Wednesday, March 28, 2007

bad mom

A few weeks ago I signed up to read to my daughter's preschool class. They were taking end-of-the-day reading volunteers, so I excitedly signed up. Being a school teacher, I don't generally get to do room mother kinds of things, so an end-of-the-day task made me giddy. Oh, I thought, it's way at the end of March, I'll put it on my calendar later. March 28th, I will remember.

I picked up my daughter today and she came running up, "Mommy! Aren't you going to read for us today?" My heart sank. SANK. They were on the playground and it was a full 90 minutes after the allotted reading time. All the kids were on the playground, I couldn't exactly gather them all up for a quick read. I looked at her teacher (a young, non-mommy daycare employee with a background in early childhood education) and said, "Oh no. Was that today?!?!?" Didn't she know how sad I was? Obviously not, because she just nodded her head at me and looked judgey. This is a young woman that I usually chat on and on with on a daily basis. I get along with her quite well and love that she's there to take care of my child. I could tell that she was disappointed in me, so was I.

My heart broke.

Her 3-year old attention span had already moved on. She ran down the hill from the playground to the church (my kids go to daycare at our church). I apologized to her and said I got "stuck" at school, which I did, but I had also totally spaced it. She said, "Jen told me when I was going to nap that when I woke up my mommy would be here to read to us." She was matter of fact about it, I wasn't. I hate that feeling. Wanting to rewind to the day when I put off noting the date in my calendar. I really thought the end of March seemed so far off. There's no excuse. And I feel awful.

So I went inside and signed myself to come in to read this Friday and told my daughter I would be there. Then I turn around to see the parent-teacher conference sign-up sheet. It's her first parent-teacher conference and as a school teacher, this excites me to no end. I see the date. Oh no. I'll be out of town. For the first time in my life as a mommy, I'm going to a conference (The Nebraska Conference on Autism in a town 2 hours away) with co-workers and without my kids or the hubby. The first time that I'm going anywhere overnight on my own and what do you know? I'm missing parent-teacher conferences. Granted, it's 10 minutes, and it's for a 3-year old's preschool class. But still, it's important. The hubby will have to go do it. And you know how well men are at asking the right questions or retaining anything that was said to them (okay, maybe some are good - mine, not so much).

So I'm a little shaken. Feeling like a bad mommy today. I struggle with the whole working mom thing anyway (my own mother stayed home with us) and vacillate back and forth between wanting a career and wanting to stay home. It's days like this that mommy guilt sinks in.

Alas, my little one went to bed happy and loved. We took the dog for a walk. I made her a jelly sandwich for bedtime snack. She told me how much she loves me. She is no worse for the wear.

I do believe that perhaps I am.


Alpha DogMa said...

Poor, poor O.M.
Motherhood is all about surviving germs, guilt and more guilt. So glamourous.
I hope you feel better.
Now I hate to be all nasty, but doesn't the teacher remind you the day or the session before? Cos you can't be the only parent who's forgotten.

PS - my friend just named her new baby Brenna! I think its beautiful.

Jacqniel said...

Oh the guilt. I agree with AD - and was thinking this as I read it - a reminder would have been such a curteous thing! IF she can remind Brenna - couldn't she have reminded YOU?
This won't be the last time something is forgotten. It is the nature of the working mom. You do a great job as mommy - just look at your two beautiful, happy children.
You might make a list of questions for Jay and maybe even ask him to tape record it. Doesn't his blackberry do that? It does everything else! Jacque

Mimi said...

Oh no! What a heartbreaking story. But you know, for sure you should have got a reminder. And now you want so badly to make it up you're extending your guilt into your trip -- that's not being quite fair to yourself.

Brenna looks happy and adorable, and she loves you, and it'll all be ok. This probably hurt you way more than it hurt anyone else. Which is both the good news and the bad news, I guess.

Best wishes ...

Jenifer said...

Of course it hurt you more! Kids are over it in like two minutes, but we can stew in it for days. Remember Papoosie Girl's ear infection, it bugged me to no end.

The guilt has a way of creeping and staying there, the hardest part is to say I am human and let it go.

I say write up some questions for the interview or ask them to provide a detailed report. That might help. As for the reading, I am surprised they don't make up a calendar each month for that.