Pretty Good Educator, Sub-par Mom

March 30, 2020  |  Published by

Yesterday, my last virtual meeting ended with me holding Clorox wipes in one hand and shouting to my three-year-old son Grayson to stand in the bathroom so no one on the screen would see that he had stripped himself down to his birthday suit.

I was fortunate enough to be with other teachers, but sometimes I am not sure how my new lifestyle of work-life integration will work for others. It’s not voluntary anymore for the whole world, but the new reality of how we will be working, living, and surviving.

I have always known I have wanted to be in education and making a difference in children’s lives.  None of that-let me be clear-involved being a stay-at-home mom at any point.

I’m not good at it.

My skills of being flexible, taking perspectives, trying new strategies or activities, does NOT transfer to my parenting skills. There is plenty of screen time.  I watched Grayson chuck snow balls at the neighbor’s fence and was grateful that I could sit in the driveway for a minute with my hydroflask cup of boxed Chardonnay.

My thirteen-year-old complained today about how he can’t log into Google Docs so he can’t possibly think of any other way in the whole wide world to finish his homework. I was so mad about his laziness that I went to my room. I wouldn’t let my students in my classroom tolerate me “giving up.”  Why is it okay at home?

If you are wondering if I am being too hard on myself, and that these examples are not even close to painting a picture of what is happening in your house, have no fear. I will keep my horror stories to myself so I can keep my job and still tell people what “essential practices” are needed in education and that they can believe me without rolling their eyes after I leave.

When this is over, I can go back to using my fancy words like “reflective practices” to dig into my thoughts and feelings about why my skills are not transferring over.

Why I am not as patient with my kids as I am with other people’s children, and how I can continue to convince educators that parents are doing their best, every single day? Educators need to stop blaming parents for how terrible their children are, and understand that they (ahem, me) are doing the best we can with the mental capacity we have. Until that time comes (let’s hope it is very, very soon) I will reflect and stop reacting.

As I write this, my son is stripping down again after a small drop of paint touched his prized glow-in-the-dark dinosaur shirt. Topless it is. Next meeting.

Rebecca and her two sons
Rebecca and her two sons
Madeleine Lovett

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