Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: Not a working mom

I really had no idea what I was in for when I agreed to do it. A few months ago, the woman at my church who is in charge of VBS was looking for volunteers. She explained that childcare was provided so I would have somewhere to put the Tot. For those that don't know, VBS is Vacation Bible School. At our church it goes on for three hours in the morning every day for a week. I was assigned the preschool bible station. The whole curriculm was provided for me a couple of months ago, so the only preparation I was planning was to learn the games and songs prior to the start of the program.

Did I mention that I had a couple of months to learn this stuff? No problem! But, then I found out that I also needed some supplies for my station and so I needed to go through the supply list and provide the coordinator at the church with a list of what I needed by the end of May. So, it took a little bit of time to go through and make a list, but it was done in plenty of time.

I also had to go to the church to go through the supplies and make sure I had everything I needed prior to the start of the week. No worries! I happen to be a very organized person. Did I ever mention I used to run a whole substance abuse treatment program in a previous life? Well, I did. So, I had it all under control.

But then I found out I also needed to decorate the room where my station would be. While I am very organized, I am definitely lacking the "arts and crafts" gene. I have very limited ability when it comes to any type of drawing/painting/decorating type of skills (Which anyone who has seen our house can attest to). But, the VBS coordinator offered to help and give me some ideas, so no big deal. Unfortunately, she is also coordinating a great many things and finding a time to meet was difficult. We were finally able to meet up last week to talk about what needed to be done. Turns out - a LOT. It became very obvious during our meeting with the Tot in tow that I was not going to be able to accomplish much in his company. So I talked with Husband and he took off early one afternoon this week to hang with the little guy while I decorated my VBS room.

In my mind, this was the perfect solution. I would go to the church, decorate for a couple of hours and get my supplies together, stay for a meeting and still be home in plenty of time for bedtime with the Tot. Somehow I had sorely overestimated my craft abilities. I left while the Tot was still napping and got to the church at 3pm. At 6pm I had to go to a meeting upstairs and had yet to accomplish much decorating. Which meant returning another afternoon sans offspring to get it finished. To make matters worse, the meeting ran longer than I expected and I didn't get out until a quarter after 7. I raced to the car and called home only to find that I had just missed bedtime.

I felt so brokenhearted. I can't really explain why. Maybe it was because I had left before he had gotten up from his nap so I felt like I hadn't seen him most of the day. Or maybe it was just because I rarely miss a goodnight kiss. The push and pull between wanting to do a good job at the church and feel like I had accomplished something and the almost overwhelming desire to be at home with my family reminded me of my days in the working world. I thought a lot about working moms and the constant internal debate I have about whether I should be one. I thought about missing a lot more bedtimes and that feeling of constantly rushing back and forth between work and home, trying to meet everyone's needs and always falling short. I don't know how working mothers do it but today I am really glad that I don't have to.

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  1. I hate those days! You and I are a lot alike in our pull to be home with our kids, I think. But I understand wanting to do a good job for vbs, too!

    No matter what, though, I can see how much you appreciate the time you get to have with your little one, and you can bet that won't go unnoticed by him in the long run :)

  2. So sweet. I'm with you... grateful that I didn't have to leave my little one with anyone else while she was in her growing-up years. A sacrifice, financially, yes, but the dividends are priceless.

  3. I also have no idea how working mamas do it... Just thinking about being away for a few days next month makes me twitchy.
    It's such a great gift to be able to be at home w/ the kids, even if there are a few days here or there that are trying and crazy ;)