Friday, July 15, 2011

All you need is love

I don't post much about the joys and pains of being a mother (or father for that matter), mostly because I am just like the majority of parents out there- clueless about the right way to raise kids. And many times I get slapped in the face with the reality that raising kids is hard, really hard. Today was certainly one of those days. Remember how I mentioned earlier this week that Conner and Elizabeth started camp this week? Well, they started on Monday and I think they might have ended it on Friday. In summary, camp didn't go as well as expected. Monday was good. Positive reports from the teachers and excitement about returning on Wednesday. Wednesday was bad and a slight warning from the teachers that things needed to improve to continue on. Friday, bad again, and this time a more severe warning about improvement being needed for the kids to come back next week. And a few jabs at my parenting. Needless to say, we won't be going back for any more summer camp. I know when my kids aren't wanted.

Now, I know that my kids are a handful. And yes, my boy is trying. But, the reasons given for the kids being less than welcome are pretty much behaviors that are very common among 3 year olds. And I have to question the teachers in the classroom who were unable to find ways to deal with these behaviors. For example, do you know what the favorite word is for a 3 year old? I'm sure most of you do but in case you don't- it's NO! That was one of the offenses cited by the teachers, that Conner kept saying no when asked to do things. Of course I don't encourage Conner to take this stance when asked to do something but I'm kind of surprised that the teachers seemed so incapable of dealing with it. Umm, ever heard of distraction? The thing I realized today though, is that you really have to love a 3 year old to put up with their antics. And, these teachers didn't love my kids. How could they? They only knew them for three days and two of those days they acted like Satan's children walked in the door when we arrived. We were so blessed in North Carolina to have two teachers that truly loved the kids and man how I wish I could fly them out here this minute! And so this thought of love needed to live with a toddler made me realize something- maybe this is the universe speaking to me.

You see, I've really been struggling the past few weeks with the realization that I have no job out here in Fort Collins and that I am now a stay-at-home mom. It just isn't what I ever imagined for myself. While slaving away over my dissertation I never thought that my science skills would take a backseat to changing diapers, wiping snotty noses, and slathering peanut butter and jelly on bread every day. But what I was failing to see was that maybe being a stay-at-home mom was now my job. Like I said, you've got to love a three year old to work with them everyday. And who better is there to fill this job than a mom- a person who loves them unconditionally. All along when people ask me if I'm working I respond that I'm staying home to take care of Nolan because he needs me and I want to cherish every moment of his reliance upon me. What I failed to see was that Conner and Elizabeth need me just as much right now. They've just been moved across the country, put into a new house, without a complete understanding of it all. Yes, on the surface they seem fine but then you look harder and see more thumb sucking, more tantrums, and more requests for cuddling in the middle of the night. No wonder they didn't transition into a new school without problems. So all of this rambling is to say that I have now decided to take on this job of being stay-at-home mom, and I know that this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing- at least at this very moment. And with this new job comes new commitments- less blog reading during the day, more story times with the kids. And instead of thinking about home improvements, we are going to work on family improvements. Finding out more about how to parent so that we can look back on these days and feel confident that we truly did the best we good. And in the end, there is going to be a lot of love and really what more do you need?

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