Boy Mama and Teacher Mama Meet Again

As a teacher, there were certain things I was ADAMENT I would NEVER do once I became a parent.

1) I would NEVER carry my child’s backpack- children are certainly able to carry a backpack themselves.

2) I would not only not carry my child’s backpack, but I would NEVER hang it up and unpack it for him.

3) I would NEVER “teacher shop.”  Asking around about the strengths and weaknesses of  a teacher is so very wrong.

4) I would NEVER compare teachers. It is like comparing apples and oranges and  it is unfair to the teachers and disrespectful of them as professionals.

5) I would NEVER pack candy in my child’s lunchbox nor would I send him to school with a sandwich made on white bread.  How could those parents feed those things to their children and then expect them to be able to learn??

6) I would NEVER be late. That, too, is disrespectful to the teacher and to the class.  Plus it is just a bad way to start the school day.

7) I would NEVER be late to pick my child up from school.

8) I would NEVER have my child complete his homework at the last minute.

9) I would NEVER let my child watch TV on a school night let alone before school.

10) I would NEVER keep my child home from school for “just not feeling well” or keep him home because of a upcoming big event.

11) I would NEVER drop off nor pick up my child while on the phone or while otherwise electronically distracted.

12) I would NEVER worry about my child and would be confident in his teacher’s ability to do right by him.

Well, let’s just say that 2 kids later, all this has gone to crap.  I am not that mom I vowed to be. Don’t get me wrong, I am not that bad, but I have certainly fallen short of my own high expectations.

1) GUILTY- I carry my son’s backpack to and from school. It is so big and heavy I am afraid it will physically harm him or someone else.

2) GUILTY- I often hang up my son’s backpack and even take his homework out and put it in the homework basket.

3) PENDING- Haven’t really done this. I haven’t “teacher shopped” since my son is only in Kindergarten. Ask me again in 8 months and we will see how I fared.

4) GUILTY- I compared. I admit it. The two kindergarten classes “look” so very different and it makes me wonder if all the kids are getting the same quality, experience.

5) GUILTY- on both counts. I sent chocolate kisses and candy hearts in my son’s lunches. And, homemade cookies as well.  I also send him to school with sandwiches made on white bread- I have an excuse for this one though- he cannot eat whole wheat bread. Phew.

6) GUILTY- We have been late. Can we just leave it at that?

7) GUILTY- I have been late only 2 times. That is not so bad, really.  I have to wake my napping child and walk uphill to my son’s school (no, not in a blizzard, but in the blazing heat) and that should really be reason enough.

8) GUILTY- We completed his “news” project (due this morning) last night right before bed.

9) GUILTY- Can I blame this one on someone else in our household or is that cheating? Yes, I do sometimes let my kids watch a tv show before bed IF homework is done, teeth are brushed, pjs are on and the toys have been cleaned up.  TV before school is generally a big no-no, but when my husband was away on business for 3 weeks and I was going insane, I let them watch a show while I took a very needed shower.

10) GUILTY- I did. My son was feeling “out of sorts,” but not horrible. We had big plans with friends that evening and I kept him home.  The horror!  Sure was worth it though! 🙂

11) INNOCENT- I am NEVER electronically distracted when I drop off and pick up  my son.

12) GUILTY- I worry about my son. I worry that he is talking too much. I worry that he uses potty talk with the wrong people. I worry that he won’t have friends or that the friends he has are not a good influence. The list goes on.  I also worry that I worry…

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I was a really great parent before I had kids….

© 2012 

Boy Mama vs Teacher Mama: My Personal Struggle

One of my favorite sayings is, “I was a really great parent before I had kids.”  I guess I could also say, “I was a really great teacher before I had kids.” as well.  This whole sending my son to “big boy” school is something else. One would think that having a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in ages birth to age 8 and 14 years of teaching experience would prepare me for sending my son to school, but I feel like such an amateur it is incredible. First, I had no idea what to do when my son sobbed on the first day of school and wouldn’t let me go. I cannot even count how many times as a teacher I have held that sobbing child while a mom or dad leaves and, never did I once imagine how absolutely awful that parent must have felt. I was simply thinking about how to engage the child and end the tears.  If just one day- just one time, I took a crying child out of someone’s arms, I could have felt what they felt, I would have been a better teacher.  I went to a parent’s night of sorts tonight at my son’s school. I had a gazillion questions– “How do I teach him handwriting?” “Is he ready even learn sight words when he doesn’t even know all his letters?”  “Will he ever know how to count past 14 and stop saying eleventeen?”  The questions went on and on.  And how many times did I answer those very same questions for the parents of my students?  I know all the answers, but suddenly, when it became about my son, I was lost.

Thankfully, my son’s teacher seems like a great guy.  I love his attitude about school being fun. He said, “Let me do the teaching and you just enjoy your child.”  Yes! He used words like “fun” and “relaxing” and most importantly he told us not to worry.  As I listened to him talk, I began to relax. I put my faith in his teacher’s hands.  My son is going to be fine. He is going to have fun in at at school and learn a heck of a lot along the way. He will learn. And, one day he may even stop crying and go to school with a smile.   As for me, I am hoping that one day the teacher in me will meet up with the parent in me and find some happy, middle ground where they both can live and learn from one another.