Are we really at odds with each other?

June 11, 2009

in no manual for parenting

This is an age-old debate and for sure I am opening an ancient can of worms. And for some, this is probably opening up some disappearing scabs from long-since-forgotten battle wounds as well…

But I don’t know why something this trivial bothers me. It leaves my working-mother-core shaking. It makes me question myself whether my being a working mother is truly ruining my children’s childhood.

Guilt is a bitch.

It all started when my 11 yo was invited to a friend’s house for a “playdate”.

(They are probably too old to have something called “Playdate”… For lack of a universally understandable term to describe an event when a child goes to another child’s house, usually against the latter child’s mother’s quiet wish while granting the mother of the former child, if she otherwise stays home with the child, some much needed respite, I will use this term for now).

… and the earliest train I can take does not allow me to be there in time to pick him up at the said end of playdate.

The problem with being a working mom with regarding to playdates is that: it is next to impossible for me to reciprocate. And I do feel guilty about it. I do. And I let the mothers who are kind enough to invite my non-reciprocating child to their houses know how much I appreciate it, and how guilty I feel.

You know that I work, DOWNTOWN. My kids go to a childcare facility. I am sorry. I cannot come home during lunch hour to do that. I cannot take off from work just so I can drop off my child at your house to play with your child.

I did that once already: I took a day off from work once just so I could drive my kid, in less than 5 minutes, from the daycare to your house. I know I should not expect you to offer to pick up my kids from where he is and bring him to your house. You do not owe me that. And I am totally sounding like an ungrateful bitch to some, if there is anyone out there reading this, actually.

I contemplated hiring and PAYING someone to drive that 5-minute stretch so he can have the playdate with your child. I did. Would you be terribly insulted if I asked to pay you? You would, I guess. I know the point is not the money, or how easy it is. The point is “the principle” right? That we working mothers are so used to being granted all these special treatments and considerations. We should not take it for granted. I should not even be writing about this on my blog right now.

So I guess our children will never have playdates again.

It is a shame. They apparently played quite well together and that’s why you invited him back. Thank you. And sorry that we had to cancel the playdate scheduled for today.

p.s. The irony with this whole crazy shit incident is that I am so shaken with guilt, doubt and undeserved self-righteousness that I may as well go home early. Calling in sick.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: