The Perfect Parent
It’s not possible to be the perfect parent… I try, but I can never get to where I want to be.
Let me tell you the most recent internal letdown. My son had a field trip scheduled today for the Children’s Museum. He loves going there and they’ve even got his favorite character, Bumblebee from Transformers, there on display. He was super excited to go and I was excited for him. But I work… full time. I don’t have the luxury of going to school functions, or even just having lunch with him. I would love to. Trust me. But I work about 20+ minutes from his school and I get an hour for lunch. It wouldn’t work out.
Back to the point. Yesterday, I got a phone call from his teacher asking if he could have some of the brownies that another mom had brought in for someone’s birthday. I told her no… even though I really wanted to say it was okay. I felt guilty for not letting him have it. But I don’t know how she made them. Did she use a box mix that was full of preservatives? How could I be sure?! Then the teacher asked if he could have a Capri Sun that mom had also brought it. I considered this one for a second and almost allowed it. I even asked if it were the less sugar watered down ones… she said no. (and so did I) After a couple more exchanges I told her bye and she told me that she’d see me tomorrow. I assumed she had confused me with someone who was chaperoning the Children’s Museum field trip and didn’t think much more of it.
As I was making my son’s sack lunch for the trip, he asked me if I could just hold on to it until lunch time. Confused, I asked him what he meant. He said “Since you’re coming on the trip today, can’t you just hang onto it for me until lunch?” Ummmm… “Honey, I’m not going on the trip.” After some more of the going back and forths, I found out the teacher had told him I was going on the trip and she had me down on a list of parents and showed it to him!!! I spent a half hour trying to not only convince him that she had mistaken me for someone else but also trying to console him because he was broken hearted and crying as hard as I’d seen him cry. I wanted to cry too.
My first thought was to call in sick to work so I could go on the field trip, but my boss told me yesterday he was taking a vacation day today. It’s only me and him in our department… one of us has to be here. My next thought was to call the teacher and give her a piece of my mind for making my son an emotional wreck. But what good would that do? I mean really. Would it help? No. Would it tick off his teacher who’s already frustrated by him on a daily basis? Probably.
So, I chocked it up to a learning experience for my son. Maybe he won’t remember this a couple years from now… maybe he’ll only remember going on the trip and not that he was so disappointed and hurt by the fact I couldn’t go. Maybe. Or will he wish that I would’ve gone and will resent me for some sort of emotional trauma that I’ve caused him and he’ll end up in therapy for 10 years because of it? Sigh, the scenarios here are endless. What I’m hoping is that he’ll learn a couple things from this… like the teacher will teach you about certain subjects but even a teacher is wrong, because we’re all humans. There’s only been one perfect being and He’s watching us all.
To all the stay-at-home mommies: I’m jealous. I really am. But I also know this… the family vacations we take and the family stuff we do together would not be as good (or exist at all) if I didn’t work. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I let me son down but I’m hoping he learns to deal with his emotions in a way that isn’t destructive to himself or anyone else.
I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place… So, the life of a working mommy continues.
[This is can also be found @ Wilson (Lite) along with many other adventures]