I suppose I should write about homeschooling today as I missed last week. I've been putting it off a bit because I'm not sure what to say without sounding depressing. First of all, to all my non-homeschooling friends, let me say that I love what I do, and I don't regret it. To my confidants out there, I'd like to confide (you know, in a massive internet sort of way) that I feel like I'm failing.
Whenever I step back and analyze our days or what our kids are learning, I see that we're not failing, but I still feel it. It's not a gut "this is wrong" feeling, it's a mom-guilt thing where things that don't matter worry you.
The kids are doing fine. They're still learning at a rate I couldn't have predicted. Sometimes they do the learning all on their own. Sometimes that bothers me because I feel like that's a testament to the fact that I'm not enough for them. I can't be one on one with them all the time, but what teacher can? I send one or the other off to do an assignment either a worksheet or reading and I feel guilty for not experiencing it all with them.
I feel guilty that I'm terrible at doing "fun mom" stuff, but every mother I talk to seems to have the same guilt. I don't play with them enough. And things like yesterday happen. I tried to make a fun activity of making ice cream with the kids. It ended up being a big cry fest with the kids hungry and frustrated and me yelling and frustrated, and the ice cream never working after 5 hours of trying, using ziploc bags and snow, trying to use our ice cream maker with missing pieces, using my in-laws ice cream maker with the crank...and at the end having no ice cream. I never want to try to do anything fun ever again.
I feel guilty that I'm not having David read his readers out loud to me as often as I think I should. He's now getting his readers and reading them himself and coming to me when he's stuck on a word. That's the goal, right...to have him reading by himself and doing so of his own desire? Yet I feel guilty that I'm not right next to him. I'm not reduced to checking up on him to see how he's doing and I feel like I don't have my finger on his comprehension level at the moment.
It's that stupid isn't it? Being frustrated because your child starts reading by himself, and picking up books and not knowing if he understands it all? It's stupid that I feel guilty that the fun I force in my drill sargent manner isn't as much fun as the fun that they think up themselves.
At the same time I feel like I'm almost over the hill of frustration with myself...at least this time. It's the classic human struggle of trying to be at peace with whatever job you are doing and not thinking about all the other things that you think you should be doing.
As I analyze my mom guilt, I'm guilty of the fact that my kids are becoming more independent and they don't rely on me the way that I wish I was capable of being relied on. I know it's God just telling me that He designed them to grow up and be more independent of me like this. I know it's God telling me that where I am weak, He is strong.
I know it in my head. It takes a bit longer to sink into my heart.
With all of this Solveig is almost done breastfeeding...we're down to 1 feeding a day now before bed at night. I think I may have another ovarian cyst (sorry for the TMI) which is totally normal for me and not dangerous. It just means for the next week or so while I wait for it to take care of itself I'm hurting and moody. That's not incredibly helpful. It's the first cyst I've had since before I was pregnant with Solveig and both Knut and I are remembering now how much they disrupt our family.
The the kids are fine. They are productive and learning and helpful and I'm so proud of them for who they are, and for the people they are becoming. As for me, I feel moody, angry at them when I shouldn't be, feeling like I'm failing them, feeling like they're growing up at a terrifying, uncomfortable rate, trying to calm myself down throughout school time that it is actually all okay, and trying to remember to pray.
It's really not as dire as I portray it, as I'm merely blowing off steam. This is just a moment. It's just a look into our lives at this small moment in our blessed lives. Not all day every day is awful, but there are moments where I feel so defeated. I feel so small and not capable of carrying out this task God has assigned me.
In all this, Silje continues to learn, David is really getting into reading and asks for more school each day and is participating more each day, Elias is now potty trained and Solveig is back to sleeping well through the night. Sigh. Sometimes I'm just a bit messed up.
And that is your weekly peek into the crazy mind of a homeschool mom.