A couple weeks ago you may have found me quite distressed about something that I didn’t think I could change. I was miserable, doubting my ability as the mother of my children and just doubting myself in general.
The wheels fell off a little bit. As they do around that time of the month, every month. But let’s not go there.
The good news is that that was then. This week is different. So very different.
After wrenching my guts out on the blog and talking to Seth about it at length, I loosened up. Parenting is never going to be easy and I definitely can’t (and don’t want to) do everything for them. So what do you do about it? Sit back and pretend nothing’s wrong? Overreact and totally obliterate the situation with therapists or strong words or who even knows what?
What about the middle line? The middle of the two extremes. That thing that you might do without even thinking about it.
Because that’s exactly what happened to us.
Without consciously thinking about it really, we started changing things. Maybe it’s because we were all hyper aware of it, but both Seth and I started approaching the struggle in different ways. The respective teachers did too. The things that we changed were subtle, but encouraging. And you know what? It worked.
I still don’t want to talk about one lot of issues, but I feel like I can talk about the other now because I totally overreacted. I know right?! ME overreact? Never! But it happened. And I did. And if you ask my husband he may tell you more stories about how I might actually do this more regularly than I’d like to admit.
You see, one of my kids came home with a whole week of test results that were absolutely shocking. I don’t expect my kids to be geniuses or anything (how could I considering that I’m their mother) anyway, I don’t want miracles, but I do want effort. But this weeks worth of tests were quite shocking to me and to her teacher.
So after I freaked out that my kid has some kind of learning disability or who even knows what went through my mind at the time, I chilled the flip out. Because really, it was one week. A week that I realised later, was a week of that disgusting tummy bug that did it’s rounds in Cape Town. Twice in one week I had my car vomited in. It’s still recovering actually. So homework was totally and completely not happening. And, as it turns out, this is what they base those tests on.
Which brought us to the following week where we did homework as usual. No pressure, just actually focused on it instead of ploughing through it quickly so that we could move on to like, enjoying life and stuff.
What a massive difference.
And I know you’re probably thinking that all this is obvious. And it is. But sometimes in the thick of things you don’t see the obvious. You get stuck on the problem and can’t move past it. I mean, don’t even get me started on how often I used to feel like I would never sleep, or eat a hot meal or have time to myself when the kids were little. It felt impossible. But now we’re here and it’s happening.
Anyway, she is now owning her tests. Making them her, um, thing that she owns.
It’s been such a great learning curve for all of us that she has even set herself the goal of never getting less than 8 out of 10! Which is fantastic because now it’s not only me who is taking ownership in it, she is too.
YAY for hard work paying off!