It’s a tricky thing, this mom business. There is so much advice on the subject, too.
Ten Ways to Raise the Perfect Child
3 Things Not to Do to Destroy Your Child
Being a Mom is the Best Job in the World
5 Things You Must Say Every Day to Raise Healthy Children
It goes on and on and on and clutters my facebook feed. When did parenting become about the “dos and the don’ts?” When did it become so complicated?
My generally parenting philosophy is this: If I’m not doing something wrong, then I’m not doing anything right.
In order for me to be involved and alive in my kid’s lives, I need to be human. They need to see me have a melt down and then (hopefully) come back around. They need to see that when I lose my temper, I still love them – even if it takes a few beers or a few hours to get to that point. Fact is, I fail my kids. Every day I fail them because I’m flawed and there is no way that saying 5 magical words is going to fix human nature.
I got Michael’s report card for his second quarter last night. While on paper there is improvement; behaviorally, however, things are just the same. It sounds simply, really: He is have major trouble focusing. Michael is regularly sent home with class work he should have finished that day (we chose this instead of missing out on every. Single. Recess). I also just learned he is now being given the bare minimum of class work and he is STILL not getting it done. His teacher has given him his own desk by himself in the front row of class. She has given him headphones to help cut out background noise. She has even given him a chair that leans a little so he can rock and be a bit more comfortable so he can (hopefully) focus.
In my non-professional opinion, his teacher has gone above and beyond my expectation. It is clear that at this point she is at a loss.
I couldn’t sleep. Every time I seemed to drift off my senses aroused by a band tightening around my pregnant belly. All night this continued. In the morning family were called and final preparations were underway. Slowly, contractions took their time and escalated. Family surrounded me in quiet, eager anticipation.
All I could feel was fear.
This wasn’t my plan. This wasn’t the story I dreamt when I was an 8 year old girl. It wasn’t my Prince Charming holding my hand. I didn’t even have a home to call my own. I still felt like a child. Nobody would argue that I acted like one, too. I was barely 20 years old and hardly experienced in the world.
I planned my first surprise birthday party when I was 8 years old. It wasn’t for me. That would be silly. It was for my mom. From what I remember, I did do all the leg-work myself. Since this was in an era before I used computers and before cell phones, inviting people took a lot of effort. A LOT. I made so many phone calls my ear started to hurt. When I left messages I said over and over again, “This is a surprise party. Do not tell my mom. Do not talk about it on my answering machine.” If I didn’t get a call back, well, I called that person again. I was a persistent child. Still am, for that matter (persistent, that is). I planned every single thing about this party. What time. Which day. Who is coming. Where she would be while guests arrived. Decorations. Food. Although my dad did have a hand in paying for everything and he may have been the person keeping her occupied while guests arrived. I don’t remember. All I know is that when time came to yell, “Surprise!” she was surprised. Unless she was faking and never told me…