Sometimes I feel like life is impossible. I feel like I can’t do it all. This whole being a mom and raising my kids seems too hard a job for me. I feel like it seems every other mom has it together and wonder why I don’t. I know that I am giving my best and I do a lot, but I still have a fear that I won’t give my children what they need. I fear that when they grow up they will look back and hate me or resent a lot of things from their upbringing. I worry whether or not I can teach them well enough and prepare them enough for our crazy world. Every day I make it my mission to find balance for myself and my children. I want them to have good solid values and beliefs and I want them to be worry-free have fun too.
I wonder if my trying so hard is not just making things worse. I often come up with fun craft ideas or recipes I think they will enjoy but they end up being completely uninterested or won’t even try a bite. It drives me crazy!I feel like I am trying so hard and getting nowhere. At those times I just want to cry but I know I have to stay strong. I am however, supposed to be ‘the mom’ right? The one that has their life together and knows exactly what to give them. The one that they look up to, are constantly learning from and are going to model, right? As if that is not completely terrifying!
Oh, and I will not get a second chance to raise my kids, this is it.
I have tried many techniques at this homeschooling thing and fear that I will never get Autumn to learn all that she needs to know. I worry about it all the time, yet she knows exactly what to do when she sits down with her workbooks. She can do anything that I give her to do and has a good understanding of concepts when I explain them to her. She is just not interested at all and when she does the work I feel like I am forcing her to do it and wonder how much she will actually absorb.
She is not primarily a visual or audio learner, she is more of a kinesthetic learner. She doesn’t like to sit still and do a workbook, she likes to play and dress up. She likes to open her own restaurant and make menus for her guests. She likes to pretend that she is a teacher or a brother or even a grandma. She is always doing something crafty or coloring like a mad man. I have to ask myself if that is not learning? It isn’t what I think of as learning because I was schooled. I went through the system and have an idea about what learning is and seeing her do all this fun stuff makes me worry about whether or not she is learning anything at all.
All of this is helping me to realize that nothing can be forced. Everything that needs to happen will happen in time and that my constant trying and pushing for things to happen or people to be the way I want them to be is just getting in the way of the natural unfolding of things. Life really is fine just the way it is. No one is getting hurt. Nothing is really going wrong. It is just my perceptions of things that make me suffer so much. My home is nice, we eat a vegan diet, my husband loves me and is happy and my children are happy and healthy too. So the question is, why am I so uptight?
I am learning everyday too. I believe that we all are. One lesson that I have constantly failed to learn is to relax and trust more. To just trust that everything is going to be fine. To give up control of how I think people and situations should be and just let them be. To give up the dualistic attitude and black and white thinking. The constant judging and over analyzing of EVERY SINGLE THING as if it could be the death of me because (*gasp*), what if I can’t live my life perfectly? I always feel like I have to judge everything as good or bad, right or wrong and of course I want to be good and do the right things.
Last night while we were having dinner I watched Serafina reach her arm up to bat her toy as she lay on her play mat. It amazed me! She just turned 3 months old and she is already learning that she is a separate being. She is learning what she is capable of. I didn’t teach her that, she is just developing naturally. She isn’t worried about whether or not she will develop those skills that she doesn’t even know she is capable of. She just trusts that she is taken care of and that she is loved.
I also think about how obsessive I can get with my spirituality. I so badly want to have peace and happiness and be a good person, that anytime anything doesn’t feel right or isn’t how I think ‘spiritual’ should be I get upset with myself and judge myself as bad or not doing things right. What I am realizing is that I can’t actually make myself more spiritual. Spirituality is a matter of the heart. Everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect and everyone is on a spiritual path, whether they are conscious of it or not. We are all moving closer to the light each and every single day. I am realizing that I can’t eat my way to a more spiritual life, I can’t read my way, breathe my way or exercise my way there either. All that really does is block it. It is really already here in front of my face and all around me, I am just too blind to see it.
So hopefully I can begin to release some of the burden that I put on myself. I know that it speaks well of me as my husband has pointed out, I am already good because I desire to be good. My heart really is in the right place with how I want to be as a wife, mother and person, but too often my head gets in the way of things. I am holding back that peace and happiness from naturally flowing in my life because I am searching for it as if it is out there somewhere. As if I know better than my creator how to run my life. What pride.
For today, I will just take a deep breath and let it be. Let myself be as I am, let other be as they are and let life be as it is. I will give up my control of how I think situations should be and instead watch them unfold naturally. I will let the girls play their imaginative games and have fun. I will let the floor get a bit of dirt on it. I will let myself feel the way I do and not judge it as good or bad. I will let that peace and happiness in today and be grateful for another day to live and learn. I will trust more and worry less. Just as a baby develops and the seasons change, I will know that whether I am conscious of it or not, that same force is looking out for me and my family, no matter how I perceive things to be.
I’ve been homeschooling my kiddo since she was a baby, she’s now 10. I don’t follow one type of learning style. Like most of my life, our homeschool curriculum is eclectic. Have you read about Unschooling yet? Even though we use curriculum, mostly online things like learning.com & brainpop.com , library books & occasional workbooks, I like to use the “unschooling” and “child-led learning” approach. Here’s a great site to check out if you haven’t already. http://sandradodd.com/unschooling
Thanks Suzanne! I have heard of it and I have a lot of books about it, mostly by John Holt. I just never get around to reading them. I definitely believe in a child-led learning approach it still seems scary to me though. Thank you for the links, I will check them out!
Have you ever read, HOORAY FOR DIFFENDOOFER DAY, by Dr. Seuss? It is my favorite Seuss book. It won’t answer the horrible question of “am I a good mom to my girls?” BUT, I love what is the message of the book. Different is ok. We are not meant to be cookie cutter people. Everyone has their own drum and we should bang it!
I have 6 girls spanning from the ages of 17 – 9. The fears DO NOT go away. But… raising independent, well adjusted and HAPPY girls? That is what matters. Who cares if they get their by working in work books or if they get their making fairy houses? Kids are the most forgiving and resilient creations… thank the Gods!!! You are doing better than you think and not nearly as bad as you could be. Breathe. Your babies are beautiful. My 9 year old, Theorah, LOVES their names and looking at the pictures. Especially of Sarafina. Thank you for posting. Maybe some time I will tell you how much and for what reasons I love your blog.
Thank you for your words of encouragement Shane. I will check out that book too. It is good to know that I am not the only one to feel this way and I am glad that you enjoy this blog.