We have all been there. Busy with work or other things and the call comes. This may be a call from school or childcare to say your child is unwell or has hurt themselves. Perhaps a call from family members or a nanny who is minding your child and needs to you come immediately! There are a myriad of thoughts and emotions that go through your mind when you see that name flash up on your phone – you can never pick the call up quick enough.
These calls can be challenging. Some of us simply run out the door, nothing else is of any importance. Some immediately feel guilt for having to leave work early combined with the rush of emotion that “I should have been there for my child” further enhancing the pull of life grabbing at us at every corner and pulling us in different directions. The balls we are so careful to juggle begin to fall down in slow motion as you realise that you need to get home, but in doing so you also feel guilt for not being able to handle your workload or for perhaps letting your team down as you won’t be there for that important meeting you were meant to lead.
The guilt comes in all directions. You feel like a bad parent for not being there, you feel like a bad employee and colleague for not being there, you feel like a bad partner (because you’re meant to handle all this right?) and you are guilt ridden to the core for not being there for anyone.
Unfortunately there is no simple solution. Each of us will feel differently to each other in these situations and also differently for each situation. Personally I feel that the older the kids get the guilt eases slightly. Only this week I ran out the door to collect my child from school due to an injury sustained in the schoolyard. My heart retching and aching to get there, but also understanding that it wasn’t an emergency and my child was safe and happy with the school nurse hanging out in the medical room.
We can’t be all things to all people. We can’t be in two places at once. We can’t live life full of guilt and despair. We can just do the best we can each and every day. Build flexibility into your workday, build your village and spread the load. You are doing a good job mama, so relax and enjoy the (bumpy) ride.