My kids are a year apart in school. There are some definite pros and cons to back-to-back teachers. However one of the cons is that both kids are able to easily track and remember what I attended, volunteered for or organized last year for child #1. Child #2 probably wouldn't care except child #1 always likes to remind her.
Tomorrow is the big kindergarten field trip to the zoo. I had missed the fall field trip to the pumpkin farm last year and managed to rally my work schedule to be gone the whole day in the spring for the National Zoo. To make it even, I did the same this year. No pumpkin patch in the fall, but the zoo in the spring. Only this year, work is way too busy for me to miss a whole day.
Now let me back up and remind you that I work from home with a kindergartner who attends only half day. That translates to 3 hours each day that I frantically work as much as I can so I can be available to both kids when they hop of the bus. Our spring break put me behind at work with a looming deadline and to be able to work for 5 hours without paying a babysitter just seemed to make sense.
I tossed it around in my head for days and finally came to the conclusion that it just didn't make sense to go on the field trip. Would she be disappointed? Would she even notice my absence once she was there? I have to keep reminding myself that all working parents--full time or part time--have to make choices. As I'm quickly learning, the older the kids get the more obligations we have. The more things they have to attend. The more things I have to attend. Three years ago when the only event I had be at was the Christmas program at preschool. Now the committments come at me at lightening speed for both kids. How equal do I make it? Is it a lesson for them that mom just can't do it all, all the time?
The decision has been made and I will be at home tomorrow working while child #2 is walking through the zoo with another devoted parent. I still can't help feeling guilty.
(For those that wanted to know, she was not initially disappointed, but I did manage to get a few tears this morning.)