Parenting From the Front Lines
One of the perks of being a working parent is, regardless of how chaotic your previous evening or morning has been, you will leave the tantrums and the spilled cheerios behind and go be a grown up for 8 or 10 hours.
And, as all working parents know, it’s one of the downsides as well. Sometimes you would rather stay home with the cheerio-encrusted carpets and watch cartoons all day, with a warm body tucked under each arm, than deal with a board room full of egoists. (Rant: why would you hire someone for their expertise, and then argue over everything they advise? Never could understand that. Biggest pet peeve from working agency-side.)
When I left my “career” to become a secretary on the same campus as my children’s school, I foolishly imagined that we were headed for parental perfection. Shorter hours, shorter commute, and closer community with my children.
All true. It’s just, as with working away, it’s also one of the downsides.
Lemme ‘splain: I have “spirited” children. Meek and docile, they are not.
Independent, yes. Willfull, even more so. Downright pugnacious are they.
So, now, in this blessed “closer community” with my kids, I’m right there on the front lines when stuff goes wrong. When Scoob makes one of his frequent trips to the principal, I’m right down the hall. I’ve had teachers rail at me in my office over one of the rascal’s bad days (as if I would hop up right then and there and do something about it.)
In their defense, the administration has been great about curbing this habit. They now bring me in only if they would have done so had I been off campus. Unfortunately, this is still far too often for my taste, and I do SO love the walk of shame, down the hall and out to the car, miscreant in hand.
Even when it’s not that bad, I still get sucked in.
No matter where I am in my day, I’m in their day. Good, bad, pretty and ugly. I’m there for all their parties and performances. I get to hug them at lunch, check in after school, and get the rap sheet before I even get to the car.
I also get to sit at my desk and fret over what might happen next. I’m great at that. Expert fretter, me.
Stepping back, I suppose that no matter where you are, where you work, whether you are at home or on the road, there is no such thing as the perfect parental position. When you’ve got spirited kids, it’s going to be rough riding for a while.
I hope they realize, soon, that it’s all going down on record here and will be pulled out at their respective rehearsal dinners.
Payback, boys. Payback.