Friday, September 18, 2009

Moments of Grace

Yesterday, I took my daughter to ballet class. Usually, my mother-in-law does this because the classes take place in the afternoon, while I'm still at work. Well, MIL is in England right now, so I took off a little early to escort my sweet girl to her class. She was so excited to have me there and her teacher came out to tell me how excited she was and that she kept saying "My mommy is here today!" It made me feel great, but at the same time, as I sat in the hallway in my high heels, holding my Blackberry, amid the stay-at-home moms clad in T-shirts and shorts, I felt a little sad. She's thrilled to have me there because I've never been able to make it before. It was quite the "coup" that Mom could break away from the office. Sigh.

I try to tell myself that this is a pastime that she can share with her grandmother, but my working-mom guilt always creeps in and says "You should be the one taking her each week! You're missing out on very important milestones!" Then I have to stop myself and consider that I like working, I'm raising great kids and we have a wonderful support system around us. It's great that her grandmothers are both available and can spend time with her and her brother. And, just as I did yesterday, I will move mountains if I have to, to be there for my kids. I've made certain career decisions to do just that. While I have a good job and I'm in a senior position, I'm not on a fast track and that's perfectly fine with me.

So, what am I trying to say in today's post? Hmm. Whether you're a career mom or a non-paid mom, we all have our moments of struggle and feelings of failure, yet we also have our moments of grace. Rather than viewing yesterday as a moment where I've struggled to be present for my kids, I'd rather see it as the beautiful afternoon I spent watching my daughter flutter and flit around in ballet class, as she smiled from ear to ear. I helped create that little person. That was my moment of grace.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Tomorrow we travel down the road to my alma mater, the University of Kentucky, for tailgating fun and what I hope is a stomping of that red team by my beloved Cats. Given that we have to drive down early in the morning, we're going to make it easy on ourselves and get boxed lunches. And, of course, plenty of beverages to enjoy leading up to game time. ;) Thanks to everyone who sent recipes and suggestions for tailgating fare. I definitely plan to use those - perhaps for a football viewing party at home!
Image courtesy of Julius Friedman.


LPC said...

I have found that everything I look back at and know I did the best I could, I'm OK with. The things I regret were when I relaxed my own standards for something someone else said was OK for my kids. If you are doing the best you can, it will all turn out OK.

Eloise said...

I'm not sure there's one pat answer in this situation. I once overhead my son and daughter discussing something I was doing, and my son commented, "Well what else does she have to do?" I was devastated, and it still upsets me to think that his impression is that I do nothing of consequence (while I know that not to be true, it's one of these 'perception is reality' situations). Certainly we all want the respect of our children.

From where I sit you are a wonderful and much appreciated mother!

Have fun at the game this weekend.

Jo said...

Either way, we mother's struggle with this topic. I don't think there is a "right" answer that works for everyone all of the time. I do, however, think that your daughter is a very lucky little girle to have her grandmother take her to dance class. This is going to make for some wonderful memories as she grows.

Hope you're having a wonderful day of tailgating and football!


Haven and Home said...

Beautiful post. I am not a mother yet but I am aware of what an incredible hard job it is!