Thursday, 15 November 2012

Making it all work....

Life has been a roller coaster here over the last few weeks...

My lovely big boy is turning into a hormonal mess at 10 and is struggling going between houses. A change in routine should help, but I am kind of mourning the loss of my boy and nervously welcoming the 'teenage' years...

It has occurred to me more than once life is passing by very fast and am I doing the right thing?

Am I raising my boys to be best they can be?

Every parent faces this dilemma. Everyone one of us is trying our best to give out babies the best - even when they are 24!

I work long hours preparing for classes so I can be the best, but I try really hard to fit that work into bedtime or times the boys are occupied. I teach mostly during the school day and try to fit everything to school plus breakfast club and after school care...

I want to lift us off the benefits system that hangs like a cloud over my head....

But this is bloody hard work... and I have no-one to turn to of an evening and say "Help, did I do this right?" " Are my boys doing OK?" " Am I screwing this up?"

I could pack it all in... Just sink back into the cushion that is income support and stay at home with the kids... I could wear pj's and watch TV all day...

But I feel that is the wrong example to set... I feel that getting up, dusting myself down and building a career, first in bag making and now in teaching is a good role model for my boys. It teaches them that no matter what life throws at us - and believe it has thrown some real curve balls - we rise up and fight on...

Yesterday I had my first unannounced observation whilst tutoring a group. In essence someone turns up without warning and sits in the corner of the class and watches you..... listens to your questioning technique, how you engage the group, your paperwork, you.... they aren't judging, they are seeing if you need support in your teaching - OK they are judging you!

It is nerve wracking....

But today I learnt the reason I do get up and get out:

I am bloody good at what I do!

There I blew my own trumpet - pretty rare for me if you know me. Not good at taking compliments, ask my friends Liz and Helen!

I got goods and outstanding, which means I am doing a fabulous job.

So, this brought me on my long drive home back to the question of whether or not I am doing the right thing... is this feeling of pride OK to feel? I feel pride for my boys achievements everyday, but is it OK to be chuffed with myself? Can I show my pride to my boys?

I am like all working mothers. I wrestle everyday with the need to be me and create my place in the world versus the needs of my children. Do I let them down?

Today, I don't think so. I think I have decided today that I can't expect them to grow into men who have self worth and pride if I don't demonstrate it. I can't expect them to have a strong work ethic, if I don't demonstrate getting up and going even when we have a stinking cold and bed is calling.

I can't expect them to bounce back from the curve balls their lives are going to throw them, if I don't demonstrate how mummy did/ does that everyday.

Just like my Cubs this week on a night time trail, I have to lead from the front and help them to follow. I have to point out the hazards and help them to sort through them.

To do that I need to do what I love and be myself. I love teaching, I love bouncing round and getting people to chat and sew. I love seeing people achieve things they never thought was possible.

I don't know if I am doing the right thing... only time will tell me that, but I know I can't go far wrong teaching them the life skills they need by demonstrating them, even if sometime I am grimacing through the stress of life.....

1 comment:

  1. We were chatting on Twitter yesterday about being single mothers. I am doing my PhD part time, I waited until my younger son was in full time school and then I began. It's hard, I try to fit the work into while they're at school but that won't always be enough. At the moment I'm doing lectures two evenings a week which means after school club and then either Granny or Grandpa picking them up and feeding them and I get home in time for bed time. Today was my 1 long day (I hope!) this year, I left them with Granny at 7.30 am, Grandpa picked them up from afterschool at 4.30 and had dinner with them and I got home just in time to put the 5 yo to bed at 7.30.

    I like to think I'm setting a good example. That I'm showing them that if you want something you can do it but you'll need to work at it. My 9 yo and I have discussed why I am doing it (I love to learn, I want to study this area, career options, for a better life for us, so I can teach and have holidays off to be with them etc) so he has an understanding and he wishes me luck and asks me how my course was. The 5 yo just knows I'm going to school but as it'll take me another 5 years to finish I will have the same discussion with him that I had with his brother.

    My boys know that they're the most important thing in my life, I tell them that, I show them that as much as I can that University works around them rather than them around it. I hope when they're older they'll realise how hard it was for me and be proud of me and that it'll inspire them to do what they want to do, even if they have to wait 10 years to do it like I did.

    That's a really long ramble, but as I said yesterday, you're not alone. I am sure you are doing the very best you can do and that it is more than good enough and yes, you should tell them that you got a good 'report' for your work, I'm sure they will be proud of you!