I can normally rationalize my way out of ‘mommy guilt’ and tell myself that it’s just part of being a parent. But other times even though I know it’s irrational I still feel it. We are making some huge decisions right now in regards to our kids’ education. I am so conflicted and terrified of making the wrong choice.
So many of us travelled down different educational paths. Public school, private school, religious school, French Immersion, Montessori; there are so many choices out there. The crazy thing is I know that my kids are going to get a good education regardless of where we decide to send them. School is not the only place where children learn. We as parents also have a responsibility to educate our kids. We have to be aware of what they are doing at school and help make sure that we have open lines of communication with them and their teachers.
So, how do we base our decision? Do we look solely at the school? Do we look at how close the school is to our home? Do we look at how many children are in the school? And what happens if we choose the wrong school? My daughter hates change and unfortunately for reasons out of our control it looks as though at least one change of school is imminent.
We have a few options that we are sifting through right now. One school will take 45 minutes to an hour on the school bus, or by car is a 30-40 minute drive in rush hour. But this is the school that closely matches where she is now. There are a few other schools that are only 10-15 minutes away. One is small and the other 2 are really big with large classroom sizes. With my son starting JK next year, my head is positively swimming with information and I am so worried that I’m going to make the wrong decision.
So many times I hear people say that moms should do more for themselves and take care of themselves not just their children. It will make us better moms. I have never felt as though I don’t do things for myself. In fact I work hard at making sure I take time for myself. So, with that said, as a parent is it my responsibility to do what will be best for my children or best for our whole family?
Common sense is telling me that I have to take a look at the big picture. Even though the school may be the best one for my kids it may not be the best option for our family. The idea of having to drive 30-40 minutes every morning in rush hour or put my kids on a bus that wouldn’t get them home until 5pm seems insane. Especially, when there seem to be alternatives closer to home. But the guilt of choosing not to send them to a school that appears to be such a great fit also makes me feel insane.
The truth is that we as parents can only do the best we can and no matter what we do (or don’t do) we are not and will never be perfect. Unfortunately, right now this does little to assuage my guilt. I hope that I can look at things with a clear head and make a decision that will not eat at me for the rest of my life … although that seems a little theatrical, I really don’t want to look back in ten or twenty years and wish I’d done things differently.
I’ll keep you posted …