I work full time and when not working, I’m a full time mother. Yes, I can do both. Many women do. What I cannot do is volunteer in a classroom, pick my children up after school, catch up with other moms while at school daytime events, or meet and visit with our children’s friends and parents Recently as I gathered with a group of moms, I realized that many school days they have school yard chats and impromptu play dates. They know each others business and families. I however, miss all of this. Grandpa picks up my son and surely he is not going to spend a free minute or two talking homework or play time. I feel like an outsider, not because I don’t care, but because I work. For part of one semester I sat in on late night, lengthy new playground meetings. Although tiring, I enjoyed my time and contribution. When it came time for playground “testers”, children of the other committee members were chosen, not our son. Pulling on big girl panties and still wanting to be a part of our children’s school, I attended a parent teacher meeting. Happily I contributed, volunteered to help when possible, and gave my contact info. The phone never rang and no follow up email about the next meeting ever arrived. Each parent/teacher conference session I donate food or supplies. With teaching and having a young, active family, that is often the most I can do. I know I will not be able to stand on a chilly afternoon and catch up on the latest school news, learn more about the kids friends and families, volunteer to help at a holiday party,or make more mommy friends. Increasingly, there is not enough time in a day to be full time momma and teacher. And that is a struggle.