Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

The Mom I Am vs. The Mom I WannaBe

So I’ve been thinking about ‘celebrating the mom I am’ in response to an article over at Mothering Magazine. I love this article. I could have written it (in a ‘standpoint-wise’, not ‘talent-wise’ sort of way, I mean).

I try. All of us here in our house try. We wake up almost daily with yoga, meditation and reminders to be kind to each other. I need these things as much as the kids do!

Overall, I am pretty happy with the kind of mom I am. I know my strengths and am mostly fair about acknowledging my weaknesses, but there are always ‘those’ moms out there who make everything look so darn easy. I hate them as much as I envy them.. even while I know that the image they present is probably not the length and breadth of their mothering, it still stings a little when I see someone I perceive to be doing a better job than I am.

Along those lines is the ever-patient mom who never wants to be away from her kids. Her older kids, I should say. Lately, I’ve been contemplating the way I feel when I leave my children somewhere – at Gramps’ house or on rare opportunities to go out with the Girls and leave the kids home with Loverly Husband. As much as I needed to be with them when they were small and did not want or feel like I required time away from them as babies, I really need to be without them sometimes now. As a militant strong advocate of attachment parenting, this is an odd feeling to have.

I have joy when I get to go somewhere without them. The pure glee of being able to think only of and for myself is so nice… and I am at odds, emotionally with this feeling. Mentally, I see it as a developmentally appropriate step, and also a sanity-saving one. I love my Loverly Husband to bits and pieces, but put us in a small space for a prolonged period of time and he bugs the ever-loving snot out of me. My children, though part of me, are no less individuals – whole people – who, at times, are very, very annoying people. Like any other person, there does come a time when I wish to divest myself of their company for a while.

I’m a better mother – and homeschool teacher – when I have time away. I think that the time/togetherness factor is a big one for homeschooling parents. Other parents get 7+ hours, 5 days a week during the school year to re-group. I think that’s a little much for me; I’d be content with a few hours, consistently, once a week or so. When my kids were small, my sister and one of our friends had a babysitting co-op that we did every Monday. I am seriously considering looking for people to do this with again. Funny, I didn’t realize how seriously I was considering that until I typed it out – but I guess I am.

I think that part of celebrating the mom I am also entails looking for areas where I need to improve and taking steps to do so. I’ve mentioned before doing the Non-Violent Communication Workbook, and have been putting it off. In recent months, my grandmother’s health has been deteriorating, so my parents are moving in with her. This is an understandably difficult transition for all of them, but the dysfunctional communication that I’ve always known was there is rampant.

It’s ugly.

Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook: A Practical Guide for Individual, Group or Classroom Study (Nonviolent Communication Guides)

It’s harsh – and I realized that that’s how I sound when I talk to my kids sometimes. Talk about an eye-opener. Plus, as  cycles are wont to do, I’m starting to see those communicative malfunctions in my kids. So in a Herculean effort to break this destructive cycle, we started the NVC Workbook together last week, as part of our school work. We’re on week one/chapter one, and I have another post in the works that details some of the chapter and workbook. So far, so good; we made posters that detail the four main points of NVC: What do I see? Feel? Need? and How can you help (request for action)? We’ve been practicing, and it’s going to tale a while to change the pattern, but it’s worth the effort to do so.

I’ve also been upping my meditation time. I have a space in my new bedroom that is dedicated to such internal musings, and I am making daily use of it. I’ve also been working on the 60 Ways to Nurture Myself list, trying to implement at least one daily; more if possible.

What about you? What does ‘being comfortable with the mom you are’ mean to you?




One response

  1. I hear ya! I, too, am a much better mom when I get time away. I’m totally dedicated to AP but give me an hour a day where the kids are in quiet time and the rest of our day and night goes much, much better. Give me a couple hours to myself a few evenings a week and I’m a Mommy Superstar. Throw in a date with my husband and I just might be a candidate for Mother of the Year, for sure. 🙂 (kidding)
    Good for you, all the focus you are putting on the NVC and meditation and taking care of yourself. What a great role model for your kiddos. Looking forward to reading your future post(s) about what you all are learning with the NVC book.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

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