I am really lucky. The school where Declan goes is diverse. Not just by ethnicity, but by economics, and by style. Some moms stay home, some dads stay home. Some moms work out of the home, some dads work, etc – and every combination thereof.
And we support each other. When I forgot to pack a lunch for Declan’s field trip, I knew which SAHM mom to call. When Bryan was stuck in traffic, he knew just which dad was arriving at school from work at that exact moment and could grab Declan for us till we got there.
It really does take a village and it’s nice how everyone understands that around here.
Which is also why I get MORE pissed off when someone upsets the balance.
A friend, a working mom friend, a working mom friend whose company is laying off left and right and has to work crazy hours to make sure she keeps her job yet still finds time to work on school fundraisers at night… yeah, her… she had a teacher pat her knee recently and condescendingly wonder when she might be able to come in the classroom and volunteer? Or, um, would there be any time this year that she could bother to attend a field trip?
When, exactly? Yeah. Maybe she could come to school for a few hours and then stay even later at the office and never have one-on-one time with her kids? Or maybe she should just stop working on the massive fundraiser that provides a gigantic chunk of change for the school, directly supporting teacher salaries?
The funny thing is, this new tension was not created in the normal way. That battle lines between stay at home and work out of the home moms was drawn so line ago that we, at least at Declan’s school, have forgotten what we were fighting about. We recognize the flexibility of different schedules, different lives, and how we can all help each other – with our different specialties. Stay at home moms can come to field trips, or visit businesses during the day and get them on board with sponsorships. Working moms can use business connections to get publicity for an event, or maybe work through lunch making calls for a school function. Whatever.
Why does this have to keep coming back around and making people feel bad? Because my friend felt BAD. She started talking about rearranging her schedule and ticking off what else she could be doing for the school and her kids. I wanted to get all Susan Powter in her face: STOP THE MADNESS.
We all try hard. We all do our best. Don’t feel bad. Just keep on keeping on.