Well, it finally happened. Before going back to work full-time last November, I envisioned heart-wrenching scenarios in which I miss all of the important events in my kids’ lives, become less familiar with their friends and teachers, and generally isolate myself from their everyday existence. For the most part, none of this has come to pass.
Until now, that is. Seven months after I started working, I missed my daughter’s preschool graduation on Wednesday morning.
The obstacle involved a meeting, which a co-worker would have cheerfully covered had he not been out of town. If this had been a true emergency or once-in-a-lifetime event, my boss or someone else from a different office could have easily taken my place.
Using my working-mom cost-benefit calculus, however, I had to determine if the event was truly worth this level of effort. If I cash in my chips too quickly, I worry, they may not be there when I really want or need them. And mind you, the children "graduate" every year. My daughter graduated last year, and she’ll graduate again next year.
Have I fallen prey to the indispensability myth that I have frequently accused others of holding? My rational side knows that I do not have to be present for absolutely everything. And that if my son has a parent who reliably does his thinking for him, he will never learn to remember things on his own.
No, I am not indispensable - my children can get along just fine without me. Isn't that the goal of parenting in the first place?
And to be fair to my husband (who may read this blog if he doesn't forget to) - he really has started to get the hang of the swim team routine.