Yesterday among the endless amounts of holiday sale emails, and deals I received one from little mans parent classroom assistant. It was an invite to volunteer and participate in the kindergarten holiday party. I scanned through it and instantly felt the guilty pains that I have become all so familiar with.
I never fully understood the whole mommy guilt thing until this year, when little man entered kindergarten. Probably because while he has been in Pre-K before this, my mom was able to be there in my absence which at least made me feel a little bit more in the loop of things. Either that or there wasn't quite as many in your face activities that we were asked to do.
But I get it now. Because as much as I want to be able to attend every party, volunteer opportunity, luncheon and concert they hold within school hours the sad truth of it is. I have a full time job in DC, where it would take just as long to get to his school as it would to come in to work. And the forced leave at the end of the year does not allow me much flex time at the moment to just up and leave to volunteer. As much as I would like to.
But each and every time I get these emails I once feel the tug of war, and the guilt that comes with it. I know the reality of things. Time flies. Little boys grow up way too fast and these precious moments will fade in to the clouds. It is moments like these when I find myself struggling with the commute, the pile of work at my desk and listening to coworkers talk about what they missed out on. Am I doing the right thing? I know why I am working and I know I need to work. Life is not like it was. But still I find myself debating if there is a better option. If I am perhaps missing out on something.
I am sure I am not alone in my sentiments. I know it is a struggle many of us deal with. The balance between home and work pulls us to our very core. I know the desire to be there is great, but the reality is far different. Just as much as I know I am in for many, many years of feeling guilty about things. I can't spend as much time with him as I want. It will be a struggle I should get used to I am assuming.
And yes, it is a real thing.
I scanned the email a second time until I got to the bottom where I hit the decline button (feeling a tad bit better that I could at least bring something in to the party). Still my mommy guilt was definitely working in over drive.
One year I promise myself I will be able to, until then I just hope he understands.