Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rules of Engagement....:-)

So often my son, when being corrected, will say “You’re right, you’re right.” He genuinely means this as a signal of submission, but in the middle of a frustrating moment, it can be tempting to assume he’s being arrogant. More than once, “I know I’m right!” has slipped out of my mouth.

So he said it again today, and I gently tried to explain to him the confusing reactions he gets from people when he says this.

“Eli, I know you mean well, but when you say this, it sounds as if there were some doubt originally that the person was right. Just say ‘I’m sorry’ and be done with the discussion, okay?”

He looks at a magnet with a little saying that is posted on my refrigerator.

“But Mom,” he says, quoting the magnet that my sweet husband bought me recently, “I thought ‘All women like to hear the three little words ‘you were right?’"

I laugh, looking at the magnet and realizing how confusing the world is to him at time.

As if on cue, he says “This is the problem all of us men have. You give a woman what she wants, and then she asks for something different.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

I hate Homeschooling! & Why is homeschooling so hard?!!

So, occasionally, when I'm having a really emotional moment, I will just "google" the phrase of frustration running through my head. It's really funny what you can find sometimes!

Twice recently, I've googled the phrases "I hate Homeschooling" and "Why is homeschooling so hard?!" just to see if anyone in a desperate moment has felt the same way. I was really shocked to not find much out there. Oh... there are people who hate homeschoolers - they have plenty to say. But as for finding committed homeschoolers just ranting while having a bad day... they seem to be few and far between. That's a good thing, I guess. Nevertheless, I titled my blog today those two phrases so that if I ever google them least I'll find myself. :-)

I did find one blogger who said: "Homeschooling isn't hard. Parenting is."

And when I thought about it, I realized they were right. And I guess I'd add that my own self transformation is the hard part too. Homeschooling is a personal workout for me. I'm having to let go of perfectionism, and yet remain disciplined. I'm having to learn how to have fun. (It doesn't come naturally.) I'd rather be boring and nerdish. I'm having to listen, not just talk. I'm having to be patient. I have to let my kids make messes. I want to be one of those free-spirited moms. But that freaks me out a little bit, too.

Today was a winner of a day. (Not.)

After telling my kids one more time that I needed them to pay attention while I tried to do their science experiment of building a telescope for them, I finally gave up and told them to read it and finish it on their own. (Now some of you experienced moms are thinking I should have made that move from the start!)
After 15 minutes of genuinely trying, I hear a lens fall to the ground and crack.
"Mom, it broke. What do we do now?"
Frustrated, I tell them to go ahead and write their report on their experiment. They are supposed to tell what they learned. I admit, I'd expected this, and feel justified in having them write about it.
My goal of having everyone feel as miserable as me is working.
10 minutes later, Julia brings her report over to me:

What I did: I broke it.

What I learned: A picture of a sad face & tears & the words "I can't do it without Mom. I love you Mom!"

Amazingly, everything is capitalized and punctuated appropriately. For the first time today.

It's the saddest thing I've seen in a long time. This is not a pretty moment for me. I'd like to take this page out, but I think it will need to stay. A little humble pie I'm sure I'll need to snack on again.

But I guess, in the end, we all learned more. We learned we do need each other. And I learned they can do a lot more without me that I realize. I realized I don't want to be in control..and I don't want things to always be neat, if the result is kids who are scared to learn apart from me.. kids who are afraid to make mistakes...

I learned that my kids actually want me to keep doing this. (I tried to tell them that I don't know that I'm cut out to teach them, at which point they both broke into tears. Another winner moment.)

Most of all, I'm again learning to trust God. This whole path is so unfamiliar to me. I don't seem like a good fit for this thing. And yet, here I am, convicted more than ever that it's right. Convicted that it's harder than I ever imagined it would be. Convicted that there will be more days I want to quit.

And convicted that it is all worth it.

My seven year old encouraged me with these words:
"Mom, remember Mrs. Mudroch? She had days like this when she began... but now she's one of the best teachers. Probably every teacher has these days. But you'll get better and better. "

Who needs telescopes, anyway.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Did I ever mention I'm not very flexible?

So a crazy year of job changing, house hunting, traveling, house buying, moving, and Christmas. Oh, and our first semester of our first year of homeschooling, too. (I was the only mom who thought it was exciting for my kids to start kindergarten! How did this happen!?) ;-)

This is a year that will be marked in the history books for me personally. If this were a roller coaster, I'd have thrown up a few times already.
The highs and lows have been pretty significant.... but then, it's usually in those moments that we grow the most.

I think this is the year that God has allowed me to run to the end of my chain.

Not pretty.

Every time I think I've gotten to the end of myself... along comes one more piece of me who thinks she can control everything better than all the previous attempts. It's funny what pesky little friends come along with her, though.
Anxiety. Perfectionism. Insecurity.
Little miss control freak, as I call her, doesn't do quite the job she claims she will of keeping everything in my life calm.

So, it's been one of the hardest years for me in a long time. And yet, like previous years that have been equally hard, it's been one of the best:

God has confirmed that He is indeed, in charge.
My best attempts to control have again only resulted in proving how desperately I need Him.
He's showed me that I can change, and it's not as terrifying as it seems.
He continues to reveal that I still need to change. And that yes, to change will still seem scarier than it really is .

And He's rewarded some of the scariest leaps of faith I've taken. New relationships from my job, new levels of trust in Him as I leave it. New burdens for purity and obedience in my life. New desire for freedom in Him from my old habits and flesh. Maybe one of the most treasured to me today is a new relationship with my children.

I'm certain I'm not the only one who's made scary decisions this year, and has some more sitting out there to make. If you do, I'm prayerful tonight that you'll not look for how God will help you do the hard, right thing, but that you will just know that He will, and move on what He has called you to.
He's growing us all up, one step of faith at a time, each morning with new mercy for that day.
Little miss control freak just doesn't get that kind of peace. :-)