Let’s face it – as moms, every now and then you take that jab at your status personally. If you work, stay home, work from home – at some point someone will say something stupid and it will cut you in half no matter how it was intended. This was one of those times for me.
This year scheduling swimming lessons has been like a root canal with no Novocain. Last year wasn’t all that and a box of cookies either. I took off of work two hours on six different days to make the lessons, but living at the beach and the little guy constantly exposed to water and running up and down the docks makes his ability to swim a top priority.
This year I’m more swamped than normal at the office and I can’t just up and leave for a few hours to hit the pool. Once sure, but not for a round of swimming lessons. So when I got the call that the 5 pm class (cutting it close, but doable) was canceled because I had the only enrolled kid the following conversation left me in working momma tears.
Her: I’m calling to inform you that your son’s swim lessons are being canceled. I’ve moved you into the 10:15 class.
Me: I can’t make the 10:15 class. I have to work and won’t be able to leave for the class.
Her: Then I’ll switch you to private lessons, if you’ll give me your credit card number I’ll go ahead and run the difference on that for you.
Me: Well, I’d like to discuss it with my husband first and will call back in the morning. He’s working today and won’t be home until later.
Her: Well, unfortunately you have to work and can’t accommodate your child so if you’ll give me your card number upgrading you to private lessons will be easier.
Unfortunately I have to work. I can’t accommodate my child. Ouch.
I’m not sure what got under my skin more – the over eagerness for my credit card information or that it’s so “unfortunate” that I have to work. After talking with my Husband, the end result is private lessons for our little swimmer, but not with the lady I spoke to.
I know we’ve got crazy schedules and work some crazy hours from time to time, but that doesn’t make me a less fit mother. We do what we have to, from eating the cost of private swim lessons to paying for full time daycare in addition to preschool for him because in our small town there are no full time care preschools (really not a single one).
But it’s not at all unfortunate that I have to work; it’s because I work that we can give him so many extras. That is our reality as a family. It’s not that I can’t or won’t accommodate my boy – be me for one day and you’d see that. I think as moms we feel that a lot – just be me, see what it is I do for my child(ren) and you’d know that no matter the situation we’re doing what is right for us.
Have you ever had someone take a jab at you for being a working parent? Have you ever felt that extracurriculars are not thought of with the working parent in mind? And we wonder if this is a small town problem or if those of you living in bigger cities experience these types of problems. What are your thoughts?
Carole lives a life surrounded by water as a marine biologist married to a fisherman. Their greatest catch to date is their son Allan, who fills the house with laughter, way too many trains, and causes trouble with his sidekick, Sandy Dog. Nestled in a secluded part of NC, they comb the beaches soaking up the sand and salt. She talks about the high seas of life over at Surf Momma and tweets as @SurfMommaBlog.
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