Both Berta and I work during the day. This will not come as a shock to most Americans who have families like ours. We could have chosen a smaller house, a smaller family, a tighter budget, but we like the way we live and it requires two working parents. What is perplexing is how many parents in our area don’t understand this and count on the opposite to be true.

Maybe it’s a strange assumption on my part to believe that stay-at-home parents are not the norm. I think it’s pretty common here where we live. I suppose the natural tendency would be to assume that other parents or families also live the way you live until you find out otherwise, so maybe it’s normal to be constantly questioned as to why we can’t be involved in various school activities during the work day, as if it’s abnormal not to be available.

The main thing that plagues me week-to-week is Girl Scouts. Everyone likes Girl Scouts, especially Abby, and I’m not saying anything against the organization or calling out particular parents or the scout leaders, but it does seem unusual to me that it’s assumed that a parent will always be around to pick up the girls right after the traditional workday. On normal days, the bus brings the kids home from school, and they’re here at home without me having to leave work. Is there an assumption that there is mobile childcare for fetching Abby from random Girls Scout events that these other people know of that I’ve been made unaware? The same inconvenience exists for Riley’s activities.

The karate class Riley participates in, and practically any extracurricular class we’d be interested in the kids taking, takes place during the work day. I can’t think of any way he would be able to take this class if it wasn’t for his school being right next to the dojo, and the karate instructors being willing to walk their students over. But for classes like the kids’ acting classes that I’ve seen offered at the local theater company, or art classes that happen at the local art studio… These all happen during the day when it would be inconvenient for anyone who has no stay-at-home to ferry the kids to.

Moreover, I feel a kind of brash inconsiderateness on the part of the stay-at-home parents who participate toward the working parents, like me, that occasionally are able to spend an afternoon helping out with their kid’s school class or extracurricular activities. It’s hard enough getting the time out to help, and it’s something we want to do. Do they think that we’re purposefully avoiding our kids with work? Apparently. So when we volunteer, they should use us because often we otherwise can’t. By excluding us, they’re purposefully eliminating us from being part of our kids’ lives, which is nearly criminal.

Let us participate in our kids’ growing outside of the home. To me, it seems like a bunch of stay-at-homes that get themselves together using the kids’ activities as an excuse. They want to keep their little parent-cliques together, so they wait for all the stay-at-homes who typically volunteer to do so, at the exclusion of the parents who hardly ever are able to help as they would want to.

Even if I was to volunteer more time, and make more allowances for the activities that the kids participate in, I think I still wouldn’t be “in” these cliques because I’m not a stay-at-home. And don’t get me started on the fact that I’m a dad, and am apparently only good for coaching sports teams - a laughable concept if ever I’ve heard one.