Wow, four months have passed since I last wrote... I guess it makes sense since things have been crazy around here. We're now five months pregnant, the summer flew by and we're homeschooling our oldest. Not sure what grade we're considering her to be in but that's the beauty of it all. I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking Amanda doesn't have a plan and is cool not having her child's future laid out?! She doesn't know if her kid's in preschool or kindergarten?! That does NOT sound like her! I completely agree. Honestly, I gave up. We started the year with high hopes and big expectations....that we're still mostly meeting. Preschool workbooks proved to be way too easy and she was done with five preschool books in one week. On to kindergarten, I thought. Well, if you knew my spirited little four year old you'd know that she cannot sit still- ever! She begs to do school. She's often seen doing it from 10 am until 6 pm by her choice- the Good Lord knows it's not mine! And yet I'm constantly pulling teeth and having this tug-of-war with her. I suppose it's because our ways of interacting peacefully do not include anything concerning "book" education. We'd much rather shop, bake, cook, read and chat together, but not about anything that has to do with 2+2 or stay in the lines when you color, please. Heavens, NO! And so my week has been filled with meltdowns galore (by me, mostly) and shoving pop tarts in the mouths of my younger two to keep them quiet, all the while telling the 4 year old that she can't have them because they have too much sugar to keep her focused. True, but hypocritical. And I've wondered how any mother with little ones actually gets any school accomplished amid changing diapers, feeding everyone, entertaining the little ones and keeping everyone sane and happy. And this doesn't even include being pregnant (meaning tired ALL the time and not having a working brain), a husband often out of town for work, dishes, laundry or a decent meal because we all know that's not happening in this home! I swear I'm not complaining- just laying it out there. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about!
I see posts on Pinterest containing weeks or months worth of organized lessons and print-outs and read blogs about homeschool families going on nature walks, catching a squirrel, coming home and skinning it for dinner all while spinning yarn from sheep they just sheared, nursing a baby simultaneously and teaching the 18 month old to read, while the other 6 kids are off studying pre-med and volunteering for the Peace Corps....at age 9. Yeah, that's not real life and yet I get sucked in every time and feel like I'm failing. I wonder how these women can do it all and still appear to be happy, put-together moms who are always cheerful and love every bit of motherhood. Then I realized we only put things on our Facebook statues or write posts in our blogs that make us look good. We only share with people how we want them to view us, but that's not how it is every day. Those moms don't show us that they actually have bad days where they want to crawl in a hole or wonder if keeping the baby monitor on and leaving the house with the receiver part would be an ok option, just to run to the corner store to get an iced tea and go to the bathroom in peace (I have never once done this and never will, by the way!). No, we share with everyone our highest points because they're either rare or a better day than most others, even if the others aren't all horrible.
After sobbing and going on and on about how I can't do this, my husband has made me realize that I don't have to weave my own rugs or, even, cook everything from scratch, milling the flour myself. It's ok to buy some convenience foods for those "mommy's losing it days", and it's ok to close the books for the day or a week. And no, it wouldn't be easier putting her in school because I'd have to be involved (and would want to be), and I'd still have 3 hours of homework to do with my daughter every night, among other factors that I don't have do deal with keeping her home. It's not a piece of cake either way. He's made me realize that lowering my expectations isn't me failing but is more realistic for where we are right now. Being a parent is hard- period. There's no easy way out.
So for all of you who have told me I'm "supermom" and can do it all....HA! Call my family this week and they'll tell you another side. On second thought, don't call them. I've been downright pitiful these past two weeks. The truth is we moms are in this together. Some have it harder in general or on a particular day, but we all have it hard. Life may look perfect on Facebook or blogs or Pinterest but if you peek through someone's window (don't though because that's stalking....) you might be surprised at how much their life look like yours. So, here's to all you moms who think you're failing, that your kids will be delinquents and belong in a zoo rather than in your home- you're not alone and it's ok to show your less-than-perfect side! And seriously, thank you to everyone who has just let me vent and flip out. Thank you for listening and thank you for not running away, slamming a door in my face telling me to get over it. You will be repaid greatly for loving me anyway. I mean, I'm not about to bake you homemade cookies because, let's be honest, they wouldn't survive an hour with me around, but God will repay you and I'll pitch in and buy you a coffee! ;)
And I will end this by telling you that in the hour it has taken me to write this, I've rescued the baby from dive-bombing off the couch twice and heard a scream from the 4 year old, who apparently snuck out of bed to use the bathroom. The baby seized this opportunity to run to her side and throw her shoes in the not-flushed-yet toilet. Yeah......so if this is incoherent, well it's consistent with my mental capability: raw, real, tired and yet loving those little ones so much it doesn't seem possible!