Let me back up. OK, for the last week or so I have been anxiously awaiting the start of Online High School for the boys. Not Homeschool but Online School. They will be at Home doing Online work with virtual teachers. I knew that I would have to clear my schedule, have all of my work completed ahead of time, and be prepared to set them up for success. What does that mean exactly? Well, I would have to make sure that their computers were in working order, that they could log in with the appropriate information, that they knew how to retrieve their emails, and I would have to read over each syllabus with them to make sure that they know exactly what to do and how to do it. We needed to do everything right! (Yes, this is a problem area for me, LOL)
So, my comment to my husband yesterday was,
“Oh boy, we are going to have a lot to do tomorrow! 7 classes, different teachers, all of these expectations. It is going to be a lot!” Maybe I was fishing for some empathy or perhaps a compliment like,
“You will all do great! No worries, you got this!”
I think what I got was the complete opposite. Not at all what I expected to hear. Something like,
“This is not YOUR school. This is NOT for you to succeed or fail. What kid do you know that has their parents show up on the first day of 9th grade to help them turn the pages of the book or open their lockers?”
Like I said, not what I was expecting…. so, in my defense I argued,
“But I want to set them up for success! I want to make sure they know what they are doing and have everything they need!”
“If you are always setting them up for success, how are they going to learn how to set themselves up for success!”
Uggh….. That was the kicker. He was RIGHT! I am tearing up now, just posting this. He is so right. He went on to say that my job could be to make sure they have a healthy breakfast and to be there when they have questions, but I don’t need to orchestrate the entire experience for them, schedule their time, and sharpen their pencils. They have a homeroom teacher, a math tutor available 8 hours everyday, and a teacher in every subject.
The part that made me the most anxious over the last week or so, was thinking of trying to get them to do what I say. I was envisioning the endless arguments. What my husband did was give me the greatest gift of all. Permission to be Mom not drill sergeant. I am no longer their Homeschool teacher. I am their MOM! This may sound silly to some of you and others may have been in my shoes. Some may be thinking… yes, set them up for success the poor babies. Some may be thinking, thank goodness that husband said something.
I feel/felt responsible. Now I know that it is up to them to succeed or fail. Of course I want them to succeed. This is still very difficult for me but I am staying out of it. I am saying things like,
“Email your teacher and ask her.”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
I am still struggling with the notion that they don’t need me and that somehow I am responsible but I know this is what is best for all of us. I felt such relief after I digested what my husband was saying. I was making myself anxious. These boys are completely capable. Why do I still want to “Mother” them even though they are 14 years old?
I think this is worse than taking them to the first day of Kindergarten. I mean, it is all good. I am just a little sad. I know it isn’t all or nothing. I just need to adjust, transition, and change my role a bit. I love these two with all of my heart. My husband scored a few extra points yesterday as well. I am blessed beyond words. I will find my place again.