I am new to CTworkingmoms. More importantly I am also a fan. I so relate to the moms who write so honestly about their joys and struggles. My oldest is three and youngest is 21 months and I have learned so much already about what it really means to be a working mom. I learn every day (mostly through my mistakes) and sometimes I feel really good about my ability to mom. Other days I make lists (in my head) of all the things I can and should be doing better.
I often struggle with how much I give. There are days when work is draining and I come home and realize that my tank just can’t be empty. Walking into two lively toddlers and asking them to relax for a bit and snuggle is not an option. 3 o’clock means crafting, baking, sprinkler time, walks to the park or horse-back rides. They want it and they deserve it, so I do it. Don’t we all?
That’s why what happened a of couple weeks ago really stopped me in my tracks. I like to think that I “do it all.” But in reality I just “do a lot.”
A couple of weeks ago it was the end of the school year (I am a high school English teacher). Things were busy (chaotic?). The delicate see-saw I’d been holding on to the whole year was in peril and it wasn’t until the first week of June that I realized that I had allowed work to take over a bit and my kids to “fall” to the ground.
I had been excited to sign my kids up for swim lessons through parks and rec in my town (Berlin). They’ve done lessons at the Y and they worked out great, but it’s expensive. Plus, I liked the idea of doing it at an outdoor pool. Both kids are young so they need an adult in the pool. Berlin offers a class at night so my husband and I could both go. It was going to work out great.
Well, I let it slip my mind that sessions had opened. When I called on Wednesday they still had slots open – Phew!! I thought I screwed up, but sweet relief there was a solution. Getting there on Wednesday was going to be impossible though. I had a fundraiser for school to set up and because I took Lucy and John with me, what could’ve taken 30 minutes took a fun, yet tiring 2 hours.
Thursday it was.
Got there, got the right forms, signed them, talked nicely to the young girl helping me, handed them in – – ahhhh.
Just as I was turning it in I heard it, “Ohhh, oh no this won’t work.”
The class had filled up the day before. That’s right, Wednesday afternoon. The day I chose to focus on a school activity, my own kids lost out on a fun activity. I was really hard on myself for a couple of days (let’s be honest it must still be bothering me). My school kids are really important to me – I call them “my kids”, but they can’t take away from the ones I birthed. Right?
But alas, they sometimes do. Work creeps in my mind while playing hide and seek, emails sometimes need to be written, grading always takes up my free-time and yes, sometimes I don’t get the kids’ signed up for swim lessons on time. This is a weakness I am not proud of and it’s something I am always working on.
Will my kids swim this summer? Yes. Can I beat myself up about until September? Yes, but I am going to try not to.
Next year? Next year I’ll be waiting outside the door the first day classes are released. My kids deserve it, but really so does my conscience.