Friday, April 1, 2011
Mommy Guilt and Technology
OK, I know it seems like these two topics have next to nothing in common, but I promise I will try and bring them together as cohesively as possible.
Lets start with what is up right this minute; it is 5:30pm, I am in an empty house in my PJ's and I'm eating M & M dark chocolate candies. I am alone for the next 36 hours, why do you ask? My job, I work in information technology and am once again on a project that may see me swear at someone in upper management and totally make me feel like I am loosing my mind. I am spending most of the day tomorrow ensuring we are ready to start testing everything Monday and maintaining the time line I have committed to management we will meet. I am not thrilled about this, but I find a lot of satisfaction in learning a tool and being able to make it work in the way most people like. I like working, and doing something I feel is meaningful, I do not like not spending time with my kids to get that work done. I knew if I delayed our trip up to my parents yet again because of work, I would be at work pinning to get home to the kids and the kids would be making my husband NUTS.
I have mommy guilt, guilt that I haven't spent good quality time with the kids in the last week, guilt that my husband has had to pick up the slack, and guilt that there are days I am really glad I am going to get some time away...as anxious as it makes me to be away from them.
The mommy guilt train hasn't quite left that station yet though, a chief on-going level of my mommy guilt is my general disinterest is teaching the kids to be better with technology. Thing One and Two were probably the last of their friends to learn how to 'google' something, and rarely ever do they turn on the computer and get themselves all the way to a favorite game. We have bought an iPad and the point and click mentality of it has made it a lot easier for me to let go and let the kids play without my assistance. Now if you think I am doing this because I am concerned about content or something of the like, you're wrong. I do it because I don't want my PC to get messed up so I, or the hubs more than likely, have to fix it. I work in technology, I grew up with technology, but I hate dealing with it at home. Most of the people I work with are passionate about various forms of technology and have terabytes of crap at their homes, building their own DVRs and PCs, not me. If I can't plug and play it, screw it. If the kids mess with the setting and the PC blows, I am more likely to look into buying a new one than fighting it out with what I have, thankfully the hubs will fight it out, though he isn't a techie by nature either.
So instead of pulling out the energy efficient house science project Thing One spent all her Christmas money on, I am all for a round of Angry Birds, Lego car tracks or a scooter ride, anything but reading a manual and trying to figure out how to make it work. I know that an in depth knowledge of technology can only help them, but I just can't seem to muster the push to do it, and I feel guilty. I know enough to teach them the basics, get the supplies and help them build a PC, though I have cracked a few processors in my time, I just have no interest.
When I was 21, 8 million years ago, I received a laptop/word processor from my parents for my birthday. Inside was a note, go forth and become the techno weenie we know you can be, I laughed, there was no way I was going to be near a computer once I got out of school, I was going to work with people and make a difference. I still work with people, but the focus is the technology and computers and delivering the service to the customer. The basics my parents taught me before I left their house, helped me get a job years later and set the path I am on now, even geeks need administration, was what a friend said when I wondered how I was ever going to get a job with a Recreation Administration Masters. So here I sit with my free time, typing into the techno verse instead of the knitting or the paper scrap booking projects piled up around me, here I sit when the kids tug on my arm to play a computer game and I don't want to scan the site to see if there are any viruses on it. I hope like me they learn the people side before the computer side, but the mommy guilt is still there. Still haunting me....though hopefully the cider I am drinking will make it a little less and the Huck Finn existence they experience at my parents house makes the occational weekend mommy can't spend with them OK.
And yes I still have the paper...but when I replaced it with this one in my office I knew the prophocy had been foretold