Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kindergarten Mom Guilt Match: FIGHT!

This is in response to the Working Mommy Wednesday prompt on "Mom guilt."

At the end of Darling Daughter's Kindergarten school year, there was a barrage of parental duties and volunteering opportunities. We received weekly guilt lists reminders about all the activities we were mandated asked to be involved with...
  • Field day volunteers needed!
  • Music program
  • End of year party volunteers needed!
  • Kindergarten celebration program
Did I mention these were all during the work day

My darling daughter asked if daddy and I were coming to each and every one of these.

My working mom prioritization: no volunteering during the work day. Sorry. I'll leave that to the stay-at-home moms. But, I'll try my best to come to all my kids programs. Ok. That's 2 daytime programs in 2 weeks.


Round 1: Music program


Daddy realizes that there is not one, but two, separate programs to attend. But he puts on his daddy britches, and comes to the music program.


Enter adorable Kindergartners singing their hearts out for 20 minutes. This includes one song the class composed about Webkinz. How cute is THAT?

Hugs, kisses, and I'm at work before 10am.

Supermom and Daddy Britches ROCK.

Mommy Guilt: 0
Mommy: 1

Round 2: Kindergarten celebration program


My son's face has swelled up like a balloon -- he has decided to enter our mom guilt match by looking like he's had a fight with Mike Tyson. Two days ago he was bit by a mosquito next to his eye.

A mosquito did THAT???

Suck-it-up mom and Daddy bitches Britches re-evaluate the day's plans.

Mommy Guilt: 1
Mommy: 1


Sour Sweet mom sits in the doctor's office with sicky boy waiting for a same day sick  battle of attrition appointment. Who will win?
  • In this corner:  The mom --- desperate to have a medical professional look at her sicky child
  • In that corner:  The doctor's office -- seemingly oblivious to the frazzled mother and crazed toddler taking over the waiting room. 

Determined-to-save-day Dad heads to the Elementary school to watch his daughter in her celebratory program. He is bewildered to find a sign at the door announcing the program starts at 10am, not 9am as momma had tracked in our Google calendar.
Dismayed daddy calls At-her-wits-end mommy to announce that she had tracked this important date and time incorrectly in the family calendar. Frustrated mom does not want to hear it since she's with the impatient patient. Dad decides to join mom and boy at the doctor's office.

Mommy Guilt: 2
Mommy: 1


Sicky boy is finally seen by our favorite Nurse Practitioner (yay!). She says he's had an allergic reaction to the bite, and just needs Benadryl. Of course, daddy had already figured that out and given him some (a guess -- since the bottle will not tell you how much to give a 3-year-old). She gives us the "secret doctor's chart" for Benadryl dosages based on age and weight. Turns out daddy didn't give him enough. Bonus: He's cleared to go to preschool.

Mommy Guilt: 2
Mommy: 2


Working daddy announces that he doesn't think he can stay for A's program because it starts later than he thought. He has to get to work. He has meetings he can't miss. Daddy leaves, but takes our boy to preschool.

Working mommy also has meetings she should not miss, but bites the bullet. Darling daughter will not accept no parents at her program. She was expecting 2 parents. Calculating mother figures she'll still make it to work by 11am (work is only 15 minutes away).


Mommy Guilt: 3
Mommy: 3
(I get a point for sticking around, right???)


The program begins with each of the students bringing their parents a huge book filled with projects they have completed throughout the year. We go through this book page-by-page. Adorable. Darling daughter is *so* excited. She asks about daddy, but is OK because momma is here. This phase of the program lasts at least 20 minutes.

Then I hear an announcement: "If you are going to take your child out to lunch after the program, please sign up here."

What??? Lunch? It's only 10:20am!

I half dismiss this as helicopter parenting.

Mommy Guilt: 4
Mommy: 3


The singing starts. Also adorable. Didn't we already have a music program? I pull out the point-and-shoot camera (my SLR was left at home in the chaos), and take some video until the battery runs out.


The photo montage starts. So very cute. I hope they got a couple pictures of my daughter because I know she shies from the camera, but she'll be disappointed if there's no pictures of her.

I start checking my Blackberry for the time. I feel bad for looking at my Blackberry. I want to tell the other moms -- "I'm just checking the time! I'm not looking at my e-mail! Really!"

I can feel the stares of the stay-at-home moms. The glow of the Blackberry is like a spotlight on me. I notice other working moms doing the same thing.

Mommy Guilt: 5
Mommy: 3

I look up at the montage, and see a few images of my daughter. Yay!

Mommy Guilt: 5
Mommy: 4


The video interviews start. How long is this celebration? One question for every kid in the Kindergarten class.

"What was your favorite part of Kindergarten?"
"What is something that baby chicks can do?"
"What are characteristics of butterflies?"
"What was your favorite event this year?"

Some kids show off their smarts, some kids say cute funny stuff.


I have an 11am meeting.

Mommy Guilt: 6
Mommy: 4

I fumble for my Blackberry.

I quickly instant message my coworker from my Blackberry (who knew I was going to be in a little late because of my daughter's program).  My coworker is concerned, but will take care of the 11am meeting. We'll have to reschedule. She is also a working mom. Thank goodness for that.

The stares from stay-at-home moms are now INTENSE.

Mommy Guilt: 7
Mommy: 4


I refocus on the program. The video interviews are finally finishing up. The teachers dismiss the students. Darling daughter runs over to me and is so excited. She wants to chat with me about every aspect of the program, and I want to run out the door because I'm soooo late. I try to hide this desire, and tell my daughter how wonderful the program was.

Mommy Guilt: 8
Mommy: 4



I just lost half of a work day and missed my meeting.

And all of these stay-at-home moms are still staring at me as they take their kids out to lunch.

Mommy Guilt: 9
Mommy: 4

TKO Mommy.  Mommy Guilt Wins!!!!

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Adrienne said...

I understand exactly how you feel about the moms who get to stay home and go to lunches take the kids home early ect....My son is so good for me about not being sad when I have to go back to work ....The other moms seem to be the ones who give me the saddest and meanest looks over it all

heavenisabookstore said...

You'll never be able to do it all. Be happy with your choice. Sounds like you are doing an incredible job. Kudos to you. (can you tell yourself good job?) I know guilt sucks, but pat yourself on the back. (or try at least, I am a fellow guilt monger)

Emily said...

Oh, I loved this post!

Julia said...

wow. i already told adrienne that my kids aren't school age, so I don't know that that's all like yet, but i'm sure it'll come. isn't it crazy how guilt always wins??

great post friend.

Amy said...

I relate to this post so much! And sah mommies do tend to give you mean looks, seriously. I want to scream, "Do you think I like this?! I HAVE to work!"

Aunt Crazy said...

Been there, done that, it sucks! Moms need support from one another, not daunting, mean stares!

Booyah's Momma said...

I'm just impressed you made it 12 rounds before the TKO occurred. Sounds like a crazy couple of mornings, kudos to you for making it out in one piece! And I agree with the other commenters... being a mom is hard enough without the guilt we feel from other moms.

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