Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Working Mother's Guilt

Wednesday night we gear up for Author's Tea at school. The teacher requested all students dress up like they were going to have tea. Snow White laid out her pink skirt with embroidered flowers, a long sleeved, pink poet/pirate sort of blouse, a pink straw hat, her white gloves and white sandals. Yes, I said sandals! For this one special occasion at school she was allowed to wear sandals.

Thursday guilt of a single working mom came up. Snow White in her early morning pleading "Please come to the Author's Tea today. You are the only parent who never comes to things we do during school time." I do attend all the after 5 PM activities. I present my work to date to my boss by 10 AM and then ask if there is anything pressing for the afternoon. He assures me nothing is pressing but asks the time of the Author's Tea. Sorry, it is not within the three-quarters of full filling the salary requirement. Um what? He explained if the activity was after 3 PM I could go and not show time out of the office. Since the Author's Tea was at 2 PM I would have to take a half day and he approved my time off on the spot! YEAH! Snow White would be so happy to see me! Especially since she thought I was not coming. {guilt of working moms post will eventually come}

My gosh Snow White was right! The teacher was so ecstatic about my arrival you would have thought I was the Pope! The teacher thanked me over and over again for giving Snow White all she needed for the Tea. "When she entered the school another teacher said "Oh my! She is too cute! Looks like she is entertaining at High Tea with the Queen." To that the teacher said "Exactly! She is going to Tea today."

I am usually the ONLY Mom not in attendance at these functions held during the normal 9-5 work hours. Yes, she attends a school where all the Moms are stay at home moms or work only when their children are in school with a flexible enough schedule to be at school at least 25% of the day. All very intelligent women AND they volunteer EVERYWHERE in the community. They are all members of this and that of the holy grail sort of charities and they take time out of their busy schedules to do the ever so loving classroom appearances [yes, I am jealous of this]. Every last one of them. "Which groups do you attend? I can get you in our exclusive group of _______ or ________ and even ______! I think I saw you at our regular ____ weekly meeting. How long have you been here? Oh. You work?" Then they try to politely make conversation. What else can they do? You..I mean Me, the working Mom, have nothing in common with them after all [so they may think]. I do try to bridge the gap. I am not terribly shy. These are the times I wish I was a stay at home Mom but as a single Mom I cannot be at both places at once and still maintain the income we need as a family [college for all three children and everyday living expenses]

Snow White and her class was just coming in from second recess. Her eyes lit up and she looked as if she had stopped breathing! Her teacher stopped the procession line of students long enough for me to make my way from the sign in sheet [after the entrance camera and all security clearances] to the classroom. The teacher thanked me over and over again for coming. It was a bit of a shock to Snow White that I came to the school. Apparently it was also a big deal for the teacher that I arrived during normal school hours. One little girl, Egypt, pulled on my suit jacket and said Snow White looks so cute today. I said to Egypt, "Darling, you look so cute in your skirt and top. I love the bead work in your skirt and the sparkle in your smile." Her smile flourished even more after I said it. So did mine!

I thought the Author's Tea was similar to the reading and signing of a famous children's book author who had visited before. This was not the case. The authors we parents were there to celebrate were our children. It was very thrilling to watch Snow White and her classmates recite poems, sing songs and read books they wrote themselves.

At the Author's Tea I did see all of the local Moms from the Slumber party. My thought was the first Mom I could get next to I would invite her daughter over to play on Saturday. After meeting all the Moms and the girls at the slumber party it was like shooting fish in a barrel. It turned out to be Gymnast's Mom.

Running a very close second was American Girl's Mom. She hung around like she wanted to talk with me. There was not enough time to talk with one Mom and the teacher before the end of day school bell rung. I did try to rush through the sign out process to also talk with American Girl's Mom. When Snow White and I reached the parking lot there was no sign of American Girl or her Mom. Oh well, we made the best of it. Snow White skipped daycare and we went straight home. Gymnast's Mom, Dawn called after talking over their weekend plans and Gymnast was free to play at our house Saturday! I had completely forgotten about the holiday weekend. We plan for Saturday around 11 AM for the girls to play for a few hours. You never
know with children if they will get along one on one like a house on fire or if they will each count the minutes until it is over. We agree to play it by ear.

Grammy K calls Thursday night to say she would also like to visit Saturday morning. I let her know Snow White is having a friend over that afternoon but we would LOVE to see her too!!! Really, it has been months since we saw Grammy K.

I went home and relaxed until Friday after work. I came home and cleaned like there was no tomorrow. ManSon was off in another state having his birthday party. [mommy whimper] He is all grown up now. The back lawn needed a good mowing and it was last minute so I mowed the lawn. I figured it was great exercise for myself and it was. Yikes! The back lawn has become a bit over grown but I do get it done and with a push mower too. [gas powered]. I found buried treasure in my lawn...will tell more later.


Lahdeedah said...

I so get working mom's guilt.

I can attend functions now, but soon won't be able to (If I ever get a _)*%_#$ job ha ha ha) but when I did work, my daughter would get distressed over the day time events I never could make....

My hubby and I usually split it up, so that one could be there at least, but it never seems enough....

MommasWorld said...

I am the only parent she has so I do not have that option. Bringing her to this town has made that all more apparent. It seems this is a one income family town and all or most of the moms are stay at home. I actually enjoy my work but it does pull hard on the heart strings when things like this come up.

I do hope you join the working force soon. I know you have been looking forward to it. Be very glad your husband is alive and well to help you in all parenting duties as well as husbandly duties :-)