the dreaded mom guilt

I hate field trips. I know I’ve written about this before but it is worth restating: I HATE field trips. I lucked out and didn’t have to go on any with my oldest (it was too hard to find someone to take care of the youngest). The middle child was comfortable enough that she didn’t need me to go along. The youngest suckered me into going on two field trips and they made me so miserable that even his six year old self agreed to never ask me to go on another field trip ever, ever again.

This week he brought home a permission slip for a field trip to the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago. Now, we go to this Museum regularly, he knows that place inside and out and he loves it. So you can imagine my surprise when he said he didn’t want to go. In fact, he handed me the permission slip and said “Do I have to go on this field trip?”

It was odd. I said he never had to go on a field trip but I would like to know why. He told me he was nervous going to “another state” without me. He seemed upset and his sister was in the room so I set it aside and decided I’d give it another day or two.

I asked about it again last night when no one else but his father was around. We talked about how much he liked the Museum and how much fun he would have sharing it with his friends. He was adamant – he did not want to go. What finally came out (with tears in his eyes even) was that a lot of his friends have never been there and they don’t go to Chicago very often so he doesn’t think they know how to behave in a big city. He’s worried that his friends will be crazy and running away from their chaperone and that he will get caught up in it and get lost.

So now I’m torn. I really, REALLY don’t want to go on this field trip. The hour bus trip makes me nauseous just thinking about it. I’d have to miss a full day of work. I’d have to be with 80 8 year olds all day long. I hate field trips so much that instead of asking me to go, my son is willing to not go at all.

But if I chaperone, he’ll go. And now I have tremendous guilt.

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3 thoughts on “the dreaded mom guilt

  1. Ugh. No advice for you on this one. Maybe express his concerns to the teacher? The funny thing – a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry was the only field trip I went on with my kids. (Working in the schools makes it really hard to go because we don’t get many personal days.) It was actually a lot of fun – but mine were a little older (5th grade I think it was) and I chaperoned K and 3 of her girlfriends.

  2. Hmmm…. what’s going on here? Is the teacher laying it on super thick about appropriate behaviour, and staying together to the point where the kids/J is becoming fearful? He’s a pretty well-travelled kid so (from what I know – which is very limited obviously), it’s strange that a trip to a familiar place would cause so much anxiety.
    Has he had a bad field trip experience previously?

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