Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's Okay - I'm Doin' Good as a Homeschool Mom



DISCLAIMER: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Minute Maid and DiMe Media. Minute Maid will provide this prize. Minute Maid is not a sponsor, administrator or connected in any other way with the contest – and all opinions are my own.

About this time of year, I tend to somehow end up overloaded. I feel stretched thin and wonder what the heck I’m doing. I struggle to get the school year finished, turn in all my freelance work, run MommyMaestra, answer emails, launch a summer reading program for Latino children, maintain my garden, keep house, feed my family, support my husband, and most important, be a good mom.

There are certainly days when I feel like I’m probably the worst mom on the planet and feel the guilt of not being fully present mentally for my kids 24 hours a day. There are days when my daughter has been talking for five minutes and asks me a question and I blink and realize I have no idea what she said. It drives her crazy. And I don’t blame her.

Sometimes I’ll be reading aloud to my kids from a totally awesome book and my mind will wander to all the things I have to get done before bed. Then I’ll suddenly realize that I have no idea what I’ve just read or what has happened in the last chapter, but apparently it makes sense because my kids are hanging on every word. I didn’t even realize it was possible to read out loud and think about something else at the same time.

There are days when I walk into the living room in the middle of the day and find my kids watching a movie because I got tied up on a conference call. Or days when we come back home from a bajillion errands and I walk into my house and think we’ve been robbed because there is such a mess everywhere and I know I didn’t make it.

There are moments when we are in public and I ask my kid some simple math problem and they have momentary memory loss and I wonder in horror why it is taking them so long to add 2 + 2. And then I think, “That’s it. I’m a total failure as a homeschooling mother. How could I really think I could teach anyone anything?” I concentrate on breathing and looking calm while the witnesses nearby (who send their grand/kids to a traditional school) give me the side-eye, when all I really want to do is look at my kid and say, “Really? You can’t remember here and NOW in front of everyone?”


But it only takes unexpected moments to make all my doubts and fears disappear in an instant. The moments are spontaneous and take me by surprise and it is like someone yanked a pair of really blurry sunglasses off my eyes. Like when it’s my son’s turn to read aloud and I am astonished - and overjoyed - at the ease with which he reads difficult passages. Or when my daughter is doing tricky math problems in her head, and I have to work them out to get the answer! Maybe we’ll be walking across a parking lot and both my kids slip their hands in mine just because.

Or when my daughter laughs and we talk and she is happy and loving and gentle and kind and I know that she is just turning into such an amazing, joyful person with a passion for doing good and making a difference. Or those quiet, early mornings, when my son comes downstairs and peeks into my room, then enters and gently kisses my forehead while he tucks the covers in around me. Or when my husband instinctively reaches out to hold my hand even though he is busy talking to someone or thinking about work.

All these moments combined fill my heart and reassure my mind and I know that I’m “doin’ good.” All the worry and self-doubts melt away, and I embrace those snippets of time and give thanks for my family.

I don’t think I’m the only mom who experiences these feelings of insecurity and guilt.
Which is why I can relate to this video...


What about you? Do you feel like you’re doing a good job? Or do you get overwhelmed like me?

This Mother’s Day, I want to celebrate you. I want to reassure you. I want to recognize all the awesome things that you (or someone you know) are doing.

Do you know a mom who’s doing a great job but may not realize it? Post a shout out or short story about her in the comment section below to let her know that she’s doing a better job as a parent than she may realize. With the comment, you’ll have a chance to win a Minute Maid prize pack, which includes a $50 Visa gift. You can use the gift card to continue “Doin’ Good” with your kids - or give it to someone you think could use it to keep Doin’ Good with her/his family.

Thanks so much to Minute Maid for creating this campaign to reassure and empower parents. To learn more, you can follow Minute Maid online, on Facebook, on Twitter.

Feliz día de la madre.

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