I’ll never be a fundraiser mom or a soccer mom, a PTO mom, a room mom, or any other title that requires me to be there for my children in every aspect imaginable.
And I can honestly say, I’ve never really tried to be all of those things either.
Don’t get me wrong; there were definitely times when I wished I could have volunteered more. Attended more field trips. Coached more soccer teams. Whatever.
But that’s never been a realistic expectation.
The plain and simple truth is, work has always needed to be a priority; whether or not I like it. Without that dedication, I couldn’t afford to allow my children to participate in their various activities.
But still, I feel bad. And even today, I wished I could have helped just a little bit more.
Last night, my youngest came home with a fundraiser packet, and told me that I had homework. The assignment? Obtain the addresses for seven out-of-town friends or relatives and complete the mailer portion of the fundraiser. I get it. By doing so, we allow the people who are out-of-town to participate and actively support our children and their schools. And it was due that day.
It’s a nice idea. Really, it is. But the time-frame expectation was a little beyond ridiculous.
On the one hand, it made me feel like I wasn’t supporting my own child when I didn’t accomplish this seemingly simple task. On the other hand, it infuriated me that they would ask for such a quick turnaround as though it was the only obligation I had all night. Not true.
What is true is that last night was just a typical night in the life of our family. From the moment I left work, it was non-stop go time. First, we had a soccer game that didn’t get over until almost 7:30 p.m. Then, we had to pick up my eldest daughter’s clarinet from school as she opted to participate in band this year. Once we finally arrived home, dinner still had to be made, chores and homework needed to be done, and showers needed to be taken.
As bad as this may sound, once it was all said and done, the last thing I wanted to do was think of seven people to whom we could send fundraiser notes. So I didn’t. I opted to relax.
This morning, of course, when my youngest realized I failed to complete my assigned task, she was miffed. But, in a way, so was I. Part of the appeal of getting the parents to participate is that the children were promised a prize should they decide to. Lay on the guilt trip a little bit thicker, why don’t ya?
But she’ll get over it. And in the end, she won’t remember that I didn’t fill out some silly fundraiser packet so she could win a prize.
Hopefully, she’ll remember how hard I worked to make sure she and her sister were given a good life.
And the fact that she could count on one hand how many soccer games I missed. Or the times I used to leave work early so I wouldn’t miss a performance that, for reasons I will never understand, were held during normal school/work hours.
Hopefully, she’ll remember that I loved her enough to participate in her life.
Amanda Smith, a working mom of two children, wrote this guest blog for momaha.com As a recent graduate, she now has more time to dedicate to her love of writing.
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