Sunday, February 4, 2018

It's Easier And It's More Difficult

Remember when you were about to be a new parent for the first time?

Remember how excited, worried, anxious, happy you were?

Remember how hard you thought it was to get up every two hours to feed your little one?

Or how you often forgot to bathe until people passed out when they got close too you?

Or how you had a love/hate relationships with the stretchy hospital underwear?

When our kids are young, we are often told that things will get easier as our kids get older.

Yes, you get more sleep. *Unless they crawl in bed with you and elbow you in the neck in the middle of the night.*

Yes, they can go to the bathroom and wipe their own butt by themselves. *Cue the Hallelujah chorus.*

Yes, they can get their own snack. *No, you cannot eat an entire box of Goldfish.*

Yes, they can start to do their own chores, like make their bed. *Sort of.*

Yes, they start school so you can have more time to get things done. *Why is there stuff everywhere? You've only been home for 10 minutes.*

All of these things are true.

In a sense, it does get easier.

And yet...I think it's more difficult.

It is more difficult because you are sending your kids into the world. 

You hope that their teachers, educators and coaches will love them as much as you do.

You trust that your kids will be able to problem solve for themselves and make the right choices.

You send them out there to experience life without you.

But sometimes those life experiences can be difficult. They can be challenging. They can be painful.

When your child realizes that not all people are nice. That there really are jerks in the world.

When your child realizes that they have to push past the butterflies in their stomach and resolve their own conflict.

When your child realizes that not everyone wants to be their friend.

When your child realizes they are not the best at something they once thought to be true.

When your child struggles to understand something taught in class and they wonder if they can do it.

I believe that these days are the hardest, the most difficult, the most challenging - not just for the kids, but for parents too.

Because we parents know that our children have to experience these things. They have to learn what it is like to solve their own problems, to figure out what motivates them, to build their self-confidence and to figure out their place in the world.

This can be hard and painful. Because when I see my child hurting or struggling, I want to swoop in and fix it. My instinct it to try and make everything right.

But I know this is something they have to learn for themselves.

That is what children are called to do.

Learn and grow.

And the kids aren't the only ones growing.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Mysteries Of The Universe Solved!


I lied.

I do not really solve the mysteries of the universe. I just wanted to draw you in.

The old bait and switch technique - which is really quite genius of whoever came up with this idea.


So anyway...I have been a stay-at-home mom since my kids were born. (Most of you know this. But to the new one person who accidentally stumbled onto this blog, this is for you. You're welcome.)

Now that both boys are fully settled in school, I thought about starting back to work part-time.

I remember mentioning it to my mom during our phone conversation last summer.

Me: I think I might go back to work part-time while the kids are in school.

Mom: That's a great idea!

Me: You know what would be fun? Working at a women's clothing store!

Mom: No.

Me: Why not? You would get a HUGE discount. You could shop while working!

Mom: You would have to work weekends.

Me: Right. Weekends are sacred days of lounging in PJ's and kid cuddles. Excellent point.

Mom: I have the perfect job for you. One you would be great at - substitute teaching!

Me: ...

Mom: You have your Master's degree in Education.

Me: It's Higher Education, mom. College kids.

Mom: Well, you are great with your kids. You are so patient. You have the patience of Job.

Me: Um, have you been around me and my children?

Mom: They'll love you. You'll be great.

Me: I'm not sure...

Obviously, some of my finer parenting skills are letting them have cereal for dinner, playing video games until their eyes bleed and pretending not to hear them yell for me when I'm in the bathroom. (Actually, none of these things are true. Except the last part. Can't a person simply empty their bladder in silence?!) 

These skills will clearly be super helpful when it comes to substitute teaching.

So after casually bring it up in every conversation over the next several months, my mom convinced me to apply.

The principal contacted me about a long term sub position that would last 8 weeks filling in for a special education paraeducator.

I remember driving to school that day wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into.

Fortunately for me, the first day was shadowing the person who I was going to be subbing for. I got to learn her schedule and meet all of the kids. I was introduced to all of the teachers and staff. There was a lot to learn and a lot going on. The kids were so cute and each one had a different plan that worked for them. It was super busy and a big responsibility.

And I LOVED it.

When my 8 weeks started to come to a close, I was so sad I had to leave everyone at the school.  I got lots of hugs and a lot of we'll miss yous.

I know. I know.

You're probably thinking, "Why is Michelle being so dramatic? She can still sub anytime she wants."


But it's not the same.


So I enjoyed my weekend, then come Sunday evening I got a text to sub on Monday.

They love me.

They really love me.