Winter break is barely over. This working mom finally has the house cleaned up from two weeks of stir crazy children and a boatload of new toys. And then MLK Day comes and gives students everywhere a three-day weekend. Working parents were just getting back into our routine, so we can’t help but approach this day with a little trepidation.
It’s not that we don’t love and respect Martin Luther King, Jr. or his legacy. Of course we do. We believe that he deserves our remembrance and thought on this very special day. It would really nice if we could spend the day educating our kids about his life and his mission, talking about how we plan to make our a difference in our own communities. Unfortunately, mid-January is not exactly prime day-off territory.
A day off from school for kids means a lot of work for parents. And it’s a tad frustrating to have to do this mere weeks after the holidays. Let’s not even talk about all the late days due to 2-hour delays or unexpected snow days we’re trying to get through. Plenty of moms are half-heartedly attempting to work from home, praying for easy ways to keep the kids busy and out of their hair during a 45-minute conference call that just couldn’t be rescheduled.
I’m sorry to say that President Obama‘s secondÂ inaugurationÂ ins’t helping those parents out. Every television channel is covering the event. And for reasons that I cannot comprehend, children are not interested in hearing Bob Schieffer reminisce about the Reagan inaugurations.
I feel pretty guilty over my annoyance with a day dedicated to a truly remarkable man. But as I accidentally woke up my daughter at seven a.m. because I forgot she didn’t have anywhere to be today, I have to admit that I cursed this random Monday off. I rolled my eyes at the fact that only bankers, mail carriers and teachers were going to enjoy what is supposed to be a national holiday. The rest of us are going to be hustling to the daycare center, trying to work with a child hiding under our office desks, or praying that our Skyped meeting can’t see or hear the craziness of our house.
Veteran’s Day. MLK Day. President’s Day. They’re all days dedicated to good and important people. They’re all holidays that we should respect and honor. And they’re filled with a lot of moral conflict for a working mom who cannot help but get annoyed when her kids have time off and she’s stuck in the office.
So today, for all of you parents who are popping in movies, throwing together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and bribing their children’s good behavior for just a few minutes of concentration, we feel your pain. We’re with you. For all of you sitting at work, praying that your middle-schooler was really old enough to stay home alone without burning the house down, we’ll send good, safe vibes your way.
We know, MLK Day isn’t exactly a ‘holiday’ for working moms.