Why is it that the mother and father may have similar occupations, similar status in their careers, similar pay…or the mother may favor slightly in all of those variables….that when it comes time for having to adjust your work schedules for the kids….the woman mostly always has to accomodate?
The scenario today was of that. My son has a half day at school. Two parents have equally busy work schedules today. Meetings and deliverables due on a Friday before the weekend. Maybe there was some slight oversight on my part….but hey I am the single mom here trying to make sure everything else is taking care of. So I may forget about half day today until the last minute….granted this week there was also days off for Veteran’s day and conference day…..Gees how many non-school days can you have in one week?
I thought there was afterschool provided at his school today….I preferred not to pay for that option…so I asked my son’s father if he could pick up his son from school. That was yesterday and ummmm no response. He just assumes I will make it happen. That is one problem when you have the apperance of an independent woman….everyone thinks you will just figure it out, adjust and make it all happen. Because you always end up doing so. Right “The Adjuster”. Eventually he gets back at me this morning after a follow-up call. “Good morning what city are you in today? Oh you are in New York at the office? That is good to know” I say. He says that he will be able to pick him up but later on….so afterschool hours will be incurred.
Well Woopsy! There is no aftercare today. Who is the first school contact they call at 12:30 pm? Myself the mother. Hmmm….I wonder if they even try to reach the father first or do they keep trying my number for 10 times and then they will try to reach him? I attempt to reach my ex-husband but to no avail…he does not pick up his phone. So here I am rushing out of a lunch meeting, hopping on the subway to the Village to pick up my son and bring him to work.
While my job provides back-up daycare options, we utilized all of the days for the year…. Why may you ask?….Well just ask the person who was responsible for arranging summer camp this year. Arranging for the month of July does not equate the whole summer….Hello there is August. Yes the other parent in this co-parenting arrangement.
Now my colleagues do not mind my son being in the office. In fact he is adored. But no other colleagues bring their kids to work. They have full time nannies, au pairs or stay at home wives….which they have afforded in their lifestyle. So here I am arriving to work appearing as the minority single mother whom can’t afford childcare that is dragging her son to work with her. Now you might ask, has my children ever set foot at their father’s place of work. Of course not!
I am not to say he is not helpful… he was able to work from home on Veteran’s Day. But I had conference day and lets say the last other non-school days over the past 4 to 5 months.
This is a constant battle that occurred when we were married and now divorced….that I am always “adjusting”, making last minute arrangements, providing explanations on behalf of the kids at my job….but he doesn’t do the same. Like his job is more important than mine. Not! We both have demanding careers and neither of us can afford to risk losing our jobs as we are both contributing to provide for our kids. So in my opinion, we both have to put forth the equal effort and understand that we both have to adjust our work schedules for the interest of the children.
I am frustrated now….but love the joy on my son’s face when he knows he is going to work with mommy. In a couple of hours the kids will be relinquished to their father…and I will have my “me” weekend time that will provide clarity to my work week but will also miss my sprouts dearly and will anticipate to see their faces on Sunday eve.