I missed the girls’ Christmas concerts this week.
Actually, I showed up to Liz’s – just as she was coming off-stage. Which would’ve been fine if Emma hadn’t conned her Daddy into signing her out of class to watch Liz perform. She caught me walking in as she was walking out.
I didn’t even try to attend Emma’s band concert later the same day because I knew Jack would be there. Apparently I missed a great show.
This is not the first time I’ve posted about being a failing mama. It’s not even the first time I’ve walked into a venue just as my kid’s exited stage left. Am I a bad mom? Or just a guilty mom? A 2011 study of more than 3,700 mothers by Ernst & Young for the Working Mother Research Institute- called What Moms Choose: The Working Mother Report- shows that “Roughly one third of all mothers, working or at home, say they often feel guilty about their contribution to the household.”
I’m not the kind of woman who says ‘my kids are my life’. Truth is, I have a pretty full life in which I try to put God first, my husband second and then my kids. I also enjoy extended family, great friends and both a busy ministry and a full-time job. Occasionally work (or rather, the paycheck) comes before attending a 90-minute performance in which my child will appear approximately five of those minutes and an hour with Grandma Alma comes before supper and a Doctor Who episode with the family.
Do my kids understand that? Sometimes. I know I’ve hurt feelings in the past by not choosing them first. If I did this week, the girls are being very stoic about it. Could it be that my pick-yourself-up,-dust-yourself-off-and-get-on-with-life mantra is getting through? Or (more likely) are my very clever girls letting my own, personal, self-induced guilt do the talking for them?
I guess only their future therapists will know for sure.