I had a breakthrough in therapy! And by therapy, I mean margaritas with my sisters-in-law. We figured out the reason we all prefer to be at work rather than home: We know we’re good at our jobs, but we’re not so sure about this parenting thing.
Case in point, me. I arrive at school at least an hour ahead of time, and if I didn’t have to drive a kid to dance, guard, work, fishing club or violin, I’d probably stay for an hour after. I keep a colorful but organized classroom, am knowledgeable in my content area and on occasion receive Starbucks for my successes. I truly love teaching.
But when I swap that hat for my mom one, all confidence goes out the window. Have I been poisoning my children with hormone-laced milk and Kraft preservatives? Am I creating socially inept teenagers by allowing constant access to their Samsungs? Why do I feel so guilty grounding a son for his grades? How did he even get to that point? What if my college freshman starts shooting meth? These are the anxieties that plague me from the moment I walk in to my house. It’s exhausting. Add in the physical state of said house, which currently includes an infestation of fruit flies, and you begin to understand my feelings of maternal ineptitude.
Mothers get no accolades, no pats on the back and rarely thank-you gifts of coffee. And the worst part is, children suck at providing feedback, so we won’t know if we did a good job until it’s too late. This is why I prefer work. And lots of therapy.