With springtime comes field trips and end-of-the-year parties, and with them the feeling that I'm not involved enough in my daughters' school activities. (I'm sure most single parents feel that way)
Sometimes I worry that their teachers don't think I'm as involved as I could be. I never volunteer to help with parties, I forget to send in birthday cupcakes, or to order books when they send home scholastic flyers. However, even though I don't go to school functions, I ALWAYS spend time helping them with their homework and trying to help them learn to love school and reading.
My youngest daughter's second grade class did a Mother's Day event this year and I actually managed to be there (for part of it). When I had to leave early, she started crying. Her friends tried to cheer her up, but she says it didn't help. I hated leaving her, but I didn't have a choice. Her class has a field trip at the end of the week and she wanted me to go with her, but I can't take off work.
I realize I'm not alone. Many, if not most single parents, are going through the same thing. We work, most of us full-time, and still have to take care of everything else alone; the laundry, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, etc, so that doesn't leave much time to be involved like other parents. So we feel guilty.
Do I think we should feel guilty? No. Do we feel guilty anyway? Yes, because we want to be a part of our children's lives, but are too busy trying to keep a roof over their heads to be there.
So, what do we do? Remind ourselves that we are doing the best we can and remember that even if we aren't volunteering for class parties or field trips, it doesn't mean we don't care or don't want to, it just means we are working, single, parents!
Try not to be too hard on yourselves (I know I need to work on this too) and remember, just because you are involved in school, it doesn't mean you're not involved in your child's life...
Until next time,