Yesterday afternoon, I picked my daughter up from school and ran into her teacher. She grabbed Natalie’s hand lovingly and brought her over to me. Immediately, I felt all warm and fuzzy because I thought this was going to be a “your daughter is so great” conversation. Instead, I heard about how this week has been a little “rough” for Natalie and how she made some “pretty bad choices”.
“Like what?” I responded. My mouth went dry.
“Well, she made a big mess in art with paint and all her classmates copied her which caused a huge issue for the teacher. And … a few other episodes just like it.” (I’m paraphrasing of course)
The teacher and I then spoke to Natalie about what she did wrong and how she could improve her actions moving forward. The art teacher just happened to be coming out of the building. So, I made sure that my daughter apologized to her and made Natalie promise to help clean up in the morning.
As soon as she spoke, my daughter began to weep. I know she was sorry. It was written all over her face. She doesn’t want to disappoint her teachers, but she did.
Now, I get it. We all make mistakes. But I feel like a really bad mom because I haven’t been around much this last month. So, of course I start thinking this is all my fault and it’s just a cry for attention from my little one.
I tell my friend all of this and she points out that I just had a typical “mom response”. We are always to blame. We immediately point the finger at ourselves… even though it could really just be about a little girl pushing boundaries at school while trying to show off to her friends.
Deep down inside though, I feel like our very unstructured life is coming back to haunt us. I know my children are always with one of their parents, but yesterday I felt like I was failing them. And I don’t know what to do about it?
I have to work. There is no two ways about it. And work sometimes requires me to go and do things outside of the house. Just like the rest of the world. I shouldn’t feel guilty about doing these things. This is what puts bread on our table. This is what keeps this ship afloat.
But somewhere inside of me, I feel like I am doing wrong by my kids. Makes me sad to think I’m not giving them my all. But I only have so much to offer. I guess this is the struggle that every working parent faces.