This is one of my worst fears…missing out on special events. I’m okay with not being a room mother and not going on every field trip, but I hate the thought of my kids being sad because I am not there. Fortunately, I still have a couple of years before this really rears it head. However, missing the 1-2 only opportunities for special events at this age is tough.
I need to face that one, I can’t do everything. Even if I stayed at home, there would likely be times where I needed to be in different places at the same time or had two different kids doing two different activities. Second, I don’t think it is doing our children any favors to expect us there 100% of the time. I think they need to be able to experience and cope with disappointment. This gives us opportunity to talk about how much we love them even when we are apart. It may also open up special opportunity for invaluble one on one time to compensate for missed events.
That being said, I also feel like it is very important for me to be closely involved in their education and activities. One way I do this is to plan, plan, plan…way in advance. Unfortunately I often have to turn in my schedule a minimum of 6 weeks in advance. Special programs can pop up with essentially zero notice, but I also work with fairly understanding colleagues. I work with several moms, and we all try to make it possible to help each other if possible to coordinate a special program or last minute event. I occasionally ask off in advance for personal time for personal time. I have used that time to take my son to the zoo or spend time with my daughter while my son is in mother’s morning out. I think in the future it will be helpful to try to attend the scheduled/planned events and accept that I can’t make every event, especially at the last minute.
How do you handle disappointment over not being able to attend a special program? Do you think working mothers can still be highly involved in children’s activities?