A Slice of Humble Pie
I guess when you eat a slice of humble pie, you should finish that first bite and follow it with a heart-felt “I’m sorry”. So, to all those that this is written for and to, I’m eating my pie and saying – “I’m sorry”.
You see, I have been a bit naïve. And because of that naivity…I’ve had a lack of compassion, understanding, and tolerance. “Always walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” has never rang more true for me than it does now. For 12 years, I stood smugly by at every kid’s field day, field trip, awards day, first day, last day- you name it -I was there. My chosen job allowed me to have that incredible flexibility and I am grateful for those years and for that job. I did, however, frown for those kids whose parents weren’t at the awards day, class party, or conference. I didn’t understand NOT being there FOR YOUR KID. How does that happen? How can a mom put her job before her kids?
Then last week…that crazy, event-filled, chaotic last week of school left me standing in the kitchen in tears. I’m talking the ugly cry people – and it came from no-where. I was cleaning dishes for goodness sakes, and the next thing I knew it was Niagara Falls. I was missing, for the first time ever, my kids end-of-year party. Now, let’s get something straight. My kids were fine with this. They understood that I had to choose this year….the awards ceremony or the class party. We chose awards. They were fine. I wasn’t! I had guilt. In my mind I saw them sitting there by themselves while every other kid (EVERY OTHER KID) sat with their parents and took fun end-of-the-year photos, made those summer crafts together, and there they sat-alone. Now I know this sounds a bit, ok – maybe a lot dramatic. It really was a first for me and it wasn’t pretty.
Then, it wasn’t just the party. It was the culmination of everything a working mom experiences. It all came crashing down amongst bubbles in the sink and dirty dishes. It was the fact that packing for our kick-off summer bash hadn’t started and it was 8:30pm the night before we were leaving. It was the fact that EVERY time I visit the grocery store now the kids are with me. It is the dirty clothes piling up in the laundry room because who has time when working, sports, and sleep. It was the frustration at it taking 2 hours to get my nails done because I had to go when everyone else and their mom was there. (I know, real world problems, right?) It was the guilt that my son had some pretty horrific grades in the last 2 weeks of school because I had checked out, knowing he ALWAYS needs me to check-up on him, but I was tired. I’m not special, or asking for pity – I’m finally UNDERSTANDING and HUMBLED.
I am, more than anything, grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to do something I love. I get to help families and babies find each other. I LOVE my job. I LOVE my life, but I now get it. Those kids sitting by themselves…my kid sitting by himself…is proof of a momma who does put their child first. Who loves and would do whatever she could do be there, but must provide food and shoes and financial support for her family. I get it. I understand the tired eyes and the sometimes negative comments at the ball field about life being tough. I AM A WORKING MOMMA, and to all those working mommas out there – YOU ROCK! You do and always will put your child first, even as you drop them off and head into work each day. I am honored that I get to do life with so many of you. So – no momma guilt, you hear? My kid is sitting with your kid on the bus for the field trip and you know what, they are ok! Teach them an amazing work ethic and when you tuck them in at night – lay down and fall asleep beside them…it doesn’t matter if it’s 8:00 – you deserve it.