being a mom

 

There are times that as a mom I believe I’ve got this. More often than not, I feel like I am the worst mom ever. Especially as a homeschooling mom, more often than not I feel like a failure. You’re 3-year-old is reading chapter books, and my 9-year-old is still struggling with his letters. Obviously, I’m the worst mom ever. The internet says so. Let’s not take into consideration that my 9-year-old is hard of hearing and dyslexic and we work hard every day. Obviously, I’m ruining his life.

And those are the thoughts I have on a daily basis minus the last sentence. I feel like I am failing my boys every day of the week. And it doesn’t even matter that my hard of hearing, dyslexic on his own last week knew a lower case b over a d, p, or q. (And if you know anything about dyslexia, you know what a mile stone this was!) I never feel good enough, that I’m doing enough, that they know enough. I always fall short in my head. It doesn’t matter that my 7-year-old can properly pronounce dinosaur names that my grandma didn’t even knew existed until he told her.  I feel like I am failing them on a regular basis, all day every day.

And maybe that feeling of failure is because I want so much for them (because I want SO MUCH FOR THEM!). Maybe it’s because every time someone asks me (or the boys) what grade they are in or who their teacher is or where they go to school, I cringe waiting for the negative comment. For the record, no one has ever said one bad thing to me about homeschooling. Most of them are super supportive and don’t even understand how it works. I know its me. I know that its me expecting them to think it’s the dumbest, worst thing they’ve ever heard and they are all so supportive. I’ve had people I thought were going to be negative tell me they wished they would have homeschooled.

And in case all that wasn’t enough, about a month ago I went from a stay at home mom to a working mom. I love my job. I am bartending at a beach bar where my kids are more than welcome. My boys know everyone there by name and their favorite thing is that they get to go swimming in the pond every day this summer. The hours that I work are super family friendly and where I work prides itself on being a family center so we don’t have to worry about drunk idiots stumbling around or fights breaking out. These are our people who buy my boys ice cream while I’m behind the bar. I would not have this job if it caused damage to my marriage or my children. I love my afternoon old men.

And then we come to tonight. I have been working this job for almost 5 weeks and we all love it (me, the boys, and my husband.). I noticed yesterday Connor, my youngest, had a stuffy nose. He didn’t have a fever. He played like he was a rock star. I gave him medicine for his nose.

And then we did it all over again tonight, only tonight I worked until 9 instead of 5. And then we got home and my baby was coughing and choking and I fell apart. A year and a half ago, Connor and I spent 4 hours at the ER because he was struggling to breathe. He went home with a nebulizer and medication. We are still using both today. We used them both tonight.

And as my baby is sitting snuggled up to me with a breathing mask on and medicines pumping into his lungs because every breath is a struggle, I again thing of what a bad mom I must be. A good mom would have stayed home with him and kept him home today. It doesn’t matter that he was fine earlier and had an amazing time playing in the water today.

And then I think about my mom. She had asthma so bad as practically a baby that she has to get shots for it. My mom has a dent in her arm from all the shots she had to get to keep her breathing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that what my mom had skips a generation so my brothers and I need to watch for it. And tonight as my baby struggled and had tears rolling down his face as we cuddled while he had his breathing treatment, I again felt like a terrible mother.

Should I have been watching closer for this? Is this my fault (genetically)? Was it better when I stayed home with you (even though you go with me every day to work)?

I have so much doubt. And then I think and remember all God is doing with us. I’ve talked before about His plan and how I could never understand it. And today is a prime example, because I feel like a failure and I know this is His plan. I need to trust more. TRUST MORE!

There are so many more things going on in our lives right now than I have even wrote about tonight. And it’s so funny to me that me and my husband are on the same God page. This is a path. It hurts. It’s hard. It’s right. Happy Father’s Day this Sunday. My Father in Heaven has a plan and there is a reason we are right here, right now. I’m all in on faith, God. We are all, all in on faith, God.

Please pray for me and my family. If you have something, anything, you want my family to be praying for please leave a comment and know we will pray for you.

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It’s back to school time

School started last week in our area. Summer break is getting shorter and shorter. The stores have been packed with shopping carts full of folders, pens, pencils, tablets, and more. Parents have started posting on Facebook about their excitement that the kids are going back.

My kids didn’t go.

That may come as a surprise to some of you. I have only recently started saying it out loud. The last person I said it to told me she wished she had homeschooled. So far I’ve only been met with support. I know that’s not always the case, and I’m sure I will hear from those against.

It’s not a decision that was made lightly. It’s something that has been on my heart since before I had kids. It’s something that has been covered in years of prayer. It’s a God led decision.

With homeschooling, we can work at our own pace. There’s no rushing to cover as much as we can as fast as we can to start preparing for a test. We can study whatever makes my crazy little boys light up and gives them a love of learning. We can start our “school” day with prayer. We can read the bible and talk about God’s influence in everything.

My kids are special (as are all kids). They learn differently (as do all kids). My 6-year-old loves to take things apart and figure out how they work. He can look at something and figure out a better way to do it. My 4-year-old loves animals. He uses words like carnivore, herbivore and omnivore correctly. As I’m writing this he has his animals all lined up and his brother just used a screwdriver to “fix” a toy so he could play with it the way he wanted.

We would miss out on these joys and countless others if they were sitting behind a desk. Sometimes my 6-year-old finds it easier to remember things when he’s standing on his head. He calls it his best thinking. That’s certainly not allowed at the brick building down the road.

Yesterday as we were working on writing our letters, my oldest insisted he needed quiet to do it properly. He made the first line down for the A and then the second line down. He then announced that to make the line across he needed it to be LOUD! His brother was more than willing to accommodate that request. Suddenly the house went from quiet to loud, the line was made followed by several more loud A’s and we ended the lesson in a fit of giggles at the silliness of it all.

We don’t have a classroom in our house. We have a living room floor, a dining room table, a couch, a bed, a front yard, and a backyard. Maybe it doesn’t look like what people think schooling should look like, but it works for us. These boys are learning, sometimes more and faster than I realize at the time.

We love the freedom homeschooling gives us. Both of their birthdays fall during the school year. We have the freedom to take those days off and do whatever we want together. If we want to take a family vacation in the middle of September, we can. If we had to get up at 6 in the morning to get to school in time, the boys would have to go to bed earlier. If they had to go to bed earlier we would miss that family time we get in the evenings. How many kitchen dance parties would we miss out on?

This is what works for us right now. If your kids are in public school, maybe that’s what works for you. Maybe that’s where God has led your family. And that’s okay with me. This decision, as are all decisions about our kids, is a personal one and what works for us may not work for you.

 

This is not the post I thought I was writing today. This isn’t what I thought I would be sharing. But it is what was on my heart.

I was hiding, but I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m going to be proud of the decision we’ve made because I know that it’s the best one for our boys. If people ask what grade they’re in or where they go to school, I’m not going to be afraid to answer honestly.

We are homeschooling, and we are loving it.

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