We all have parents, either biological, adopted or chosen. Some of us are parents. Parents are often just doing their best to get through the morning, day or week. Some lose track of all of the ‘things’ that require attention; soccer, netball, ballet, footy, and when they occur; Tuesday after school, Monday before school, the entire weekend. It is hard. Frustrating. Worthwhile.
One of my young adults pointed out something the other day, and I am almost sure it came from social media: ‘You know mum, we have been watching you grow up and figure stuff out too’. And yes, it was delivered with a healthy note of sarcasm just to really help it hit home. It stopped me. Dead.
I had never considered that while I was busy trying to keep the house running, stay on top of work and them, they were watching me fly the plane as I built it. Sure, I have got a handle on some of it, now, but it hasn’t always been that way. Here I thought that my kids felt that I was this ‘got my stuff together’ all-around awesome parent when, instead, they have been thinking ‘when is she going to figure this stuff out?’. They watched me mess up, miss things, be late, forget altogether and yet we are OK, we survived, thrived even.
I laughed. Then I got a little annoyed, put-out even. Turns out I also thought I was this ‘had myself together’ all-around awesome parent. The joke is on me.
I reflected on this idea and found it to be true. I am still figuring stuff out and as a parent that is OK. There are a million things to keep track of, driving lessons – kill me now, swimming, footy, drop-offs and pick-ups. It took me a red hot minute to be OK with the whole notion. That I did not have a handle on everything and yet we are still going to be OK.
What if we applied this same notion of being OK with ‘figuring things out’ in schools? Families range from 1-10 kids, classes range from 6-36. That’s a whole lot more stuff to keep track of, stories to listen to, events to attend, create and be involved in, reports to write – all of the things. What if you, as a parent or a teacher, stepped back for a second and gave yourself the time to be OK with not having it all figured out? To think that it is OK to be building the plane as you fly it as long as you are still on board with all of your tools? To not judge yourself for missing some of the little things in favour of more pressing ones? Because we are all growing up and learning. We don’t reach an age where we officially reach ‘adulting’ age and therefore know everything.
As we head into another term of learning let’s try to go easy on ourselves when we don’t have everything together but are actively working towards it. Breathe. You will be OK and your kids, and students will be too.
Check out other articles Cassie has written here.