I am a working mom that works outside the home. From 9:00am til around 6:30pm every weekday I am at my office. I don’t get to do school drop offs or pick ups. I rarely get to go to the school events or volunteer in my kids’ classrooms.
So on the occasion that I actually get to attend something or, like today, I take a day of vacation so that I can be there for the daytime stuff, I feel a bit like I’m “playing Mom” – a different kind of mom than my schedule normally allows me to be. I’m the “first thing in the morning, dinnertime to bedtime and weekend mom.” Mr Awesome manages ALL the school stuff, he’s even the primary contact on their emergency forms.
On the rare occasions that I am able to be there, it is not uncommon to hear from parents, teachers, school staff – “Oh, whose mom are you?” All the other parents know each other from their daily encounters, but I am a stranger that for them has no connection to my kids. I guess this is the plight of most working parents.
Mr Awesome, on the other hand, knows EVERYONE. He’s on the PAC, he’s in charge of the school safety patrol, he DJs for the kids on special occasions. I’m so grateful that he works from home and has the ability to be there, and, as his name suggests, he is AWESOME at it. I just wish I could be there too.
Right now, they are still young enough to WANT me around and I feel like I am quickly seeing that window of time close. My daughter drew me a picture the other day and when I asked where I should hang it, she said “Why don’t you take it to your office? You’re mostly at work.” LIKE A DAGGER TO THE HEART. It’s not technically true, but in her mind I’m not here as much as I’m at my office. Ouch.
I am doing everything I can to be a “good” mom when I am at home, but it is HARD. What is a “good” mom, anyway? If it’s a mom that loves her kids unconditionally and shows and tells them that every chance she gets then I’m solid. But if it’s a mom that volunteers to push through the homework battle every night without losing her shit, or never lets them skip brushing their teeth once in a while because it’s not worth the fight, or never speeds through bedtime because she is just so freaking tired and the kids have been pushing her buttons all evening…then I’m not that good. When the only hours you have with your kids also happen to be the hours that you are constantly asking them to DO something and usually on a tight schedule, then that isn’t GOOD time.
I’m not the only working parent that feels this way, and we are doing the best we can, but man, does it ever hurt. I would give anything to be able to support my family working from home, but that’s not currently a reality.
And I say “currently” because one day it will happen, that day just isn’t today.