Our children aren't always as strong as we think.

(originally posted October 29, 2009)

I had an interesting 'first' as a working mother last night. We pitched to a potential client who could only meet afterhours, and it was crazy from the moment I agreed to it.

My children's daycare is not in the town I work in. And it closes at 6. And my husband's work vehicle only holds two people. And it was the same night as my step-daughter's last volleyball game. Are you understanding my issue yet?!

Anyway, I stressed and stressed about finding a sitter or striking a deal with my husband. We argued, yelled, came to a compromise and started the whole process over two more times before the presentation even came up. Running out of options, I enlisted my brother-in-law to watch my children during his play practice on his University's campus. I know, I know, I already sound like a terrible mother. (I should also mention this is after I looked into daycares that allow you to drop off your kids for an hour here and there without a long-term commitment)

I raced out of work at 4:15 and was back here with kids and Mc D's at five. They ate. I watched and cheered them on to be finished by 5:30 so we could meet their uncle.

Lugged them both down the street with toys, books, snacks... and away I went.

By 5:45 I was at the presentation. Another thirty minutes later we were doing our thing.

I checked the clock when I hopped back in my car. 6:57. Damn...fifteen minutes later than I promised I'd be back by. Here comes another pang of guilt.

I race across town and see my kids with their uncle. Sissy's crying (sobbing actually) and Bubs is running back and forth a little ledge in the dark. Another pang of guilt.

As I run across the street, apologies to my kids and my brother-in-law are racing through my head. And I manage to get a few out before I realized that my daughter is completely distraught. She's sucking in like she's been crying for an hour. Her little cheeks are sticky and wet and red. Again with the guilt.

I don't really remember the ride home other than I just craved a hug and wanted to tell them over and over again how sorry I am. This morning, they were back to normal and I'm the one who's still suffering.

My kids are troopers but I was reminded of how vulnerable they are, and even more of how much we all need each other.