Could be worn with sandals for a chic weekend event (i.e., birthday party, garden party, etc) or dressed up with heels for a lunch or shower.

+Love this belted mini shirtdress — comes in such good colors, and under $50!

+I wear my State Bags belt bag so often (legit my best friend for walking the dog, hiking, and even traveling to NYC last week) I am contemplating investing in a second one, possibly this Gucci??? I know it’s for kids, but so cute. Clare Vivier also has some great styles.

+J’adore these scalloped mugs!

+Sweetest bubble for a baby in the mint green floral. Only $10!

+New brand to know: O Pioneers. Lots of on-trend fabrics and cuts!

+This Target steal is just so good.

+FUN pearl sandals.

+A perfect sports bra. Love the color, shape, ribbing, etc.

+Pretty floral skirt.

+Sweetest everyday “pinafore” dress for a little.

+Pretty pink dress for $30.

+This bag is hippie fab. More fun crochet finds here.

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8 thoughts on “It’s Their Day, Too.

  1. An excellent and very well-timed post. We have a almost 16 month old and it’s easy to get caught up in getting things “done” but it’s her day too. She is the heart of my day and I need to remember that!

  2. Yes it is their day, but it is also your day and also family day! I feel as if saying no sometimes encourages them to be creative and self reliant. We do not need to entertain, but we should enable independence to grow.
    This is the independence you want them to have as they go off to college. Nuture it for years.
    Just my thoughts.

    1. Hi Cynthia – This is so reassuring! I agree that there is definitely a balance to strive for here. I remember a Magpie said something like “boredom is a good thing for children,” and I hear that echo, too. So good to have them come up with their own pastimes, entertain themselves, etc.


  3. Love this piece so much – “they are the hear of my day.” My god, how true but how hard the world tries to make me forget that important note. For those wondering, the referenced work is written by Katie Blackburn. I treasure all of her writing, but this essay in particular has really resonated. I have it posted above my work station to remind myself that some days are just days, but with my children’s perspective at the front of my mind and heart, those kinds of days really matter.

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for finding the source! I have been searching for where I came across that! Loved this post.

      Love the message here.


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