It used to be that a village raised a child, no parent was alone in the struggle to raise their children up to be good men and women. No parent had to sit and wonder and play the guessing games of what will or will not work for their child. They had mothers, Grandmothers and neighbours that were all on hand to help to raise that child, to watch them if the parents were sick, or needing a break. The kids could be sent out to play with all the other village kids to play and a parent knew that there were always a set of adult eyes watching them, keeping them safe, and making sure that they were not doing something that could bring harm to themselves or the other kids with them.
Somehow that age has ended and we have become single family units, trying our best figure out what being a parent means, trying to be full time entertainers, full time referees, nurses, comforters and educators. Sure, there are programs for the kids, they can take lessons and go to play groups, but it’s not the same is it? It doesn’t come cheap.Then we send them into the world and we pray they don’t get bullied, or become bully’s, that they learn the essentials to survive in a world that prizes certain qualities and not others. Praying that any differences in our children will be embraced and not shunned.
So the question remains… raising kids? How do we do this, in an exhausted state, how do we remain calm, patient, loving, even when getting no sleep, no breaks from the constant demands of our children. The day Kaleb learned to say Mummy, the demands began “mummy, mummy, mummy” until I answer, and then two seconds later there is something else he wants to either show me or have and the ‘Mummy’s’ start all over again. Josh, who doesn’t sleep well anymore is cranky all day, refusing naps but still expecting me to be the patient, fair, loving Mum during the day. Both, could care less how I feel and only care that their needs are being met, and if I fail? If by chance I miss out on a teaching moment there is always someone there to point out my failings, always someone who makes sure I know that I am not doing my job.
It doesn’t matter what Josh can do, how much I have taught him, how far he has come, it doesn’t even matter that I have almost got him to a stage where he can read, that he can spell, count and quantify numbers. There is always someone else there, willing to take the credit, and assume I am less than…
I am clearly tired, this is clearly a whiny post but I also feel the need to express these thoughts because I have a feeling I am not alone and maybe a part of me needs people to know that I am doing my best, though admittedly I fail at times. Every day I play with the kids, try to teach them new things, with Josh I have spent hours teaching him to speak, to count, to understand his letters, what they sounds like and their names and the order that they come in, and now we are working on reading and potty training. All this while tired with a house to keep somewhat clean and a younger child who has things he needs to learn… I just want people to know I am trying. I am trying to make people understand that I don’t have a village, that not many parents do anymore, I don’t have help, but I am doing my best.
I don’t about the other parents out there, but neither of my kids came with an owners manual, I wasn’t educated as a parent or even a teacher… I have no real experience with kids and quite honestly I don’t count myself as gifted with a heart for children in general. I love my own, but I am not a fan of huge amounts of kids, I can’t imagine being a teacher or early child hood educator. I have my kids, and my friends kids and I love them but I don’t know what to do all the time. I fail, I lose patience, I even yell at times in pure frustration. I am not the perfect mother and hopefully I have never come across as being one. I am simply a Mom trying her best to raise the two most wonderful boys I know.