So the juggle has begun. When I say the juggle has begun, I don’t mean the usual juggle of getting the kids up and out for school, making packed lunches, doing homework, keeping the laundry basket relatively empty and having at least a loaf of bread and pint of milk in the house, alongside running a business that is. No I mean the real juggle that is THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS. And when I say it has begun….it has nearly.
Summer Holiday Juggle Begins
Today was school sports day and the sun was shining thank goodness. I felt rather smug when my daughters asked if I would be there, because this time I could say with all confidence…yes! Until I read the letter that is. I have one daughter in Reception and the other in Year 3, so there was me assuming that both girls would be doing their races in the morning. Oh no, this year things had changed a little with the year 3’s joining the afternoon sessions with year4-6. Thus leaving me in a rather difficult predicament. I would be able to see my youngest daughter’s sports day but I would have to leave before my eldest daughter had even set foot onto the field.
I had already juggled the meeting in London that clashed in the morning once, I just couldn’t change it again, and anyway, my daughters Dad would be there to see her and would be the loudest one there by miles, cheering her on and supporting her, so that was ok right?
Wrong. It’s an incredibly fine line isn’t it? The act of explaining to your child that I am choosing to miss her sports day in favour of a meeting (an important one) doesn’t come easy, and at eight years old, I get it. I understand the disappointment. I know there were times when my parents couldn’t see me perform in assembly or a show or even sports day. It doesn’t make it any easier though. Looking back I can make sense of it and completely understand the reasons. Sometimes, for whatever the reason, work does become a priority, well for some of us anyway, and that is neither right or wrong. It’s choice. If for example I made the choice to cancel my meeting, I know the opportunities that it could bring are no longer there. This in turn could have an impact on my financial situation which in turn impacts my children, in a very big picture kind of way.
So how do you explain it in the most effective way possible that doesn’t leave them thinking you don’t care, and doesn’t leave you with a tummy churning with mother guilt, writing a blog on the train into London while your daughter runs as fast as she can in her sports day race?
For me it’s all about putting things into perspective. Sports day is a once a year activity, and maybe it might not be something she remembers when she looks back on it, and even if she does, and says ‘you weren’t there’, I will do my best to explain the reasons, without guilt and without a sense of regret, because I can’t change it. That might seem quite a hard way of looking at it. I also feel very strongly that by showing my daughters that I do work, and that I love what I do, I am demonstrating a strong and positive work ethic, teaching them values that for me are crucial for them to be in position of choice when they are older.
On that note I am signing off as an important meeting looms. Wish me luck.