As some of you may know and others who may not, my daughter was victim to a bullying episode by a teacher. It was a scary matter because my daughter, along with several other students, were threatened into not exposing the teacher and administration to the parents. All I knew to do, after several failed attempts at resolution, is to pull my children out immediately. It just so happened that it occurred around the same time I chose to take a hiatus from my office in order to focus on my writing. I am glad to report that my daughter is doing so much better now. The parents and I are working towards disciplinary action towards the school administration and that teacher and we are making excellent progress. Just another prime example of how ‘strength in numbers’ and ‘speaking up’ can work in the favor of resolution.
Generally, my posts are very serious in nature but I just had to share my hilarious shenanigans of being a stay at home Mom and homeschooling. I have not stayed at home since the children were babies. I had this delusion of grandeur that I could accomplish completing my first novel, check in occasionally on my businesses with the hubby primarily running them, keep house and home-school my children all at the same time. I knew it would be challenging but I am never one to shy away from a good challenge, in fact, I thrive upon challenge. But I have to say, being a stay at home Mom and teacher is more than a notion. I have never worked so hard in my life!!
Gone are the days that I could simply put the babies down for a nap when I needed a break. Now, my good morning wake-up calls consist of rude awakenings. Let’s see, one morning I was awakened by my cousin to the Ewoks of Star Wars yorkshire terrier, Maddie, who had helped herself to a bag full of cotton balls at 4am and proceeded to make the most horrible gagging noise I had ever heard. Another morning, I was awakened at around the same time by the sound of a loud crash followed by a series of “I’m sorry Mommy, I’m sorry” and “See what happened is…”, only to find that my son had been practicing his WWE wrestling moves. As a result, he left a chair broken and several toys in disarray across his bedroom floor due his “rock bottom” move. I never realized that I was actually blessed to have to leave to the office early in the morning since my house is full of absolute chaos during that time.
Everyday like clockwork, my son whines and cries about his school work and I do mean EVERYDAY!!! You would think after three months of enduring punishment from a military style Mom and Dad, that he would learn his whining is pointless. But not my son, oh no, he is stuck on clueless. So everyday I try to start out like June Clever but end becoming a screaming maniac like one of those chicks off of the housewives reality shows. And least we forget my daughter, who has apparently inherited the same glacial pace of completing tasks as her father. So what should take only a few hours literally takes her all day and well into the night because she likes to chatter, fuss at her brother, bother the dog, fix meals she doesn’t eat and basically just poke along through everything until I can’t stand it anymore and give her “the look” as my husband calls it. That looks means you have used up all your lifelines and you have crossed over into the danger zone. She tends to accomplish tasks in a very nerve wrecking and methodical way that drives an instant results person like myself completely insane. Therefore, I am now learning a very valuable lesson in tolerance. (I never quite learned this from the office environment for some reason, hmm)
I have absolutely no time to myself. I actually never quite had it so to speak, but I know for sure I had a lot more time than I do now. If I don’t have one child right under me, I have both children and if not both of them, then I have our chubby, Ewokie Yorkie following me around who begs to be fed or rubbed constantly. Yes, we have an attention whore dog, don’t ask me how that happened. I never thought I would see the day when I had to look up how to get the most exercise out of a dog, but that has somehow made it to my task list. Lately, I find myself hiding in the bathroom with the door locked just to get a moments peace. I take a lot more baths than I used to just so I can relax, cover my eyes with a wash cloth, put a bath pillow under my head and zone out for a while. I used to laugh at the articles I read when mother’s stated they would do this, as it never made sense until now. Never say never is all I can express at this point.
I will admit, as with anything in my life, I was just a tad overambitious with the goals I set for this period of time. I combined traditional, ABEKA and Montessori curriculum. I also decided to utilize paper worksheets with online worksheets. Then I had this bright idea to conduct a weekly science project and include a Monday or Friday field trip. I started out strong, fell flat and now I am making a comeback. LOL!!! It takes a lot of discipline to stay the course with the home-school. It is very tempting to lounge in bed all day and watch back to back judge shows while your children and their fat puppy trash the house. It truly takes a special kind of woman to stay at home, especially when you have the kids with you all day and are responsible for providing their education.
But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe a few things…okay, okay, I wouldn’t mind sending the butterball dog to a doggie daycare everyday. I also miss dropping off the kids at a school and allowing someone else to be responsible for their education. Yet, through all the chaos, trials and headaches, I have never been happier. My children and I are closer. I get to spend more time with my stay at home friends. I look forward to my husband coming home and actually have the energy to listen about his day and wait for it…wait for it, I ACTUALLY COOK. I am sorry for causing all the earthquakes, tornadoes and hail storms over the past several weeks but it really seemed like the natural thing to do; it’s a June Clever thing, lol.
I also get to run all my errands without lines and traffic because everyone is at work. The children and I also enjoy the flexibility of customizing their curriculum and I love being able to introduce them to advanced subjects in an effort to advance their knowledge well above their age. It really helps that I have the luxury of working at home and when I am motivated, which has not been very often lately, I get to focus on my writing, LOL! Although I am giving Hilary Rosen the benefit of the doubt that she really did not mean her comment to demean stay at home mothers, she is wrong that stay at home mothers do not work. It is hard work and I have to admit, I miss the office because I was able to take breaks, lunches and honestly slack off when I did not want to work. This made the day soooo much easier. Thankfully, I work for myself so I am only stealing time from me but still, it was nice.
If the kids go back to private school in the Fall, I promise to be more empathetic towards the teachers and the amazing jobs they have to perform daily ( of course with the stipulation that we not receive a wacko teacher like this last one). I only have my two to teach and that is more than enough. I cannot imagine having to teach anymore than that, I would be in a mental hospital. So I salute the stay at home moms and teachers that do this on a daily basis and have been doing so for years. I have only been in this mode since February and I am counting down the days to summer camp. Eventually, I will need to return to the office, make site visits to our clients and begin to attend my social networking events again. But until that time, I am going to make the most of this time with my little ones and enjoy this learning journey that we have embarked on.
Until next time, keep on keeping on being the best you that you can be!!
~ Mara Prose