Steph is a Laois mammy of 3 small kids. She has started a blog to document her life as a mammy muddling through parenthood and searching for her identity in a world wider than her own four walls.
As the pandemic continues she has started a diary to describe daily life as a ‘stuck-at-home mom’.
And the rain is back!! Where in the name of God did it come from?? How can we go from 21 degrees all the way down to 10 in less than 12 hours!! I just don’t understand it. And neither does my 1 yr old!
He’s obsessed with being outside and ‘raining’ does not cut it as an excuse! Add to that the telly obsessed 3 and 5 year old and I knew today was going to be tough work!
I would have to tread the ‘screen time’ waters very carefully – too much and they would be all kinds of narky, but if I turned it off too soon I would face their wrath! I had to decide which option was less frightening, the kids turning on each other, or all of them turning on me!
I’m writing this huddled in a corner on the floor – I went for option B!
Mindfulness Training: Positive Mantras
Every day is a blessing, every day is a blessing, every day is a blessing!!
Repeat, on loop, until you believe it!
I am a good mother, I am a decent person, I am the adult, I am in control.
Repeat, on loop, until you believe it!
Today will be better, today I will be strong. Today I will model what it is to be a strong, independent, positive and #blessed #grateful person. My children will learn these life qualities from me, because I will be a positive role model for them.
Well, they got the strong independent part anyway. They also got the opinionated, wilful, downright obstinate parts. I actually feel for the men or women who take on my daughters as partners.
They will have some job! If I can’t contain their ‘independence’ at 5 and 3 what are they going to be like at 15 and 13, or 25 and 23?
My only hope is that they pick up the common sense to behave like civil human beings in the outside world and leave all their crazy for me! I can take it – I think!
Things the teacher heard today:
‘You’re a poo poo head’ said by the 3 yr old as the 5yr old wouldn’t show her the work
“Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh’ said by the 1 yr old as he desperately climbed all over me looking for attention “shhhhhhhhh” said by me to keep myself from shouting so we wouldn’t have to re-record the answer for the 7th time
Things the teacher could have heard but thankfully didn’t:
“Will ye SIT DOWN for 5 minutes so we can get this stupid work done!’
“Jesus Christ get down from there”
“You can’t do school work today because it’s TOO NOISY”
“Oh good God what do you have to do?”
“Many many swear words…”
Is anyone else living in fear of see saw?? We have to record every answer at least 5 times before we can actually send it because someone is shouting or crying or swearing somewhere!!
I eventually end up going with the one that has the least offensive background noise! I may grease the teacher’s hands big style when this is all over — might stop her airing all my dirty laundry in the staff room!!
After a week of complete chaos, things settled down a little today. We were back outside, loving life. We chilled out and ate pizza and chips – the diet of choice for Lockdown in my house! We played together and had fun. The kids started a ‘café’ and served up all kinds of wonders from the sandpit.
They were even nice to each-other – sometimes. They got on their bikes and we walked the roads. We ‘connected’ with nature (as in we visited the cows to give the 1 year old a thrill!). and most importantly, the children all went to bed without a fuss, so I got my tea and rice cakes before bed!
Today I penned a letter to the teachers and child-minders of the country. Please feel free to use this on your return to school!
Dear Teacher/child minder,
I wish to apologise in advance for the state my child will return to you in.
You had my child in such wonderful routines, you practised patience and encouraged them to use their manners in soft, gentle voices.
You extended their vocabulary through reading and games.
You brought out their creativity and praised them for their efforts.
You nourished them with kind words and brought out the best in them. With you they were often kind, they showed remorse when they were unkind and a genuine will to do better! They learned valuable life lessons.
Unfortunately their experience of home schooling has not gone so well.
Although we started with great routines, they all went to pot when the sun came out. I did try to reintroduce some structure to their day but was battled at every step with the ever-changing weather and the unending requests for snacks.
I started off with lots of patience, but this has long been exhausted.
I have certainly been encouraging manners, but possibly in a less gentle more menacing way – you know, say please or else..
Their vocabulary has undeniably been extended – they now have ALL of the swear words they need to get them through any occasion.
I have tried to bring out their creativity. I have spent endless hours trailing through Pinterest to find the perfect age-appropriate art ideas. These have all lasted approximately 6 seconds before they started to paint themselves, each other or various other items in close proximity.
The fighting, oh dear God the fighting. They don’t care if they kill each other, they don’t care what I threaten them with, they all out don’t give a flying pig about being nice to each other.
The life lessons they have learned in their time with me as their teacher will not enrich their minds, will not nourish their souls or grant them more understanding or empathy.
So again, I’m sorry for what I’ve done to the lovely(ish) child you had before, I really am. I’m just hoping that the damage isn’t irreversible and that they’ll be so excited to see you that they’ll automatically reset to the child you remember so fondly!!
Please find vodka/chocolate/wine/all of the above (choose depending on severity of impact of home-schooling) enclosed in my child’s schoolbag.
Wishing you THE BEST for the year ahead!
ALL OF THE PARENTS!!!