Mom Guilt Strikes Again...

It is very hard to juggle working full time and being able a part of your child's educational experience. I'm not talking about supporting the academic goals of school. I'm talking about the social/activities of school. With the end of another school year closing in, I'm struggling with the inability to "do it all".

The last few weeks of every school year races by in a blur. You have sports wrapping up. Church programs coming to an end. And everything school-related being squeezed into these last few weeks. All of which are fun activities. All of which you want to see your kiddo participate in. But how do you do it? Like most people, I work 8-5, Monday to Friday. During the hours that the kiddos are in school.

Yesterday the fifth grade was transported to the middle school for the graduation ceremony for the TEAM Program. This seems to be the modern DARE program from when I was a kid. Led by local police officers. Being taught about the dangers of drugs and how to be safe....in your home, around guns and on the Internet. My son really wanted me to be at this ceremony. He asked me for weeks if I was going. I arranged to take a long lunch (at 10 am) so I could go and watch the closing ceremony for this program. It was very moving. (On a side note, it was a little scary to realize that I no longer control the who, what, where and whys of the choices my kiddos will make.). The problem is that the program went on for a very long time. I had to leave after an hour and a half, and I didn't get to see my son walk across the stage. I left feeling like I was letting him down.

Every year the school takes the kids to a local state park and they have an environmental field day...filled with activities. Today was that day. As I see pictures on Facebook posted by the parents that were able to be there, I get sad. I missed out on this....again. The reality is I could request PTO. But I rarely do unless it is due to sickness....because I am banking it to take a full week off with the Mini's this summer for vacation. I'm not complaining about PTO. I'm not complaining at all. In fact, I'm thankful to see the pictures. I'm thankful to the moms that tag me in pictures that my kids are in so that I can see them. I'm blessed because I have one friend who always takes pictures of my kiddos and texts them to me throughout whatever event is going on. I've never asked. She just does this. And I am so thankful for it. To have a little snippet of the day. But...I'm also sad because I'm not there.

It is hard to juggle work and being Mom. We can only do the best we can with what we've got. I need to work. I have a good job. I am able to to provide for the kids and I but the tradeoff is I am unable to be at the school functions on any consistent basis. It will be ok. My kids will be ok. I will be ok. I just don't want them to be disappointed, to feel like I've let them down.

I know there are lots of parents in the same situation. This is nothing new and I'm not a special case. How do you do it? How do you ease this guilt that pops up? I'd love to hear your ideas so please share any you may have below.

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