The World Ain’t Made For Working Parents, And Here's Why
I know the world of a stay-at-home parent is really hard, too. I know. Let’s get that out of the way. But I’m going to bitch about working while trying to raise happy little humans and everyone has to let me.
And yes, I’m going to bitch on behalf of all the dads out there, too. It ain’t easy to be a working dad either. My husband breaks into a sweat hearing about that [name your event] in the middle of the day next Tuesday, just like I do. And he hates missing all the good stuff, too. It’s just that moms have the added pressure of the judgment, so dads can bitch but not as much.
My oldest daughter is three. This fall, she’s starting pre-school and playing on her first soccer team. And yes, veteran cheer troupe traveling basketball drill team coach mommas out there, I understand that I ain’t seen nothin’ yet and I’ll probably need a support llama by next year to deal with the stress of what’s to come with juggling my kid’s livelihoods if I can’t handle this.
But holy shit. Here’s some examples of the little stuff that gets me, maybe you can relate:
I’m now seeing the website and registration paperwork lists two start times — 7:30 and 7:45. (Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, you say? Just call and ask, you say? I’ve already asked the admin assistant 45 questions and owe her lunch, drinks, and her favorite piece from Zales.) Which one is it?! This time difference is everything in the morning. It’s the difference between barely-scraping-by-on-time-to-work status quo vs. an entire rejiggering of an already impossible schedule.
2. There’s an orientation in the middle of the day before school starts.
Luckily, I saw it when I was scouring the online school calendar. Moved three meetings already, blocked the rest, but a little advanced notice and a head’s up would have helped me not be the hot mess mom at work, again.
3. Aaand that supply list.
Can I get that a few weeks in advance? Because there’s gonna be a panic when I get that list at orientation the day before school starts and can’t order the correctly sized glue sticks with 2-day Prime advance notice while working from home around orientation.
4. Onto sports, I have no idea what time and when the first practice or game is next week.
And I need to know what kind of juggling I’ll be up against when soccer practice inevitably falls on the one day when that predictable end-of-day meeting that I know will run late does in fact run late and I’m left with two minutes to get the next Hope Solo dressed and ready for practice on time with my 1 year-old in toe, showing up on a 90-degree day overdressed with make-up melting off my face — hi again, hot mess mom!
And I also need to plan a back-up driver for practice days in case I literally almost die swerving through traffic to get home in time — at least she’ll get to practice even if Mommy has a few broken bones and contusions.
5. Unhelpful emails.
But in lieu of any real logistical details, I’ve gotten no less than 60 emails about the freaking workbond check collection. Because as you can tell, I’ll be a model volunteer parent. My inbox is also littered with coupons for “your gear” from the soccer league — proceeds go to the league. And that’s super except I have no information on what I know will be an inexplicably strict dress code and requirements to purchase at least $100 worth of gear and equipment for the 3 year-old who will guaranteed be picking dandelions with her new friend Jasmine while some of the kids swarm around the ball all over the field.
I don’t wanna be that mom whose uninformed newbie question hangs out there on the soccer league’s Facebook page, so please do tell me what I need to get and by when so that I can plan when I’ll be flying through the sports store on my way home from work in a high-heeled jog clicking on the concrete floors with my crumpled printout coupons looking for a size 3 soccer ball and a blue mouth guard. Which I would have Primed if I wasn’t supposed to support the soccer league.
But this “figure it out, parents” kinda stuff that adds to an already monumental task —working and raising kids, staying home and raising kids, just plain old raising happy kids that have everything they need, and a healthy amount of things they want — it has to end.
So yes, I want you to hold my hand and not make me work for it when you can. Why can’t we make it a little easier? Help a workin’ momma out. Help us all out, okay?
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