True Confession Tuesday: Plastic Polly and Mama Guilt

True Confession Tuesday is where I occasionally post about the things I think or do–but rarely admit to.

In Plastic Polly there’s a small subplot between Polly’s mom and Mrs. Huff, the mother of one of Polly’s classmates. The tension between the two characters can best be summed up by this passage in the book:

When we were in Winston’s elementary section, Mrs. Huff was president of the PTA. Once, she sent home a note saying it would be nice if the parents who didn’t regularly volunteer gave the other mothers a break, and would Mom mind handling the decorations for the class Christmas party?

Mom, possessed with more determination than I saw when she studied for the bar exam, decided she’d show prissy Mrs. Huff she could make decorations just like any other mother…pg 74

Here’s my True Confession: Those two characters are me having an argument with myself.

Like Polly’s mom, I had a dream and went after it. She wanted to be a lawyer; I wanted to become a published author. Like her, I’m now busy with work and on my phone a lot. (True Story: Recently, I drove my son and his friend on the class field trip to the local museum, then spent the entire time during the tour on my phone, desperately trying to catch up on email. At the end of it, my slightly irritated 9YO said, “So, did you actually HEAR anything the lady said?”)

But like Mrs. Huff, I really want to be involved. Hey, I drove on the field trip in the first place, didn’t I? (But unlike her, I don’t go around making other women feel bad about the choices they’ve made.)

If I’m really honest, this part of Plastic Polly came from me working through my own “Mama Guilt” of feeling like I’m somehow lacking because I’m not the mom who plans crafts or brings home-made cupcakes to class. (But I’m always willing to buy the best that Bel Air has to offer!)

I’ve since come to a healthier place, and recognize that writing gives my life, and my family, so many things, but I admit that there are still some days that I struggle. Ultimately, I hope that one day my kids, like Polly, will be able to say, “[My mom] is passionate and smart, and every day she shows me it’s possible to have a dream, go after it, and make it come true.” (pg 194)

So that’s my True Confession for the day. What’s yours? Do you ever struggle with a work/life balance?

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One Response to True Confession Tuesday: Plastic Polly and Mama Guilt

  1. Heidi says:

    I have struggled with this in the past, but I’ve learned to accept and embrace the fact that I need some “non-mom” work and things to turn my creativity to in order to stay sane and be the best mom I can be. That’s what’s best for us right now. (Side note: I really wish moms would ease up on each other too. We put enough pressure and guilt on ourselves that we don’t need it from others as well.)