How’s A Working Mother Supposed To Attend All Those Endless School Functions?

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mommy warsSometimes I wonder if schools are designed these days to not allow mothers to work. I was thinking about this especially at 10:45 a.m. on a Thursday morning last week as I sweated watching my daughter’s swim races in her school’s heated pool. I had thought that the races wouldn’t last more than 15 minutes but no, I was there for more than an hour (and that didn’t include travel time or the time it took to find parking). Quite frankly, my morning of work was shot. As in, I didn’t get any work done.

Only the week before, my daughter was sent home with a note saying that the third graders were performing in a singing competition and that parents were welcome (and also to check out the school’s website for more information). There was no way I’d be able to go to that. Earlier on the same the morning of the singing competition, I had run into another mother at Starbucks and she asked if I was going. “I can’t,” I said. “I really have to work.” To which she responded, “I’m not going either, but I’m going to the assembly tomorrow,” to which I responded, “The what?” Apparently, there was some school assembly for the kids that parents (and I say “parents” loosely, which I’ll get into later) were also invited to.

The week before that, I received an e-mail from my daughter’s class representatives (mothers) asking for parent volunteers to come in to school every morning for at least a week, to collect sap from trees for some pioneer project. And a month before that, there was some “special” day at school where parents were invited to come in for the morning to see all the work our children had done making structures out of material like cardboard. That was the first time I looked up to the sky and asked the higher powers, “Does any mother work anymore?”

I’ll admit, there have been a couple incidents where my daughter has come home and said, “You missed chapel today.” And I was like, “What? I didn’t know parents were invited.” To which my daughter said, “You were the only mother who wasn’t there.” To which I responded, “Oh yeah? The only mother?” And, also, “Why didn’t you tell me I had to go?” My daughter said, “It’s on the website.” Right. The fucking school website.

Now, I have to admit that the school’s website is quite amazing. But that, too, is a full-time job. If I don’t log onto it practically every day, then I will miss something at her school. No longer are there notes sent home in the knapsack that I can see in front of me. Oh, no. I have to log onto the fucking website and navigate my way around to see what is happening at my daughter’s school that week. I do not lie when I say there seems to be something I can attend at my daughter’s school every single week.

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