In a moment of weakness, I volunteered to coordinate the second grade fall festival party. The first time the sign-up sheet went around, I declined. But then I thought about Abby.
“Mom, you never volunteer for anything! You have never even been in my class!”
Of course this isn’t true. I intentionally took pictures when I made my appearance in her classroom last year. But she has already forgotten. In her mind and in comparison to the many mothers who volunteer in the classroom on a weekly and even daily basis, her mother is conspicuously absent.
So I took on the party. And I didn’t stop there. I further volunteered to host the holiday caroling in our home in hopes that it would placate my guilt, at least until third grade.
When I got home, I announced to the family my newfound obligations. Reactions were mixed.
- My husband gave me a blank stare. When I reminded him that I have a busy travel schedule this fall and I may need his help to pull off the parties, he just shook his head, “Do you really think you can take on one more thing?”
- Nick (7th grade) was completely cynical, “What are you trying to do, all of a sudden be Superparent?”
- Anna (5th grade) offered to help with the caroling party. But then she subtly reminded me that I have never hosted a caroling party for her class.
I can’t win.
But Abby beamed. And I reminded myself why I volunteered in the first place. After all, I am creating memories, right?
Or am I just putting my name on a sheet to relieve my guilt?
God, as I wrestle with my own motives, please assure me that my identity is secure in you. If I’m honest, I constantly struggle with a mixture of love, guilt, and duty. As much as I say that I don’t care what other people think, I actually do. Help me to care about what you think first. Thank you for entrusting these children in my care, and please give them the love and security they need.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Are you struggling with Working Mom Guilt?
Do your children ever compare you with the “Room Mom”?