Little and I went to her dental check up. Her pediatric dentist, Dr. T, was easy to talk to, not to mention, very pleasant. (UPDATE: Ladies, Doctor T is not the doctor i mentioned in this post that quoted P70K for my daughter’s dental treatment, as an update to this post, Doctor T now operates her own clinic in her hometown. The pedo i am referring to is the pedo in another dental clinic we went when Doctor T. left her old practice.) Anyway, in our four visits, we immediately had a connection over mommyhood, especially since little and her kid are of the same age.
Of Preschool Teachers and a Pinay Working Mom
This visit however was different. As she shared infos about her daughter’s graduation and all, we suddenly touched into the topic most pinay working moms, dare not discuss. She mentioned to me that her daughter’s teacher in pre-school suggested that she personally take care of her child as her daughter showed disinterest in school in the latter part of the school year. The teacher mentioned that “if she was the one who is personally taking care of her daughter, the daughter may not have went through such phase.”
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As a working mom (at that time), I thought that the comment was unfair, and I pointed it out to her. I told her in the nicest way that although the teacher may have a point, I don’t think it is entirely her fault for working.
You see, Dr. T said that she tries to spend more time with her kid, but it is just that her income is needed by her family. Isn’t that taking care of her family too?
Anyway, the teacher may have a point, but I think her statement was kind of insensitive. After that story, came Dr. T’s enumeration of her working mommy guilt moments – her daughter appearing in a school program with frazzled hair, her daughter crying throughout the whole drive to school without her, and so on. I was deeply touched because as she said, if it weren’t for the income, she would not be working. In a sisterly gesture, she advised me to stay home as well if we can afford it.
Oh well, who doesn’t want to spend time with her children? But just like Dr. T, work-out-of-home moms also find meaning in their jobs. Dr. T mentioned that she loved the exposure her job brought to her. The procedures she performs on her patients (who are mostly foreigners) would not be availed of by common patients in her private practice. This exposure she says enriches her career.
But then again, our country has yet to mature in terms of accepting that some households need dual incomes, or in single parent homes, the mother needs to earn a living. I think teachers need to be more sensitive about stuff like this. And while I am sure, the advice was out of genuine concern, this matter should be handled sensitively. I don’t think every mom has the pleasure and privilege of being able to stay at home. People around them should be sensitive about the reason the mom chooses to work out of the home. and whether it is to pursue a career, or help put food on the table, the thing is there is no point in uttering insensitive statements that just fan the mommy wars.
And this is not a rare story. I remember an office mate – a single mom — who was told by her kid’s teacher that her kid’s behavior in school was in view of her inability to closely supervise her kid, and the kid not having a father figure. My golly, i told myself. What was that teacher thinking??? I think that statement was totally uncalled for.
Well for working mothers, comments like these should just be brushed aside, no matter how hard it is to swallow. As long as we know deep in our hearts that we are doing what is best for our families, then these things should not be taken so seriously.
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