Parenting is hard. I’ll just say that. As my daughter moves into her pubescence, her teenager hood, her strong personality comes out even more. And not only is she strong, but she’s aware. The other day, she asked me why when we fight, I lie to her about things. I tried to talk to her about perspective and what we want to hear. She looked at me skeptically.
I remember when I was in my 20s and first teaching. No kids. I played guitar after school. I went hiking. One of the other teachers at my school had 2 children, and I remember asking her once, “How do you do it? You deal with these kids during the day and then you go home to them at night?” I don’t remember her response. I probably didn’t even listen.
Now I’m parenting and teaching, and it is hard. I’ve been sick the last week and have been trying to relax. I’ve written about 10 blog posts in my head, but this is the first one coming out. I was able to take a few days off of school to recover, but I couldn’t take any time off being a mom. And somehow when I’m sick, my daughter seems especially needy. Tomorrow I’ll go back in to school, and I’m prepping myself. Teaching is like parenting. You can’t be halfway there. You’re full on, and you have to be ready.
I think parenting has made me a better teacher. You have a completely different perspective. I understand more what their parents want. I used to complain about parents and how much they wanted to do for their kids and the sides they would take to support them. Now I know.
Looking back at an earlier post “The Importance of Perspective,” I wrote about how my daughter came home and told me that she watched the Joseph Kony video. Well, I owe an apology to her teacher because as it turns out, she didn’t. She watched a blurb about it, enough obviously to realize who Kony was. It took us a while to talk to her teacher, and when we did, he told us what he really had done. He had respected our opinions, and our daughter had obviously exaggerated. Then, to back himself up, he told me about another time she had misheard something and not come forward with the truth.
That’s exactly how I would have responded many years ago if a parent had come to me with information from their child that wasn’t quite exact. I would have brought up other examples of their children who obviously weren’t the angels they expected them to be.
As he was giving me examples of my daughter’s misunderstandings, I thought right there that no matter how wrong you’re kid is, no matter what untruths they tell, you will always believe your kid. I didn’t really get that before I became a parent. It’s mother protection of their young or something like that. Somehow my critical judgement went out the door as she was telling me the story of watching the Kony video.
I realized that parents will go to extremes to protect their children. I’ve become one of them.