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.