Work Life Balance

June Is The Crappiest Month When It Comes To ‘Mom Guilt’

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graduationMost mothers experience guilt year-round but there’s something about June in particular that makes me feel like the Shittiest Mom Ever. And you know why? Because it’s the end of the school year. That means my calendar is filled with school-related events – everything from parent-teacher interviews to grad ceremonies to class trips to “end-of-year” picnics. And while most of these are happy events worth celebrating, I’m wondering when the hell I’m supposed to get any work done.

And, of course, that’s when the guilt really sets in. For example, do I want to be one of the only moms not at my first-grader’s end-of-year picnic, for instance – smack dab in the middle of the day – because I have to work? Of course not. A 6-year-old does not understand that logic and, well, even if he did, I’d still feel like crap.

The truth is, there are always going to be school events no matter what age my children are at, but the fact that 90% of them are crammed into the month of June makes it particularly challenging. (Add in all the usual appointments like dentist and haircuts, plus those warmer-weather after-school activities like t-ball and soccer, not to mention all that running around in search of the perfect teachers’ gifts.) This very morning, I had a “parent-teacher interview” for my son, who attends three-mornings-a-week preschool and who recently turned 3 (hence the quotation marks). It was scheduled for 8:50 a.m. and it pretty much went like this:

Teacher: We just love having I. in the class. He’s a delight.

Me: Thank you so much – that is really nice to hear.

Teacher: He’s curious and he retains information well. And, wow, is he ever an active little boy!

Me: Tell me about it.

Awkward silence.

Teacher: Do you have any questions for me?

Me: No, but I did want to thank you for making my son’s first drop-off experience so positive.

Teacher: That’s why we do it!

I was out of there by 8:58 a.m., which at least didn’t interfere with my work day (unlike 99% of other events, which we’ll get to in a minute). For the record, I actually do believe in parent-teacher interviews, just not for a preschooler and especially not at a tiny little school where teachers and parents are in constant communication.

Anyway, coming up soon I have three consecutive days off the following: 3-year-old’s “graduation” ceremony (since when do 3-year-olds graduate?!); 6-year-old’s end-of-year school picnic at, you guessed it, 12:00 sharp; last-day-of-school fun fair (with noon dismissal); and not one but two summer camp orientations. First-world problems, I know – but hear me out.

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