Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow Days and Working Mommy Frustrations

I just survived another snow day. I've lost count of how many we've had this winter, but enough that they are starting to lose their appeal. I love snow days, in theory. A little day off here and there - everything being paused for a moment. Sadly my love of snow days is slowly changing now that I have kids. It's not that I don't value the gift of a surprise day with my children, because I do. It can be chaotic and filled with too many off-key renditions of Let it Go, but still a wonderful day. What has become more and more difficult is that while I'm reading books and building forts I know my colleagues are working. My phone pings with new emails constantly, which I desperately try to ignore. I can't give meaningful replies and make sure my almost one year old doesn't eat the cat food. At 7:45, when both girls were in bed I finally checked my work email. 55 new emails. Many requiring thoughtful responses, which at this point, after a full day of child wrangling, I was not cognitively available to give. The guilt and frustration are there though. I know my colleagues were working hard during the day and I just couldn't do the same amount of work. I couldn't even reply to whether or not I was available for a meeting because that would involve checking my calendar and in the two seconds it would take to do that my little one would have made a run for the stairs. (I swear she knows when I'm not paying attention.) 
Snow days seem to add another layer complication to the working mommy challenges. I don't want to ignore my work emails for 12 hours while I know my colleagues are working hard. Yet I can't ignore my young children to keep up with the work email conversations. Getting to emails at 7:45 at night, hours after everyone else problem solved, volunteered for tasks and made decisions is discouraging. There are no good answers, and I know years from now I'll blissfully wish for these chaotic-filled snow days. 

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