Christine Roome recounts the harried moment when she was late for volunteer duties at her son’s school and ponders the seemingly age old question of work/life balance.
I had my Sarah Jessica Parker moment today. No, not Sex in the City. The other one from I Don’t Know How She Does It? At the end of a meeting, I looked at my iphone.
10 minutes to trek across the University Campus to my son’s elementary school. I’m Running in my skirt and dress boots. I wonder if I still have to go to the gym? I arrive late, sweaty, hair having rearranged itself in a birds-nest-kind-of-way. Flashback to my own childhood when I was the last kid standing in front of my school – wondering if my mom would ever come. Now, I get it.
I enter his classroom – a not-so-delicate-glow of sweat lighting my face – and I am a lunch-time volunteer. Corbin is so happy to see me. Work behind me, I’m in his world meeting his friends. One hour later, work starts creeping back and I start making lists in my head. My son has velcroed himself to my skirt.
I am talking to the other Moms – who stay at home – my defences go into high gear. We are are own worst enemies – women. We judge each other and ourselves and nobody, but nobody gets a break. It’s a cliché for me to say that ‘they’ don’t think I’m raising my own kids and yet I am standing there assuming that is what they are thinking. Feminism got us out into the workforce, but where is she now?
“It must be so hard,” they say. I answer with “It is hard,” but I don’t offer a counter argument for why I do it. Truth is, I don’t always know. But, I need both my work and my kids and when I think about answering the question “how does she do it?” All I can come up with is “not very well.” Sometimes work gets the short end of the stick and other times my kids don’t get enough of me.
Google hits for search terms “stay at home vs. working mothers” are aplenty. I just trust that it will all be fine and know that – hard as it is – I have to honour who I am or I will be miserable to myself, to my husband and to my kids.
Photo Credit: I Don’t Know How She Does It trailer. UTube