The working mummy guilt is real!
No matter how much you do … There’s stuff you can’t do and it eats you up.
On the weekends we try to spend time with the kids and plan fun activities for them. Last weekend alone they got to zip-line and rock wall climb and do a rope adventure course. They saw a movie and did a craft project and were treated to donuts. They loved it.
In May, we took a week long trip to Jamaica – And it was awesome – And I’m sure they will have happy memories of it for a long time.
But that trip meant taking 6 days off work; which means I won’t be able to take another day off for a long time. That’s where most of my guilt comes from. The stuff I miss because of work. Ace had his field day (fun day) at school and neither of us made it. We don’t chaperone field trips and we don’t drop by to read stories. I’ve never done a “breakfast with mom” and I even missed the awards ceremony when Jay got a certificate for being a good artist.
I can’t take days off for all that goodness because I need to save them for when someone is sick. I need to make sure I leave time for the very most important events such as graduation and the first day taking the bus to middle school. We need to coordinate so that when there is no school due to snow or election day, one of us has the time available to take off.
Not being an active participant in school activities also means I haven’t developed any relationships with the other parents. That in and of itself doesn’t bother me but it does affect my boys … Ace and the rest of the graduates have the opportunity to go to a water park next week but each kid needs to have an assigned chaperone – Even if it’s someone who is there watching their own child as well. Neither Shaunie nor I can make it and I don’t have any “mom friends” who I can ask to take on that responsibility in my stead. Ace will not get to go to the water park with his class.
I know I am lucky in a plethora of ways.
I’m not a single parent. Today, it’s Jays turn to have field day at school and Shaunie was able to go and I’ve gotten pictures and videos and he seems very happy.
When I do take a day off work, I still get paid.
I don’t work any weekends.
I have heat in the winter and AC in the summer – Heck I even have a parking garage so I don’t have to get wet walking across a parking lot when it rains.
I have a boss who is understanding if I need to leave early to take a kid to the doctor; Or if I get to work late because a kid had to poop just as we were walking out the door. (It helps that she’s a single parent.)
I actually like what I do.
My being lucky in so many ways though doesn’t diminish any of the guilt for the things I do miss.
I’m sure being a stay at home parent has its challenges. I see the social media posts … “School is out for the summer. Send help! And wine! Lots and lots of wine!” <- I just made that specific post up. … Feel free to use it if you are a stay at home parent and it resonates. I get it. Kids can be a handful. I get to use the bathroom at work without someone staring at me. I can sip my coffee in the peace and quiet of my car while I listen to the radio uninterrupted. I have adult conversations over lunch.
In a more serious scenario, I’m not forced to stay in an unhappy marriage because I can’t afford to leave.
But gosh darn it, if I wouldn’t prefer to be sweating in the hot ass sun, swatting away bugs, putting band aids on bruised knees, getting my toe run over by a scooter and watching a bunch of loud, not always well behaved 9 year olds run around with spray bottles and trying to toss a frizbee into a net right now.