Thursday, September 5, 2013
The school year has started and my Mama guilt has begun. It always surfaces this time of year. Somehow fall (which in my mind begins with the start of school) is a time to nest. It's time to care for the house; to prep and preen and get ready for the coming of winter. It's a time to bake and make stews and have piping hot fresh from the oven cookies when the kids get home from school.
And then there's school -- papers to sign, teachers to meet, field trips and sports to pay for, arrangements for extracurricular activities, people to transport.
All of this -- the care of the house and family -- requires time. And when Mama also has to work time becomes very precious.
Today I will have time to clean and to bake cookies. I'll also be able to pick the kids up from school and talk to them about their day. It won't take long.
"How was your day?"
"What did you do?"
Little will be more verbose. Yesterday she told me all about her new teacher (she likes cats) and their PE routine (it's hard!) and decoration for her locker and how she just loves fourth grade. I love that she still tells me all this stuff; I need to take it in and hold it close because I know these conversations will come to an end all too soon.
Alas what I'm not going to have time for today is dinner. I won't make it to the parent teacher meeting at the school. I won't make it to my son's water polo practice. I'll be going to a work event with my husband because it's the only time for me to see him.
Over the weekend both Mr. Peculiar and I will be working and we won't be especially available for the kids. I'll sacrifice some time sleeping so I can spend time with them but a tired Mama is not a Mama in top form.
I know there is beauty and benefit to my work. Because I am employed my son can play water polo and Middle has a phone from which she can tweet about One Direction (I am forever calling them New Direction which a) tells you my age and b) elicits the most exaggerated eye roll from my daughter).
Because I am employed we have cars and food and a roof over our heads. We have insurance and medical care and all those lovely things that come with modern society. And yet. Yet. That guilt still rests in my abdomen; it has settled somewhere between my kidneys and my adrenal glands and always wedges its foot solidly in my intestines leaving me nauseous. Should I, could I being doing more?
The answer is yes and the answer is no. Really there is no answer. There are people who are better parents than I. There are people who are worse. I need to accept that it is what it is and I am doing the best with what I've got. A challenge to be sure.
In the meantime I'm off to take a shower and go the store for some chocolate chips. Today I'm going to do what I can do. Because really there is nothing else.