Working Mama Guilt

Ryan will be five in a few weeks, and when he was born, I had a full-time job.  I took 3 months of maternity leave when he was born, and returned to work part-time for a few months, to ease back into work.  Before I returned full-time, the company I was working at was sold, and my job was eliminated.  We were in a position where I didn’t have to work, so I decided to become a full-time stay-at-home-mom.  I loved it. 

When my second son, Cole, was 18-months old, I was offered a very part-time job, working one and a half days a week, that would allow me to keep my professional skills current, but still allow me to be with boys, most of the time.   Ryan and Cole’s grandparents graciously offered to watch the boys one day while I work, and we found a great child care provider who watches them on the other day.

I have been at my job for fifteen months, and I haven’t missed anything that I felt guilty about in my boys’ lives.  But that is going to change this week.  Ryan’s preschool is having a winter concert later this week. The kids have been practicing their songs for a few weeks now.  I hear Ryan practicing his song, and humming the tune.  He sounds so cute singing it, and he is so excited.  The school is having the concert at a local church, so it is a very big deal.

Except I can’t go.  The day of the concert is one of the days I work, and this week I have to be there.  Normally, I could switch my schedule around so I could attend, but I have to cover for vacations and my co-workers working off site.  I am the only one who is scheduled to be in the office, and I take that responsibility seriously.  But it is breaking my heart that I am going to miss my son’s first and probably only preschool concert.

The school is rehearsing at the church all week, and I am hoping tomorrow and on Wednesday, I’ll be able to catch some of the rehearsal to at least hear him sing a bit.  Ryan’s teacher told me someone should record the concert and they can burn it on a DVD for me, but it isn’t quite the same thing as being there in person.  Thanks to Ryan’s grandparents, he will more than likely be able to attend the concert, because Joe can’t change his schedule this week either. 

I know I shouldn’t be sad- I should be thankful I have a job, and I am, but how do you balance out the grown-up responsibilities that you must fulfill with knowing you will miss your little boy singing about seven little penguins who are cold?

This is really hard for me- I’ll take any words of wisdom you can offer.