Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I work.

Yes, I work.

No, I do not make it to all the school events.

Yes, I have an au pair / nanny.

No, I am not rich.

Yes, I love my children.

No, I will never be Mother Of The Year.

What drove all this home today? Well, I went into Luke's school to drop off a copy of his birth certificate and his immunization record (no, they weren't included in all the papers I took a picture of the other day), and the office personnel (the Carpool Nazi with the bullhorn who is actually a nice guy) asked me if I was new.

I said, "No. "

Carpool Guy, "Really?"

Me, "Really."

Carpool Guy, "Who is your kid?"

Me, "My son is Luke B***"

Carpool Guy, "What grade is he in?"

Me, "He's going into first grade. He was in Ms. A's kindergarten class last year. . . . He was tardy a lot?" I waited for recognition.

Carpool Guy, "Hmm."

I felt the need to defend myself, "Um, well, I have a nanny who does pick up . . ."

Carpool Guy, "Oh, okay." Doubt flickered in his eyes.

Guilt settled in my chest.

I work. I do well at both my jobs: attorney and mother. I do not excel spectacularly at either. I recognize the sacrifices that I make so that I can do both. Still, it hurts just a little when things like this happen. And the sad part of it is that I didn't do anything wrong. There are no ill effects of my son having an au pair. There are no ill effects of the Carpool Guy not knowing who I am. But it drives home the fact that other mothers are more present in their children's lives. I'm not. I am at peace with that, except on these rare occasions where I feel like someone may have judged me inadequate.

I remind myself that I am not inadequate.

I am a good mom.

I swear.


Mom said...

Forget the guilty feelings. You are a good mother. You have your kids involved in extracurricular activities. Your kids are lacking for nothing, they get loads of loving care from both you and Chuck.

Angie said...

Oh holy cow...I was bored at work and decided to check in (again, I hope you don't mind) and almost ended up in tears. I feel the same way. So many of my friends work part-time or are SAHMs and it's so hard to relate to them sometimes. No, I don't have cookies baking in the oven or ribbons in my daughter's hair but I still love her and am trying to do the best I can. Thanks for this post. It reminds me that I'm not all alone out there.

Theresa said...

Angie, You are welcome here anytime. Anytime at all. I'm glad you're here, and you're definitely not alone.

lisawitt said...

oh girl, I know how you feel too. But i think you are a great mom and a great employee and great wife, etc etc! Big hugs from H-town....

Jess said...

Having been on both sides of this battle, No guilt allowed. Whether mom's work or Stay at Home, we have this need to feel guilty about how we are doing things. You are a GREAT mother. It is all about quality of time in my opinion. I have been staying home for 3 months now and my kids are no different...they aren't better adjusted, they don't feel more loved or love me more...so feel confident that you are AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

...and hot too. :)


Stephanie said...

Hey! Where in tarnation did my confident Theresa? You are an extraordinary woman, an amazing mom, a pretty smart cookie, a very doting wife, and most importantly - a woman who is very strong in her faith. You are the whole package sister! and I admire you with all my heart. I wouldn't have asked you to be my daughter's Godmother if I didn't. It's been a struggle for me for the past couple of weeks (this week especially) because I am not working. SO keep your chin up and keep rocking it! WE MUST schedule a weekend to meet up - either in College Station or Sherman/FW while our Dear Husbands are in College Station. SOON! lots of love. xoxo

Theresa said...

I appreciate all the thoughtful words, but you guys . . . didn't you see the part where I said "I do well at both my jobs" and "I am a good mom". Hello? This isn't a sad post. I'm just saying every once in a while I get a twinge. I'm allowed to have a twinge. Nonetheless, I appreciate the love!

Angela said...

You are a good mom. I think that this is so normal - and I think about my parents' generation where they didn't even WORRY about this stuff. They made sure that there was a roof over the head and food on the table and clothes on the body. That's it. They didn't have time for anything else. And they never worried about whether or not they were doing a good job.

You are doing just fine. Luke and Evie and George aren't going to care if the Carpool Guy knew you by face. They care that you love them.

Theresa said...

@ Angela - good point. I think you're right.