Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Choices

I'm taking a vacation day next Wednesday for Middle's 4th birthday. And the week of the 16th, we'll be in Myrtle Beach.

This morning is Eldest's Kindergarten Celebration. I'm not going. I'm working.

Eldest asked me this morning why I wasn't coming to see him sing. As my heart sunk, I gently explained, again, that Daddy and his brothers would be there, but that I had to ride my train to go to work.

Mind you, I had thought this out beforehand. I consciously made the decision to not ruffle any feathers at work by asking permission to come in late (yet again).

I'm on the verge of tears.

What kind of mother am I? One who chooses work over her children? Scratch that--it's not actually my work--it's more like the politics at my work and the daily struggle of being a working mother.

I hate this. I hate that I can't not care what others think. At work. ("She asked to come in late again." Sigh. Eye roll.) At home. ("Hmmm...Eldest's mom is the only mother not here." Sigh. Eye roll.)

Granted, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, that this is a mere blip on the radar of my family's life. That as long as I'm working full-time, I will always be faced with these issues.

That tomorrow I will feel less Guilt. That I will get to enjoy pictures (errr...we've all see how not-so-adept Hubby is at wielding the camera) and video of Eldest's special day. That between Eldest and Hubby and the little ones' recaps, that I will feel as though I was there with them. Almost.

That I am a GOOD MOTHER.

But today? I feel like a failure.

17 comments:

Life As I Know It said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you're feeling down. I remember those days of tossing a coin to see who was staying home from work for the sick child or school event or whatever other last minute emergency came up. Not fun and not fair.
YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER. Believe that because its true.
Hang in there.

amanda said...

you are a GREAT mother.

and eldest knows it. middle knows it. and baby knows it.

that's all that really matters.

so even though the eyerolls sting, i say screw em.

Whirlwind said...

Hang in there, you are a good mother. We can't be there for everything. Take my kids school, just this week, there was a walking field trip to the town library (today, so they're not going since it's raining) and the pre-k graduation. Tomorrow is kindergarten move-up day for all incoming kindergarteners. Friday is Mass and a family cookout. Then the following Monday is field day. It's alot in a small amount of time. Even as a SAHM, I cannot go to all of them. The girls know it and even if they don't like it, they understand it.

I was talking to a friend last night whose kids are in the same classes as my girls and she works full-time. She was saying how she's really bummed that she can only go to one thing.

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

You are NOT a failure. And if you have to miss a graduation ceremony, its better to be the kindergarten one than the high school one! You do what you have to do...its part of being a mom. And it absolutely sucks. But by the time he's 8, he won't even remember the kindergarten graduation, much less that you couldn't be there!

Amy said...

Oh Sarah - I'm so sorry. I know how bad this feels because I've been there. He'll be fine. He'll have fun and tell you all about it and he'll promptly forget the whole thing.

But I know it feels awful. *HUGS*

Mayberry said...

It sucks! My kid's school is having a "family" picnic today at noon. On a Wednesday! Come on! And then an awards ceremony, parent tea, and goodbye ceremony, all tomorrow. What parents do they think can show up for all of that?

katesaid said...

Right there with you. My kids' year-end parties are both on the same day - a day I'm working. I might be able to sneak out and watch from the back row, but I have to tell both kids I can't go because I can't bear that let-down look. Even if they wouldn't actually BE let-down, I would feel it.

Sucks.

Mom of 5 said...

I am SO familiar with this guilt. The kids have stuff going at school....I have to work. I feel horrible. They are bummed that I'm not there.

I had a horrible experience with Bubba this year. He had several "parent days" at preschool. I wasn't able to make it to the first few. I was working for a couple, and was sick for the other one. His teacher realized that she hadn't seen either me or hubby at school. (My mother always took him and went to his functions in my place). She asked Bubba one day where we were. He told her we died!!!!!! She was mortified and asked my mom about it. My mom laughed and told her we weren't dead. We were just working.

Damn kid. He put a knife right through my heart! I made it to EVERY SINGLE function he had after that.

Hopefully the other kids won't resort to that tactic.

karen said...

Boy can I empathize! Aside from the guilt generated by not being able to attend many school-related activities, when I AM able to go I suffer the old unpopular feeling. All the other moms are busy sharing happy gossip and I can barely remember their names or to which child they belong.

Feener said...

you are a GOOD mother. tomorrow is my older daughters last day of preschool at the beach. i am going, hubby won't go, he can not take a day off from work for it. should he feel like a bad father ? NO. she even said to him, but daddy you have never picked me up from school. i know it doesn't effect him like it would me. hang in there.

Chaotic Joy said...

I'm sorry I didn't respond to this earlier. It makes me kind of mad, that there is still such a double standard when it comes to these things. Fathers miss them all the time, and everyone nods their head knowingly when you say "They couldn't get off work" But the judgment on mother's is harsh.

The barometer of your success as a mother is not how many benign school functions you attend. I am sorry you are carrying this guilt and I understand it. But Please let it go, my friend. Your children know you love them.

Houses, Couches and Babies said...

The fact that you even ask yourself the questions about being a good mother show you are a good mother. As a therapist friend once told me, I study shows kids don't need a perfect mom, they just need one that is good enough...and you are far exceeding good enough! But I feel the same way sometimes...it is the burden of motherhood we are doomed to feel every now and again.

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

I totally know how you feel, Sarah. It's hard not to feel guilty. Hugs.

In (Not So) Perfect Balance said...

Guilt is evil! You are SUPERwoman and the boyz are lucky to have you.

MB :o)

iheartchocolate said...

You are not a failure. It's what we have to do in this day and age. I hated working outside the home...for these reasons. But I know, I want to be a nurse and things are going to be just like this when mine are in school. Sucks.

Ramblin' Red said...

((HUGS)) Honey, I feel ya. It's a tough balance this working with kiddos thing. I am beyond glad that my work is flexible enough that I can try to hit the best of both worlds, and totally feel for people whose choices are more or less made for them.

Good moms feel that tug on their heartstrings just like you do, despite where they end up.

Deb said...

That is the see-saw of being a working mom, and I feel bad for my friends who ride it, because it's tough to make them feel good about their parenting on a bad day. ((HUGS))

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