Thursday, March 7, 2013

Birthday FAIL

It's my older daughter's birthday tomorrow.

At her daycare, they do a little party for them during snacktime at 3PM. I bring in cake in the morning and everyone sings, and if you're the mom watching, you get little tears in your eyes.

Last year, I happened to have the day off, so I went to the party and then brought Mel home afterwards. This year, it didn't work out that way, but I was still hoping to go to the party. I work pretty close to the daycare, so I could have easily slipped out, gone to the party, and then gone back to work. But I know from prior experience that if I show up at daycare, Mel will not let me leave without her. I don't want to make her cry on her birthday.

After much internal debate, I finally asked my boss if it would be all right if I brought Mel to work with me for a couple of hours, and she'd be totally quiet and good. "Oh God, don't bring her to work," my boss said. "Just go home after the party. It's okay." (My boss is a sweetie.)

So I was all set, or so I thought. But then several things happened, including that my census of patients exploded and I can't reduce my list without begging other people to see my patients, which I really hate to do, especially considering Friday is generally a busy day. I also stupidly scheduled a doctor's appointment for today, which means I can't stay late today either.

And then I got a call from the scheduler for my clinic, asking if I could add on a couple of extra patients for Friday.

I am beginning to feel like I am doing too much to make it to this party. I am calling in favors, inconveniencing other people, canceling appointments, all just to make a 15 minute party. She probably won't care if I'm there anyway and we're having a regular birthday party on the weekend. I should just accept that it isn't going to happen.

But then I think to myself: this is WHY I took a flexible job, so that I wouldn't miss special moments like this. If being there for my daughter's birthday party isn't high priority for me, then I feel like my priorities are screwed up.

It's hard being a working mom.


  1. Why should your daughter's birthday party be any less important than other reasons? If you took this job so you don't have to miss these special moments, let go of that guilt and push on through. Attend the the birthday party and wipe away that tear. And when your colleagues ask you for favors for their important reasons (like say, a ski trip), you can return the favor with a smile.

  2. My daughter's birthday is Sunday. I do the birthday school thing every year. I was e-mailing the teacher last night trying to set up bringing Boston Cream PIe, C's idea, on Monday. Last year we did ice cream pie. And get coverage for the time the teacher tells me to come.

    Apparently there is a new policy at the school. Cookies and cupcakes only, to be handed out by the child at snack time. Send them to school with your kid in the morning. Parents don't come. This is a bit of a relief to me, especially since I have to get covered tomorrow to be the "grandparent" at GP Day (no grandparent can go) and we are having a huge rent out the roller rink party Saturday night.

    I agree with above, go if you at all can. Hang the moon. But don't sweat it if you can't make it. And hopefully they will adopt a policy change:)

  3. LOVE IT!!! Go and have a 15-minute blast!!! You will remember and you will be glad that you went.

  4. I love the idea of not allowing parents. Let the kids have their own celebration, not made more complex for the kids or the parents. Parents in the classroom get kids confused and riled up (witness your daughter not wanting to stay in school after you come by). And then have a great birthday party at home. And remember that your child will not be scarred because you didn't come to school to celebrate her birthday. My mom never did that-- and I'm pretty sure she never sent me in with cake either-- and I turned out just fine.

  5. As I read your post I was thinking of how relieved I am that parents also don't come to the birthday celebrations at my daughters daycare - one less thing for me to be guilty about! I hope it works out!

  6. My children are old now, but I wouldn't have gone. I never went until it was time to go home, because it was too confusing turning up in the middle of the day. And I guess birthdays have always been pretty low key, both when I was a child and now that I have children. But it's hard if you wanted to be there. I'm amazed at how many times I think, 'I thought I had a flexible working arrangement, howcome I miss so many things?'


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