Why I wish work was (more) like preschool
Most mornings when I drop off Elliot at preschool, he is hesitant to enter the room, sometimes clinging to my leg. There are never tears or meltdowns, but I can tell he is reluctant. Some days, if I let myself dwell on this occurrence, the mommy guilt takes over and thoughts like, “How can you leave your child for eight and a half hours a day while someone else takes care of him?” creep into my mind.
But, I suppose I have conditioned myself to deal with the drop-off routine as a necessary task. It could be worse. I could have to work night shifts and weekends like my husband does. I could have to work holidays like I did when I was a newspaper reporter.
No, I don’t get to stay home every day with my offspring. Not sure I’d REALLY want to (see a previous blog “The Working Mom Conundrum”). The reality is, I am blessed to have a job that allows me to use my education and experience.
Just like Elliot entering preschool, however, I am hesitant to enter the office every morning. It’s difficult to be “on” five days a week.
Also like Elliot at preschool, I am fortunate to have made friends at work. This is especially great for me because I have zero other friends here. If only making friends elsewhere were as easy for me as it is for Elliot. On a recent trip to the playground, I observed his “friending” abilities. It is effortless for him. No introductions. No judging. Just a simple, “Hey, you wanna play with me?”
I actually lamented to a friend that I wish I had the courage to similarly ask other moms, “Hey, do you want to be friends with me?”
Being a 3-year-old must be so exciting all the time. So many new experiences, activities, words, concepts. Elliot often recalls “projects” he creates at school. “There were red leaves, orange leaves and yellow leaves!” he exclaimed when he explained a recent art project.
My job occasionally allows me to have these exciting moments. Web 2.0 and search engine optimization are two cool concepts about which I recently got excited.
And, when my husband asks me, “How was your day?” I usually respond, “OK” or “fine.” Most days when I pick up Elliot from school, he is engrossed with playing blocks or coloring. I usually have to coerce him to leave. And, every day, on the way to the car, I ask him, “How was your day at school?” He always replies, in a Tony the Tiger kind of fashion, “It was GRRrreat!” Wow, if only that was my response.
Wouldn’t it be cool if work was (more) like preschool?
Originally published on ovparent.com.