Sacrifice - by Robin
My husband and I went to an open house this week at Seth's school. It was a preview of the forthcoming after school program being launched in our district next fall. We are looking forward, and plan to enroll Seth in a number of days.
It's good for him. The program offers socialization. They engage them in activities, etc. And, he'll have a chance, if they enroll, to spend more time with some of his school buddies.
The open house offered parents the opportunity to ask questions. We came with our share, mostly relating to things like...what activities will be done with the children....will they encourage that homework get done...will they serve snacks, etc.
As we were preparing to leave, I couldn't help but overhear the discussion another mom was having with one of the program facilitators. And, I was appalled....and found myself saying something under my breath...and then voiced it. Not sure the mom heard me or paid attention...which I guess is best. She would not have liked what I had to say.
The mom was discussing with the facilitator what to do with her daughter if she's sick? Clearly, her hope/intent was that her daughter would attend the before/after school program even if she's not well. She was complaining how they now have live-in help and want to get rid of them. But, what to do if her daughter takes ill? As if this program would be the solution.
What does she think? That this program is an infirmary?
No wonder so many kids pick up illness from others in the classroom. It's moms like this who send them to school regardless, no doubt, because they need them out of the house.
The program facilitator politely explained that this isn't a full day program, so that she'd still need to find care for her daughter during normal school hours, if she wasn't able to be in class.
The mom looked upset. And, I thought..what is she? Delusional? Or just plain selfish? I made a quick comment in passing...."Would you have your daughter infect other kids in school?"
Of course that's not her intent, but she wasn't being thoughtful either.
And, I thought to myself....isn't that part of what being a parent is? Sacrifice. If you work fulltime and your child takes ill, someone has to stay home with them, and it might need to be you.
And, if you're a SAHM, and your child gets sick, yes, you're already home, but whatever you had on your schedule for that day or week (depending on the nature of the illness) goes out the window. And, caretaking takes precedence. That's just the way it is.
I know it's not always easy, but isn't that how it should be?!
Should a sick child be roaming the halls of a school?
Do some become parents without understanding the role of caretaker that comes with it?
Or are they just so spoiled by receiving help from others that they don't want to dirty their hands if their child is under the weather?
Some don't have someone to turn to. Some can't afford nannies. Some don't have family help. How do they cope? They just do.
Ultimately, as moms, we need to rely on ourselves, as it's often the woman who plays the primary caretaker role.
We need to rise to occasion, however inconvenient, and act respectfully toward other families who keep their children home so their germs don't spread like wildfire.