Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Whiny Post - Also One I Kind of Posted Already But Not Really. Sort Of.

***I kind of posted this the other day already. But then I went to correct a mistake and accidentally pulled it down and reverted it to draft. Then it turned out that I had my blog dashboard open in two windows and when I closed one, the final version was gone and had been replaced with the draft version which had errors and was missing parts. So I tidied up the draft version and have put it back. I have no idea if any of this makes sense but here it is regardless. Enjoy!***

I'm going to complain. If that does not interest you, I'm sorry. Well, not really, but it seemed like the nice thing to say. Or you can pull up a chair, heat up your coffee and we can kvetch together! M'kay? Good, let's get bitchin'.

I have talked before about the challenges of being a working mom, and will reiterate that I can only speak from my perspective, and that I'm well aware that there is another completely different set of challenges faced by stay at home moms. One of the problems I face on a regular basis is feeling somewhat left out of the loop due to my unavailability during the work day. I've come to terms with this for social reasons but when it comes to my kids, it's pretty upsetting. Personally I'm fortunate enough to have an extremely flexible employer, who basically lets me come and go as I please, but I do have to take unpaid time off sometimes to do so. I really feel for the people who don't have the same luxury.

A couple of weeks ago my daughter went to camp. I love the camp, I love the people who run it, she loves it, it is an amazing place. I cannot say enough good things about it...BUT. Drop off was in the middle of the day Monday and pick up was the middle of the day on Friday.  Because of the logistics of it all, I missed a total of 12 hours of work in order to get her to and from (it's twenty miles from home). Frustrating.

We have attended two different churches with some regularity over our married life - one in Summerville and one in Charleston. Loved both of them but ran into the same working mom challenge - small groups, Bible studies, volunteer opportunities etc., predominantly scheduled during the day. Many children's activities were the same way, I guess the presumption being that their non-working outside the home moms would bring them. So no women's retreat, no children's choir, no luncheons etc. No close friends made because you are only there on Sunday mornings. Again, frustrating.

Recently I realized that our school's "meet the teacher" time was scheduled smack in the middle of the day. Again, as an involved parent, I will find a way to get there and do the drill but will need to take unpaid time again as well as go out of my way to attend. I am well aware that the teachers and staff have been putting in a lot of time leading up to the opening of school, and most of them have their own families to tend to as well, but like I said to a friend, there just has to be some kind of middle ground.

I'm not trying to make anyone else's life harder, because God knows, most of us are just doing the best we can. But the mean part of my mind is hissing, "they do this on purpose, because they know that the SAHMs do the lion's share of the volunteering." Uh-huh. Oh yes, I do sometimes think that, even though I know it's not true. It's not true, right? Right? Please just tell me that I'm being crazy.

How do other working moms deal with this? Is this something you've noticed, or am I living in my own personal Twilight Zone?

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