Ok, this post is probably going to sound a little ranty, I can’t decide if it’s meant to or if I’m just having a bad day. I feel like I’ve been having a bad day since last week to be honest but here we are.
First of all, I’m not a teacher. My child learns from me, probably some bad habits, but mostly how to relax, have fun, be kind and other core life skills. I’m not too bad at reading and writing with her, but I am no English teacher. I am no teacher whatsoever. I used to work for a corporate company that after my maternity leave changed my job role to that of ‘Training supervisor’ and let’s just say: I hated it! I am not a, patient or b, encouraging enough to train/teach people new skills. Of course in the work place it is slightly different, I was getting paid after all and I was training adults, but I still hated it. Turns out I hate being an early years teacher just as much.
I love my daughter more than life itself (standard insert) but I am in no great state of ease at the idea of providing homeschooling to her.
I’m juggling a job, a chronic illness, and parenting – like so many of us at the moment our plates are overflowing. I can’t do teacher too.
I can try, and that’s what I’m going with, I can’t commit, I can’t send in work sheets every week to a deadline.
A mum blogger and journalist who I really admire, Anna Whitehouse of Motherpukka recently said: “The average working day is 8 hours, the average shchool day is 6 hours, the average parenting day is 12 hours, that’s 23 hours in a 24 hour day. You aren’t failing, it is too much.”
I want to highlight that I do admire the parents that are really getting stuck in and trying to create routine, children do need it, but I’m just not managing it myself. If any of my readers have health conditions you’ll know it’s an unpredictable life at the best of times and constant conveyor belt of cancelling and rearranging plans, routine becomes obsolete.
If you’re a mum, you’ll know this just as well because kids, as much as they need routine are unpredictable.
So far our learning together has involved counting birds nests in trees on our woodland walk, then counting chicken nuggets during our McDonald’s lunch, CBBC bitesize and cosmic kids yoga, and that’s it.
Is it enough to do this most days? Probably not? Will I do more over the coming weeks? I don’t know. I one hundred per cent understand the need for the school closures. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or a rule breaker I’m just a mum who feels like most mums at the moment, utterly overwhelmed.
My husband is great and does his upmost but he isn’t home all day, he is doing his job to provide for us and we’re all trying hard to stay safe and follow the rules.
I’m part of a parents whatsapp group for Ciara’s school (FYI don’t recommend- it’s endless) and today we received a message that was a copy of a letter uploaded to the school website. It included a timetable of 6 hours homeschooling for my four year old. Not only was I surprised as I haven’t heard from the school at all so I didn’t know I had to go and search out the letter on the website, I was also miserable upon reading it, because I know wholeheartedly I won’t be able to adhere to it. So I already feel like a failure. I already feel like I’m not giving my child the learning experience she needs. What I know though, is that I’m not alone.
I have seen so many mums posting similar, even amongst the mums who seem to have it all worked out, and I’m not for a minute having a dig at those mums, I envy and admire you, but I know there are other mums like me, who are just winging it.
So to all mums, my message is this, your best is good enough. It might not be the same as someone else’s, it might not feel like you’re doing enough, but you are. Keeping your children safe, cuddling them and watching films, going for a walk, is sometimes as productive as you’ll get, but I refuse to continue to feel like that’s not enough. In the eyes of my child, it’s perfect.