I’ve been going through one of those frustrating working mom guilt phases again, where there just don’t seem to be enough hours in my life for…well, my life. Between work projects and holiday obligations, exciting things (hey, I was on the TODAY Show this week!) and less exciting things (hey, my insurance forms are due this week!) it’s been busy. And I’m not even the kind of mom who bakes.
How the heck do you working moms find time to bake? It’s a mystery I will one day uncover and turn into a Mom-101/Geraldo prime-time special.
Each weeknight, I feel like it’s all I can do to race out of work and through our front door, step over the piles of crap on the floor then fling my laptop and coat on the kitchen counter and rush to my kids, hoping to make the tail end of dinner. Or at best, squeak in as much cuddle time or reading time or back rub time as I can before lights out.
(Oh yes, back rub time. As in, mine. Did I mention that I am teaching my children to give me back rubs each night? As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of those essential first-grade skills along with homonyms and appropriate use of glitter glue.)
To compound the guilt–or feelings of parental unease and dissatisfaction at lack of balance, for those of you who bitchslap me every time I use the phrase “mom guilt”–I’m heading off on another week-long business trip on Friday. Sage makes her sad Beaker muppet face every time I mention it. (We share that skill.) She doesn’t want me to go, of course. I know it’s been on her mind a lot lately because she keeps asking me to count the days until I’ll be back.
So when I paused outside Sage’s preschool class this week at dropoff to read the latest teacher/student q+a about families that was posted to the hallway bulletin board, I blanched.
Last year, when Sage has a similar project, her teacher asked what Mommy’s hobbies are and Sage answered “be on the computer.” Seeing my pained expression, her teacher grasped my shoulder kindly and said, “oh..nearly every kid in the class had the same answer! Almost all of them!” Which was actually true.
But this year was different.
The third question on the printout, tacked up in the school hallway for all to read, said: What do your mommy and daddy do?
Sage’s answer: Mommy hugs and kisses me every time she comes home.
It’s just like you’re all always reminding me; it’s not what I’m doing when I’m not home, its what I’m doing when I am. Kids don’t remember the hole, they remember the donut.
Of course, when further prompted on the question about what we do, Sage answered: Daddy is a chef. Mommy just works.
Sound about right.