The image of Barbie teaching (conventionally beautiful, put together well, slim etc) is a binary to wreck one can often feel - emotionally - when departing from the school gates to get to work. Clothes pulled on, make-up applied quickly, a quick brush of the hair and often travelling to work can be a mixture of worrying about the kids and feeling like you've been dragged through a bush. The image displays an idyllic scene so often not recognized by busy working mothers.
I STILL worry about whether the kids are happy at school each day and sometimes I miss them so much it hurts...is this normal?? When I worked full time, my job was so absorbing that I rarely had time to think about what they were doing. I mostly felt guilty when I dropped them at school and watched them walk away. It's still a very poignant thought and I still feel a pang of sadness when they walk off into school despite the fact they are 11 and 14.
Also, I think the feeling of guilt was magnified by the fact that I was a primary school teacher so spent the day with other people's children. I often felt that those children got the best of me each day and my own two had to make do with the knackered, frazzled version that came home laden with marking etc.
Always worried about dropping off my child at school and rushing off to work and feeling guilty about what other mums and teachers think about me doing that and feeling guilty about not having a calm start to the day. Twice I have had to dump and run and not wait for the bell.
Also I'm rushing in the morning and screaming get ready whilst (as Vicky says) brushing my hair and slapping make up on. Yesterday I actually fully conditioned my hair because I had time!! So now it's no longer a dry nest for birds to live in
I always want my child and me to have a good day at school/work and try to make it a good start but at times I feel my day isn't going to be good because of the row we had before school or lack of snuggle time that we both need. I have set in a list of things to do on a white board to make organisation easier in the morning which has helped but it's a shame we can't simply 'be'
I find it ironic however that I work in a place that is suppose to be child focused and centred but some of my senior management are not as accommodating about difficulties with work/life balance and child development as they boast and I feel they are critical of needing to dash off early when meetings are scheduled to finish after the after school club has ended and expect unrealistic deadlines so that I have to work at weekends or evenings and at times Working at weekends is impossible.
I feel i work as if i have no child and mother as if i have no job and study as if I have neither!
So I love this image as it is my ideal senario - calm and happy and beautiful - and do achieve a happy day most of the time but it is after lots of juggling and negotiation . Barbie makes it look easy, I am sure I don't look as manicured.
I still remember to this day my son saying to me 25 years ago when he was ill and upset '...and you never came to watch me on sports days' enough to tear your heart strings out...particularly as he was born with a disability...still painful today - you can't explain to a child that you work in a school and can watch other children on sports' day but not them...
I miss Nat, still to an extent that I could cry. I want to see him learn and to have him alongside me at work. We used to go to work with both my mother and my father - I helped teach children to read and to use the duplicator. Those things are far off now. I tried to get to all activities but now I am more political I reply 3.30 reeaallly are you serious?! Make up? What's that. As for clothes and hair I often look down upon a coffee stain and thank goodness there is no meeting that day.
This is a very emotive subject but not necessarily linked to the Mummy Guilt Trip.
I think we all have a strong desire to see our children happy (the ultimate goal of every parent) but this is an aspect over which we may have very little control, especially as they get older and become more independent. There are times when my children have been happy at school (mainly at primary school) and times when they have been very very unhappy (particularly at secondary school). I get deeply upset when they are unhappy and find it very difficult to send them to school when I know they are unhappy. I do everything that I can to address any problems and help them to develop strategies to cope but ultimately they have to experience all emotions in life and learn to deal with difficulties by themselves. Helping your children to become independent is hard as it means that they are preparing to leave you but it is wonderful to watch them grow and tread their own journey in life.
I have very often felt guilty about shoving my children through the school door at 7.30am after a very rushed morning. Made worse by my 7 year old son going through a clingy phase every morning- I'm a very "stiff upper lip" mum and regualary pushed him into school, telling him to stop being silly. Then I'd get into the car and have a mini- meltdown. My saving grace has always been the fact that my 2 children go to an amazing school. A quick email or phone call to school was reassuring, they helped to nurture and emotionally support and encourage my children. I also echo that I would feel guilty being a primary school teacher, giving other children more of me than I sometimes gave my own. Over the last year or so though I have managed to balance this out. I keep telling myself that I have two very well rounded children and that's because of the way we deal with life- life could be different and so could my children but I'm very happy and extremely proud of my children and what we have achieved.
What an interesting topic this would be to explore with trainee teachers who have no children ...I could see a role play coming on!
way too emotional this one, as a teacher never felt like I was part of the parents on the playground gang. But I went part time so I could drop them and off and pick them up so I valued it and I know the children did. But so many painful memories of driving home from work crying thinking I was missing out.
I think Mum's are the organisers - making sure everyone in the family is loved, clean and fed. When my son was young, life was a continual guilt trip. I worked full time from when he was 5 months old. It was a cycle of nursery, holiday clubs, after school clubs etc whilst holding down a job. I will always remember one of his primary school teachers saying to me "Well, we don't see you at home time do we Mrs Heathcock" - erm - no, because Mrs Heathcock works 37 1/2 hrs a week keeping food on the table and a roof over our heads. I will be really interested to see the results off your research.
This has been an issue in my house many times. My children know I'm a primary school teacher and on the occasions when they have had a bad day at school they will get upset and say "why do we have to go, you could teach us and then we could stay with you!" It's difficult to explain that they need the social experience of school and it's best for them to be with their peers. Luckily they don't have too many bad days and generally go to school happy enough.
My children being happy at school has always been at the forefront of my mind. Fortunately they were pretty well happy at primary as well as secondary, although there were times for each of them when I felt anxious and upset because they were. The emotional ties are so strong that I have physical pain. I am happy they are all independent and seem settled but there are still times when I feel caught up in any unhappiness they are experiencing. The desire that they should be happy is no less strong now.
This is a major guilt trip, especially when your working day means that you're unable to drop off your children at the start of the school day, and not being able to collect them at the end of their school day is heart wrenching. It's not only that, but missing out on significant events during their school day, sports days and concerts, only to be reliant on family members to provide photos or videos of events you've missed. This is very emotional.
I felt terribly guilty when one kid had troubles at school and I wondered afterwards if I was so absorbed in running work and life that I had missed early signs that she was not happy. She spent ages agonising over saying something and wondering if she was overreacting before she finally told me. So difficult sometimes to focus on how family and near friends are doing emotionally as well as preserving one's own sanity.