I was quite disappointed to hear that my two youngest kids were required to go to summer school this year. My daughter is going into the fourth grade and my son is going into K-5. Yes he had to go to summer school for K-5. My daughter has always struggled with the idea of school so it was no surprise to me that she was required to attend for math, but my son has always been a brilliant child. However, he struggled with writing his name in cursive, hence, he was asked to do the extra classes.
Needless to say, I was very disappointed but not in them. I was disappointed in myself. Until I realized that I could not put this on myself. Yet, I just could not help but to feel this sense of ultimate responsibility. They are failing because of me I thought. I did not do enough. I did not push them enough. It is all my fault. As mothers we secretly compare our children to those of others. We may not say our feelings out loud but we think them to ourselves. “ Why isn’t my child as smart as Janae?” or “I wish my son was as athletic as Jason.” In our heads we set unreachable marks for our children and when they are not met we sulk secretly. Or maybe it's just me.
Shonda is the writer and creator of the shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. If you watch any of these shows you would understand the level of fame and success this lady is currently experiencing in her professional life. However, as she so eloquently put it...
“Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life. If I am killing it on a Scandal script for work, I am probably missing bath and story time at home. If I am at home sewing my kids' Halloween costumes, I'm probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby's first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter's debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh's last scene ever being filmed at Grey's Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost. Something is always missing.”
Wow! I thought it is not just me, other mother’s feel the same way.
I went to drop my son off one morning and had a conversation with his teacher about his poor handwriting. Of course, I went on and on about what I can do to fix the problem, then she said to me. “You know you can’t have it all. You have a wonderful, well behaved son that has a sweet and loving personality. Thank God for that. That’s better that having a straight A student.” Hmmmm….Never really looked at it that way.
A few weeks later, I went to my daughter’s award ceremony in the pouring rain. As children were getting nine and ten certificates, I waited for them to call her name. She received certificates for Art and Outstanding Christian Character. As I cheered her on I remember the words my son’s teacher said to me and in that moment I was proud of the children that I am raising wonderful honest and upstanding individuals.
Shonda went on in her speech to say...
“ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU THEY ARE DOING IT ALL PERFECTLY IS A LIAR.”
Until I blog again,