Sports day dilemma

Jun 8 • Featured • 896 Views • 4 Comments on Sports day dilemma

Lily, one of my most experienced mum friends, once told me that when you're a working mum, even if you can't be at the school gate every day, the most important thing is to make sure you're there for the big events. 'Christmas plays, Sports Days, anything like that,' she said. 'Because those are the important ones, the ones they'll remember.'

It's good advice and something I've tried to follow – but of course it's often easier said than done, as my friend Fi has found out. This friday is Sports Day at her daughter's primary school. 'Mummy can't come to my sports day because she has to work,' her little girl told me at the weekend, as her mum visibly winced. 'I feel so guilty, but what can I do?' Fi confided in me later. 'There's an important meeting at work and I can't expect everyone to reschedule because of me.'

Her partner also has a crucial meeting he can't get out of, her mother has recently broken her back and needs constant care from her dad, and with no other relatives in close proximity, this means their five-year-old will be entering the bean bag and skipping challenges without any family members present.

'Why can't they have sports days at weekends?' I asked my sister, who works in a school. 'Because they take so much organisation, and it would be unfair to make the teachers give up their time off,' she pointed out.

True. And I'm sure my friend's daughter won't be the only one without a mum or dad or grandparent or uncle or aunt to support her. I'm not sure what the solution is. But guilt is a constant factor of being a working mum. It's really time things changed.

written by Liz Jarvis


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4 Responses to Sports day dilemma

  1. mary says:

    oh how sad ! – perhaps i could be her adopted mum for the day.

  2. Nicola says:

    There is also the guilt of an non working Mum – my daughter has a family picnic next Friday with Sports Day the following Friday. Both clash with my other daughters (very much enjoyed) swimming lesson! The picnic and sports day will win but then I have a huge attack of the guilts that my younger daughter will be missing out two weeks on the trot. Neither one is more important than the other but she always seems to lose!

  3. Jo says:

    That’s a heart string puller!! I’m currantly on Maturnity leave with my 7 month old and also enjoying my time at tat home with my 3 year old taking her to and from pre school, I’m dreading going back to work in Sept and missing so many special moments and school activities etc! ….(even just being able to drop her off and pick her up!!)

  4. Yvonne says:

    I don’t know what the answer is but I think that our government’s children’s minister, Ed Balls, should be giving some thought to the massive problems and guilt working mums (and dads…) have to deal with on a regular basis. More holidays? More flexible working? Now they’re not spending time working out how to milk the system and which home to have as this month’s primary residence MPs can start tackling problems like this one.


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