As a working mom I watch my computer clock like a hawk for the clock to hit 5PM, so I can leave the office and pick up my kids from after-school care… If I’m in a meeting in the late afternoon I’m probably looking at my watch every 30 seconds trying to figure out when I should excuse myself and waiting for the boss to finish his comments so I can interrupt and leave.
I’m not trying to be rude or it’s not that I don’t care about my work but I don’t want to be the parent that picks up their child last. I don’t want to be the parent that pays $1 a minute after 6PM. I don’t want to be the parent that picks up their child at the curb because they closed the building. I don’t want to be the parent that gets the phone call at 5:59PM.
I am the parent that doesn’t rush to pick up her kids. I am the parent that has time to talk to the daycare associates and ask how their day was. I am the parent that thanks the daycare associates for taking care of my child, for feeding my child, for entertaining my child and for so much more. I am the parent that pays attention to my child’s conversation about the day. I am the parent that has time to look for that lost piece of artwork that was painted today and needs to go home. I am also the parent that has two kids at two different after school programs and it takes me an hour to pick them up.
So, when day care closes at 6PM I need to be out of the office by 5PM and my only excuse is that I have to go pick up my kids from daycare. I know that I have worked all day and accomplished what needed to get done at the office. And, I don’t feel guilty or bad about leaving the office at 5PM on the dot, because my kids are my first priority.