I’m Not Perfect

Something very interesting has been happening since going back to school. Corey and I have somehow become a role model to even younger parents! During our family read meetings (we meet with a teacher in a little office off of a pretty public hallway/cafeteria area) we have had at least one person come in each week and say something along the lines of, “I always hear you guys. You’re like the perfect parents!” We have people who tell us how “awesome” we are, and how they hope they can parent like us. IT IS SO WEIRD. I mean, what do we say to that? “Oh no, we screw up all the time.” “You should see my house, it’s trashed!” I WANT to be a good role model. I don’t want to look like a failure, or like we’re doing it all wrong. I don’t think we are. I also know that we are learning, we mess up, and we have a lot more to learn the older Caleb gets.

I think the key though… is knowing we aren’t perfect. I can admit when we make a mistake. I try so hard to not yell at Caleb, and usually don’t, but once or twice a month he’ll do something dangerous and boom, it’s like I explode. “CALEB GET OFF THAT FREAKING THING!” “NO DON’T OPEN THAT!” “STOPPPP!” Then there is this look on his face like I’ve smacked him across the face, and I feel absolutely awful. I NEVER want to hurt my son. I want him to feel loved and safe at all times. I’m the adult, I should be able to control myself, and yet I make this terrible mistake. Immediately I apologize to him. I tell him I should not have screamed, that I was scared, and I will do better for him. I give him a hug if he wants one, or I leave him alone until he’s ready to forgive me.

Some days I do absolutely nothing with him. Hare to believe right? Some days I just let him play alone. He can come snuggle with me, I make sure to feed him and change his diaper, but I don’t play with him. It’s rare, but those days always make me feel like a failure. I just have no inhibition on those days, I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to play pretend. This only happens every other month about, but I know it’s a problem. I also know that it’s probably not going to change because once in a while I need to take a break, and that is okay.

You guys know how much I love breastfeeding. You know I believe in self weaning and full term nursing… OH MY GOSH I hate night nursing. I’ve forced Caleb to night wean. I just can’t do it. It makes me ANGRY. My blood boils and I start resenting him nursing at all. For both of us, I put an end to it. I feel bad. He wasn’t ready, but I put myself before him. I know deep down it was best for both of us, but I still feel a twinge of guilt each night when he asks to nurse.

These are just a few of the things I am doing wrong. I know I need to change some things, I know that I am doing wrong, and that’s what makes me a good parent. My desire to be the best for my kiddo, the ability to see my faults and not justify them, and my constant hunt for knowledge is what makes me come out on the other side giving people the impression of perfection. I’m so grateful for the people I have before me, all my “homies.” If you can take anything from this, just remember to keep moving forward. You don’t have to be like your parents. You don’t have to be like yourself a week ago. Every day you can become better!

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Autumnal Paper Chain: Home-school Pre-school Day Four

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Caleb had a very productive day of learning. We were supposed to focus on the letter A and number 1, but he knows those pretty well. We did a coloring page of the letter A, and talked about “one crayon at a time,” but then we moved on to something way more fun, because I kept looking out the window and seeing the beautiful colors of Maine in fall.

I took him outside to go learn about, and pick, leaves. We talked about how they start on trees, and then fall to the ground as it gets cold. Then I showed him all the colors they come in. I asked him to pick a bunch for our craft. I wanted to grab some of the incredibly beautiful and bright leaves… but I’m short. So we ended up with some cool gradient leaves instead. Orange and yellow, green and yellow, and red and yellow are what we ended up with.

Before we went I cut up a sheet of green, yellow, red, and orange construction paper, then when we got home I showed him the papers and how they matched the leaves we collected. Next it was time to talk about patterns and practice our color recognition while building a cool autumn leaves paper chain. I had him hand me ONE green, one yellow, one orange, one red, etc, etc, until all the papers were gone. He would hand them to me sometimes, and other times he would slide it through the last chain. We clothes pinned it up, and Caleb chose which chains would have leaves hanging from them. So much fun!

Even though this wasn’t originally on the curriculum, figuring it’s cow week not seasons week, I decided I couldn’t pass the chance up. We still got to talk about green (the color of the week), read a few books, and the fine and gross motor skills used to identify and say colors, as well as threading the paper through the previous chain, was a great practice, and covered what was planned. Oh, and while we were reading I pointed to a piece of broccoli. I asked Caleb what it was, because he loves broccoli and can say the word, but instead of identifying it he said, “Green.” I was really pleased. It was a fun day of learning for the both of us, and really nice to bring nature into our learning.