When You Can’t “Just Take A Half Day” For Your Kids’ School

kids in formal uniform

“Are you coming to the tea party,?” Zacharie asked me at breakfast this morning.

“No, bunny, I have to work,” I replied.

“Is Momma coming?”

“No, she has to work too.”

“Then I’ll have to go in a different group,” he pouted. “You guys never get to come and see me. You didn’t come and see me ski and now you’re not coming to my tea party.”

Today is a super cute day in our family. It’s a formal uniform day at school because they are doing a UNESCO presentation. Every couple of months there is a UNESCO day where presentations are made, assemblies are had, and the parents are invited to the school to be toured around by the kids.

Confession: I have no idea what being a UNESCO school means, although the administration at our school is very proud of the distinction. I chose the school because it was close, and taught french.

As you would expect, these appointments are at 10:30, or 1:15, or some other “middle of the day” time. Granted, that’s when the kids are in school, but it’s also when the parents are at work. Or at least some of the parents are at work, it would seem. My kids are attending a private school for kindergarten and preschool so they can have proper French Immersion education and have access to a full day kindergarten program. That means tuition. To afford the tuition, my wife and I both have to work.

I’m just ranting here. This has nothing to do with anything, but I’d love to take part in the magic that my son produces at school. I’d love to see the smile and pride on his face as he escorts me around the projects they’ve been working on. But I can’t, and it’s frustrating.

I get that teachers have crazy long days and can’t be expected to do everything outside of ‘normal business hours’ to accomodate each individual schedule. It is wonderful that parents are invited to attend and participate in the school day. I just can’t appreciate the luxury of having one working parent while affording private school tuition. I can’t appreciate being able to “take the afternoon off” whenever you want for golf, drinks, or a school assembly.

So I’m whining about it here. I’m whining because I’m disappointed I have to miss this most excellent day where my two boys, in shirt and tie, will have no parent at their class to escort around the displays.

I feel like I’m letting my kids down, and it sucks.

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Buzz

Buzz is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in May 2007 and Charles in January 2010. Buzz is a radio guy who enjoys building bridges between old and new media. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+

3 Comments

  1. Go ahead and whine but you are NOT letting your kids down! You “outsource” the school part, and you can support them after school is done. If it makes you feel any better, most parents there will probably be too busy taking photos with iPhones and iPads to truly immerse themselves in the experience. Chin up!

  2. Thanks Anna.

    I was reminded by someone on Twitter that the school experience I do have with my kids (being able to take them and pick them up each day) is more than many parents have when they drop kids at dayhomes before 7 and don’t see them again until after 6.

    I guess I’m lucky, just not spoiled :)

  3. I hear you, even though I work part-time, I have a daughter in grade one and twins in preschool so I miss out on some school assemblies as well. The last one I missed, another parent described how happy my daughter was. Instead of feeling guilty, I appreciated the fact that she had fun. Our kids have friends at school and their parents delight in our children just as we delight in theirs.

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