Why I wouldn’t mind being an 80’s mum…

 

Hey 2016 mums, hold on to your almond milk lattes and cacao protein balls…this will really freak you out.

Here is a picture of my 80’s mum.  It was taken with an actual camera. To see this photo she had to first finish the film, take it to the shops to be developed, wait up to a week and then go back to see that 20 of the 24 pictures had a dirty finger blocking the lens and that her children weren’t even looking at the camera.

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You also won’t believe it but she didn’t take this photo of herself. Long, long ago mums didn’t need to take photos of themselves being mums and doing mum things. Apparently it was very possible to look after your kids and not tell every Sue, Sharon and Tracy about it. Kind visitors would offer to take pictures for you if they believed what you were doing was worthy of taking a photo. Unbelievable…..I know. How did she know she was doing a good job as a mum if there was no one there to ‘like’ and comment on her post workout photo? Taken whilst balancing her kids on her size 6 hip and removing gluten free, dairy free, vegan friendly, sugar free, organic substitute muffins from the oven? How did she keep going without reading ego stroking comments like ‘wow…you really are a supermom!’ or ‘You look amazing’.

And OMG what is mum wearing? Where is her ‘active wear’? No Lorna Jane here. Good mums don’t sit down during the day to play with their own kids? They go to the gym. Good mums also drop the older kids off at school, then take the remaining children to as many activities as they can in 5 hours. Apparently children very much enjoy going to places where other adults play with your kids for you. No, don’t be fooled – the 2 year old’s you see being dragged into Kindygym and gymnastics kicking and screaming actually really love it and they’ll be photos on Instagram later to prove it.

Hang on….Is that a disposable nappy I can see peaking over the top of my non-branded kids clothing? Why aren’t I wearing a 100% hemp/bamboo blend recyclable and reusable nappy? This must be the reason I have issues as an adult. And check out the daggy surrounds. Where is the abstract art? Designer rug? And on trend colour palette?

You get my point right. This week I could literally vomit at what I have seen and heard coming from the mouths and social media accounts of 2016 mums. Admittedly I can log off. I know being on social media has inadvertently overexposed me to a whole group of what can only be described as ‘asshole mums, but let’s face it they are everywhere. I guess I’ve just been trying hard to hide from them since 2010.

Don’t get me wrong – I have also had my crack at making  ‘clean muffins’ and I also take my kids to activities and post on social media, but please stop me when I begin think that I am the most amazing mum in the world because of it. Truth be told- some days I take my kids to activities because I can’t cope at home all day. I make muffins because I know it will waste an hour of the day and keep the boys from hitting each other over the head. I don’t do things for ‘likes’. This morning I got caught at school drop off dragging my screaming son from our car and allowing him to fall on to the grass in a heap to teach him a lesson. Yep….great mum! Will I be posting photos of myself and screaming son on Instagram with captions such as ‘love of my life’ while we gaze into each other’s eyes today? No, no and more no! Of course he is the love of my life, but today he was a little poo.

This week one of my ‘mum activities’ after school drop off was taking our broken laptop in for repairs in with 3 year old in tow. I handed the crumpled, used Aldi bag containing my laptop over the counter proudly exclaiming ‘all the cords are in there’ (secretly thinking how organized I was). After spending a second looking through the bag the repair guy replies ‘yeah I think there’s even some underwear in there too’. Shock, horror – sitting in the bag peering up at me were a pair of my dirty knickers that must have fallen inside in the weeks that the bag has been sitting in my wardrobe. Yep great mum……

Life is not perfect despite some people’s attempts to fool everyone on Facebook.

I guess my angry little point is, when did we become so needy and reliant on gaining other peoples approval in order to measure and compare our worth as a mum? Why are some going to absolute extremes to portray a ‘perfect mum’ profile? Or casting the net further – why do some people make up completely false online lives for themselves, and then you’re face to face and don’t recognize them?  The sane amongst us are not buying it…we should be reading between the lines. Get real. It is often those who spend the most time talking about how great life is….who are trying hardest to convince themselves.

Mums have been raising kids for thousands of years. You are not a super mum, superwoman or mum because you made your child hand rolled sushi for lunch and took a photo of them eating a coconut today. Nothing at all wrong with doing any of the above, but the ‘mummy –bragging’ has to stop. Stop speaking ‘out loud’ or ‘online’ about things that we don’t need to hear about. Keep it to yourself. Be humble, be helpful. Be real and be a friend to other mums who are also dealing with ‘little poos’ today. Take and post photos because you love them not because you need to be validated by strangers…because people who really know you, know that it’s all bullshit.

Our 80’s mums did it……..and they did it well. Guess what, they didn’t even need the photos prove it.

It’s been a long time between drinks…..

 

Hello! Is anyone out there?  No I’m not trying to impersonate Adele, but am totally expecting to be writing to myself for a few weeks because let’s face it- it’s been a long time between drinks…literally.

Well here I am crawling back with my tail between my legs to ask for ‘blogging’ forgiveness. It has been 9 months since my last post and well…..the longer you leave things, the easier it is to keep avoiding. So the best way to get back on the horse, is to just jump back on and not think over think things too much. So I thought a quick update of all things teacher versus mummish was on the agenda so ease me back into things lightly.

Anyway, Attention everyone, breaking news! Since my last post it seems that ‘not making plans’ worked out really well- I wasn’t just writing rubbish after all. In 5 short weeks baby number 3 arrives, and we are also happy to report that the baby will not have to reside in the front courtyard of our tiny townhouse, as we magically found a new house as well. Despite my husband’s most convincing speeches about how easy it is to fit just one more child into a 3 door Barina hatchback, we have also managed to trade in the boy toy lawnmower for something more family friendly. It has definitely been a huge 6 months and to those considering it- the third child really tips you over the edge…everything needs to be bigger!

I finished up work at the end of the December and for those clever, experienced teachers who told me that job-sharing was hard, despite me mentally thinking ‘piece of cake’ – yes you were correct, it was bloody hard!. Since finishing up so many people have asked ‘I bet you’re glad to be finished’ and the answer was of initially yes. Eight weeks later I have decided it is far more exhausting staying home and looking after 2 boys than it was looking after 30 children.

My beautiful first born baby also started big school last week. He was mine for 5 years and now he begins a life that I will know little about, besides the small snippets he can remember to tell me when he stumbles into the car like an exhausted monkey every afternoon. Apparently his new school excels in providing quality ‘playtime’, as this is all he manages to report from his busy school day. Must remember this when I go back to work…no more planning or teaching anything, It’s a waste of time! All parents will judge my professional performance based on how exciting the adventure playground was.

Personally the last few months have been tough and challenging. Us female creatures are tough to conquer at the best of times but add some hormones and some negative thinking to the mix and we become ticking time bombs. Big apologies to the friends I haven’t called. It wasn’t because I don’t care…It was because I just couldn’t. But I think I am back for now. Big hugs to my wonderful husband for always providing the ‘positive’ in a dark day

There’s excitement in the air at our house and we are so looking forward to meeting our beautiful new human and celebrating with a few hundred glasses of wine (between responsible breastfeeding guidelines of course ……I can already tell this one will enjoy merlot). This post was sponsored by Avent Breast pumps.

 

 

 

When the only plan you have left is to have no plan at all

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I have always been a planner. Up until a few years ago my life was displayed as a series of dot points listed on one of those shopping list magnets that you find on the fridge. It read something  like this:  get a part time job tick, finish year 12 tick, get into the course I wanted at uni tick, find a teaching job tick, gain a permanent position tick, have kids by the time I was 30 tick etc, etc, etc.

I would say up until recently that things have pretty much worked out in the way I had planned on my little fridge magnet. I strongly believed that with hard work and persistence you could actually control the people and things around you and could purposefully steer your life towards the final destination you had picked out for yourself. But at aged 32, life jumped out with a stop sign or maybe just a slow- down sign, a sit back and take it easy sign. Life decided that it was time to throw the plan on its head. This week I’ve realised that the only plan you can ever truly have, is no plan at all.

Most of you know that at the beginning of the year my husband and I had decided to try for baby number 3. I had it all planned. Start trying in March pregnant by April (as was the case with baby 1 & 2) that way I could finish off my current school year and still qualify for some maternity leave. The timing would be perfect. Six months down the track, and clearly my senior citizen ovaries are still on a day trip to the bingo. Still no sign of our perfectly timed baby. Excuse me plan-where are you? How dare the plan have not worked! What happens to my list now? Will I have to rewrite it? My husband tells me to relax, that it takes most people a long time to fall pregnant and deep down I know he is right. He is the opposite of me – the ‘non-planner’. After a life time playing football professional football, he learnt at a young age to just take things as they come. He constantly reminds me not to plan too far ahead because you never know what’s around the corner, and of course he is right. I have no right being disappointed. I have two beautiful, healthy sons. I know nothing of the sadness in the hearts of couples who have been trying to fall pregnant for years and have nothing or no one to show for it. I had just not planned on it taking this long. So now my plan is to have no plan at all.

In my high school years I remember thinking how great it was that besides Narelle Maylin’s family, my family was one of the only one’s still intact. We were almost the weird ones. We were close, supportive and all living in the same house. Our house was the one people came to on a Friday night, we liked each other so much we didn’t see the need to leave. This may sound no biggie, but at Parafield Gardens High School it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I hadn’t planned for a time when this wasn’t the case. In fact I could never have imagined back then that we would all be living in different places. If there was one thing I believed back then, it was that family was first. That there was never anything or anyone that could dissolve us. I planned for the day when my own kids were surrounded by my family, Christmas’s, birthdays, good times and bad times.  I hadn’t planned to be here alone.  Now my plan is to have no plan at all.

We had planned to be in a bigger house by now. Our three bedroom townhouse with no yard seems to be closing in on us by the second, as two young boys burn past my feet on their scooters while I’m cooking the dinner. Our tiny dwelling seems to be giving birth to toys. I swear every day that I wake up the toys have multiplied- soon they will swallow us up. Last night I had to remove a matchbox truck, a minion and ninja turtle mask from my bottom before I could get to sleep. We keep waiting and looking. I hadn’t planned on still being here, so now the plan is to have no plan at all.

I had also not planned for a world without my mum in it. A few weeks ago I received a phone call telling me my 54 year old mum had had a heart attack. It felt like a joke.  Are you f&%$# serious was my exact response. Many scenes in our lives come as no surprise, we have usually played out pertinent events in our heads, even rehearsed our responses, but this one I wasn’t prepared for. I hadn’t prepared for the possibility of having already had the last hug from my mum without knowing it, and without having had the opportunity to hold on a few minutes longer. The opportunity to tell her the things a mum should know every day, not just on her last day. I haven’t prepared for a time when I can’t ring her and ask her what to put down in my tax return. I haven’t planned for the time when I go home to Adelaide and she is not there anymore. I haven’t planned for the time when I can’t call her crying and know she will be by my side as soon as she can. Luckily, and despite the poorness of her current mental and physical health, she is still here, alive and kicking with her achy, tingly, smelly diabetic feet. I now have the opportunity to make my last hug count. The day after her heart attack, after a long day at the hospital I returned home to her house for a sleep. We opened the door and looked around at the lounge room left as it was the moment she was put in an ambulance. Her clothes over the back of the chair, her makeup all over the bathroom and her little black shoes beneath her place on the couch. This could’ve been all that was left, and thank God that the image of her little black shoes won’t be the last thing I see of her. I hadn’t planned on ever losing mum, so now the plan is to have no plan at all. Every hug will be the last one.

It is funny how life changes. How what you had planned on never seems to go according to schedule. I am sure my husband is right. It is time to relax, take it easy and take it as it comes. And just hope I am ready for the next detour.

and then there were these two…………………

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I love teaching. I could probably count on one hand the times I have woken in the morning and not wanted to go to school, five of these times would have been as a result of repulsive adult behaviour, not that of the students.

I have found that children make the best colleagues in the world. They turn up each day with a clean, new slate. They don’t harbour resentment from the day before when you lost your temper, they sing to you when it is your birthday, and they are never shy of a hug when you are feeling down. They are honest. If you have worn the same shoes 3 days in a row, they will want to know why. If you haven’t washed your hair in a while, they will notice when you finally do and if you are a bitch- they will let you know. If you are absent- they miss you like crazy and in Term 4 when it is time for them to leave, they will remember the time spent with you years after you have forgotten them. It often scares me to think that in reality my students will spend more waking hours with me, than they will with their own parents. In a year they become my family, and above all they become ‘my children’.

Someday’s under the sea of paper work and red tape, you forget that what you are doing matters to someone. You may not have realised it, but as a teacher you make someone’s day ‘every’ day.

This past month Two students have reminded me that I am human. When I doubted my ability, they confirmed it for me. When I thought things were hopeless and that teaching was just getting too hard, they have reminded me it is all worth it. I just wanted to share their stories.

After only seven weeks into the school term, my teaching partner and I were confronted with a rather tricky case of bullying. This young lady was terrified of telling us in case she experienced any backlash but eventually she came forward and we helped her as best as we could. Today in the mad rush just after the school bell she handed me this beautiful letter. To be honest I am not sure what to be more excited about- the gorgeous message or the fact it had full stops, capitals AND paragraphs!!

To Mrs R

Thankyou for being a great teacher yesterday. You and Mr A did an awesome job.

I now feel very comfortable and know to come to one of you when a problem at school pops up out of nowhere.

Thankyou for asking me if I was ok yesterday. i know I can trust the year 6 teachers 100%. Thank you so much for everything. I look forward to spending the year with you guys.

Love Ellie xx

On a sadder note, last month I received the devastating news  that one of my previous students from Adelaide had passed away suddenly at aged 18.  On hearing the news, my heart just ached as it hasn’t quite done before. I didn’t have my own children when I taught her, but knew that after three years in my class that she had become like my own. After three years of sharing everyday with this gorgeous girl, it was incomprehensible that something had taken her away from a life that she hadn’t yet lived and was fighting so hard to keep. Her smile was contagious and not since have I met more gentle, loving and compassionate soul. As a Catholic, I have always believed that we go somewhere else after death and have always sought comfort from this belief,  but I must admit that on hearing this news that my beliefs were challenged significantly. I can swallow the heaven stuff when it comes to the those who have lived a good life, but for the first time this explanation was just not good enough. it made no sense that a young life could be here one day talking to a good friend of mine (The fabulous Ms Ellem) in the shopping centre, remembering the fun time she she spent with us in year 6 and then be gone forever a short few days later. For days after I couldn’t get this young girl out of my thoughts. If I felt like this as her teacher, how the hell would you go on as her mother. Being interstate, I couldn’t attend her funeral and feel a great deal of guilt about this, but while searching my email for some old units of work I found these emails she had written to me in the years after I had moved away. Writing was never her strength but she certainly made up for this in personality. Just as she always could in life, she brought a smile to my face again in death. (love how she spelt report!)

Subject: Re: Jaymie report
Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 16:14:42 -0700

heeyy what have you been up i love high school so much i have made heaps of friends i am doing good are you still teaching  whaen are you coming back down
 
love you
Jaymie xxx

and this one……………………………..

Subject: Jaymie report
>
> Dear Mrs B,
>
> I got my report on the 24th of june and mum and dad were so proud of
> me and i hope you are to. 

I got
 religion c with my effort being good
english c with my effort being good and writing satisfactory
maths c with my effort being good
society and environment b with effort being outstanding
 science b with my effort being outstanding 

design and technology c with my effort being satisfactory

 health c with my effort being good

the arts c with my effort being satisfactory
 
 music c with my effort being good

 italian c with my effort being satisfactory

p.e c with my effort being satisfactory
I am so proud of my reprot
 Love Jaymie

What am I thinking….I could never leave this job.

Correct Me if I am Wrong…………Sexist rant

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A lot has gone on since my last post. Work has well and truly begun and already I am thinking that the term ‘job-share‘ may be French for ‘get paid for three days, but work full time. Some fellow teaching Bloggers did warn me of this, but I am hoping that it is just beginning of the school year madness and that it will calm down soon.Or not?

My other job- the important one, the full time one, the unpaid and un-appreciated one called ‘being a mum and wife’ has continued to run ahead at full pace. As you may well know, children don’t understand nor care that one of your many talents has become being able to cook dinner, hold a gigantic 2 year old, chop an onion with one hand and turn up the volume on Peppa Pig with the other hand. Now that’s what I call animal adaptation! Last week I even sarcastically asked my four year old what hands he would like me to use to fill up his drink bottle, and in all his wisdom he replied ‘ You just need to get more hands mum’. Yes wouldn’t that be nice son! And you know what would happen if I got more hands? Some one in this house would find more jobs for the extra hands to do too!.

Can I be really honest here? I  just need to do a mental purge.  I am going to be very controversial now and say that the feminist movement has a lot to answer for. Not so long ago the women’s sole role in society was to be a good housewife. This involved birthing and caring for children, cooking, cleaning and keeping a husband happy. We were clear on the role, as limiting as it was, we knew our gig. Anyway, the mothers who went before us fought tooth and nail for gender equality, and I sincerely thank them for this.  For the first time we could throw our aprons and bra’s into the air, run out of our homes in trousers not our skirts, get down and dirty and begin working in meaningful paid positions. Sounds awesome right? What women wouldn’t see this as progression right?

HANG ON…….LET’S BACK THIS TRUCK UP A LITTLE ! Right back to the part where the women were supposed to be throwing away their aprons. Last time I checked, I was still wearing the apron on top of my trousers! Someday’s I’m so painfully aware of it  that it chokes me. Someday’s it’s still hanging off me as I jump out of my car ready to take up my place in society as a working woman.  What a great deal the men got out of the feminist movement, I can hear them now laughing behind our back. ‘Yes Gerald, great idea- Let the ladies work and they will still do everything else as well, it will work out great for us gentlemen mwaaaaahhhhhaaaaaaa! (insert Dr Evil’s voice here)

I realise more than anyone that in some cultures, the women’s role has not evolved and has not changed much since these times, and some days I look at these families with envy. I also realise it is apparently my choice to to wear an apron and work at the same time, but the hard part here is now we have a choice. When we didn’t have a choice it seemed easier to accept it. It is fine to be a house-mum when everyone else is too. Our roles have become blurred, we have lost parts of our identities and now scrambling to define our new role in society.  It is not fine for women to ‘just stay at home’. It is also not fine to be just a career woman. So what do we talented,  multi-tasking women do? We adapt and do both- the same as any other successful species.

My problem is that yes now we can contribute and work, but in most houses we are still the ones doing everything else as well. If we have evolved then why haven’t our home roles? Why should we work AND still be doing 80% of every other job that comes our way, child related or not. Something has to give, we can’t keep all of these balls in the air without dropping a few. We are still the ones to organize the children in the morning, we are still the ones packing lunch boxes, we are still the ones dropping by Woolworth’s on the way home to get groceries for dinner, we are still the ones to remember the children’s vaccinations, organize presents for birthday parties, sorting out clothes in the morning, finding lost shoes and nursing sick children at 2am, 3 hours before leaving for work ourselves. Yes It is in our genes, mums can not stop caring and nurturing just because we are now wearing trousers. We will continue to be cross dressing, apron- over- business -suit wearing machines who try to save the world or at least save the chicken from burning.

Before the inevitable ‘My husband does all the housework and cooking in my house’ comments, Lets get real. Clearly It is not just about cooking. Of course there are many exceptions to what I am saying. There are many fabulous husbands out there who work their bums off to help their wives, and to them I applaud. The sad reality is that most, and I say this with slight caution, MOST women are still keeping the homes going. Things have to change. In the past 4 years alone 3 female friends of mine have or have at least considered returning to work and having hubby stay at home with Baby Bob, as they are the main bread winners. The men have been more than willing to let go of a few ‘traditional masculine traits’ (usually the useful ones) whilst taking full advantage of our newly acquired skills, but are a bit slow on the uptake in acquiring their own new skills. Perhaps not quite yet the norm, but certainly is a growing trend.

So where do you stand on this. Should we just drop the ball completely or should we STILL be trying to do it all?

New Year, New job and the Glass-Uterus Effect

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Tomorrow is my first day at a new school. Since arriving in Queensland 6 years ago I have been extremely lucky to have remained employed at the same wonderful school, conveniently located ten minutes from home. I remember my first day six years ago. Having just moved from a really tough school in the dry, northern suburbs of Adelaide I arrived at what looked like a tropical holiday resort. With a golf club across the road, the Surfers Paradise skyline in the background and a lake right in the middle of the school oval.  I remembered thinking, ‘we’re definitely not in Elizabeth’ any more, closely followed up with ‘I probably won’t need to worry about my car being stolen while it’s parked out there’.

During my time there I have welcomed my two beautiful boys, and to be honest it has become more of a social outing than a job. Amongst the staff are teachers who have become great friends, and in some instances I have taught all siblings from the same family. For a school that was only ever meant to be a temporary stop gap while we figured out if we wanted to stay on the Gold Coast, It turns out to be the longest stint I have had in any one setting. My second home.

I am so sad to leave, but so excited to move forward. After a lot of thought my decision was confirmed last week while watching my friends prepare to go back to the classroom full time. At my school it was full time for me or nothing. That is the problem with teaching, it is often all in or nothing.

After applying for jobs close to home and being honest about my plans to have more children, I was met with ‘In light of what we discussed, there won’t be any suitable positions for next year’ and I totally get it. Being that I am on contract, I am a liability in a classroom. Having a class is like taking guardianship of 30 little lives for a the whole year- not just for two or three terms until I dare decide to have a child in the middle of a school year. Before I  hear gasps of ‘discrimination’ it is so not like that. If you are permanent then you have a rite of return as a part time teacher. As a contract staff member I was lucky to have been looked after as long as I have been between having my children. To be fair, If it hadn’t been for stopping to have babies I would have had a permanent position here in Queensland as well as in Adelaide. They call it the glass ceiling effect- a woman’s inability to progress as far as a male in the same work place, and it is alive and kicking in the teaching profession. I just call it the ‘glass uterus effect’. Our progression is severely affected by our biological requirement to stop and have children, and lets face it, that is just tough shit! You can’t have years off and expect to be the boss when you get back!

So I’ve gone further a field for a 3 day classroom position (job share), and I couldn’t be more excited. Rather than dreading the return to full time work and leaving the boys, I can have my class…and eat it too (oops…cake).  Yes it is half hour away, and yes it’s not as pretty as where I was, but it is the best option for my young family at this moment in our short time together.

Teachers out there will appreciate the lack of ownership and achievement you feel when you don’t have your own class. We didn’t get into this profession to teach 12 lessons of back to back library lessons for prep children. On most days this involves getting them safely to the library without losing one or all of them as they cross the yard like a flock of sheep, sending at least three with sore fingers to the sick bay, a poo in the pants, having my feet rubbed (not so bad) and at least 3 comments about why I’m wearing the same clothes as last week.   (FYI you kids are just seeing me at the start of my washing cycle)

So tomorrow I meet my teaching partner and see what will be my new ‘home’ for a while. For some strange reason, what would have made me sick with anxiety once upon a time, is now so exciting! Maybe it’s called growing up.

Wish me luck:)

Have I become one of ‘Those’ Mums?

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Today I broke up with my four year old’s swimming teacher. Well, in actual fact she broke up with me and I am still furious about it.  This was such a shock as there have been many times in my life where I have not been able to hold my tongue when confronted with rude people. Look, admittedly I do have an extremely low tolerance for stupidity and even less tolerance for unnecessary rudeness or bad attitudes from complete strangers. I, like many others can also appreciate a bit of rudeness where rudeness is warranted. I am usually the first to throw out a few colourful f-bombs or go for in for the kill when I feel something to be unjust like my pet hate of people pushing in, but this lady or should I say Sergeant (I know this as she reminded me 99 times ‘I am ex-military you know’) really takes the cake. For the first time or maybe the second in recent years, I said NOTHING. I remained cheerful as I gritted my teeth. I tried to ignore the hot burning sensation of fury as I hurriedly dressed my son to leave, knowing he would be listening to every word to coming pouring from my mouth. I walked out in shock and at that point I was still unsure what to do.

Anyway between her outright rudeness, pretending she didn’t receive text messages or emails, talking to the children like ‘dogs’ or sorry ‘soldiers’, her ridiculous logic regarding make-up lessons and her insistence on me joining Facebook in order to communicate with her on any level, enough was enough. Today after my son continued to cry through her lesson she responded with ‘I can refund your money if your’re not happy, I have a waiting list and plenty of clients’. Excuse me crazy lady but isn’t this your job? You are getting paid a decent hourly rate to help children overcome a fear of water, not to create one!

In a way I am proud of the pleasant way in which I responded to her behaviour today. I contained my shock and simply sent an email accepting her offer to cancel our lessons if we weren’t happy, but then a part of me is feeling as though I have let my self down. Perhaps I should have told the truth in my cancellation email and told her exactly why we were cancelling.  There’s always a part of me that needs to fight the fight, but lately much of me says ‘ Is it really worth it?’. I know I would’ve walked away feeling like crap.

Later today, while researching other swim schools in the area I had a horrible thought that maybe I had just become one of ‘those mums’. The mums who fight for their children so hard that they become the habitual school hoppers, the soccer club leavers or the dance school deserters. Maybe I should have put up with her rudeness and returned the following week? Maybe my child should get used to being petrified and scared to death of another adult? Maybe it will build resilience? My heart tells me I did the right thing but my mind is still playing out the argument I should have had. He is only 4. I was disgusted that I had watched him in tears today as ‘she’ tried to blame his fear on ‘behaviour’ rather than that she was a cold, harsh nut case who needed to calm down a bit. We are not trying to qualify for the Olympics over here.My son had no fear of swimming until this lady took over the lessons a few weeks back. Fill in the blanks lady..I mean ‘sergeant’.

As a teacher, I am a huge advocate for challenging the comfort zones of a child, so would hope that I have been able to separate what is helping and what is hindering. I continually preach about the disabling consequences of parents rescuing children and making life ‘breezy’ with no hurdles to jump and removing fears to conquer. This type of ‘helicopter parenting’ results in generations of children who can’t solve a simple problem like finding a pencil, and generations who can’t apply for a job without mum and dad holding their hand at the interview (true story).

But alas, as the evening draws to close and  I finish writing this blog, I receive a rude reply from her saying only ‘money will be in your account in three working days’. There I was this afternoon constructing a polite and cheerful email to ensure our agreement ended on a positive note. What a waste of time. Just goes to prove that regardless of how much I have learnt to control my own behaviour, some people are just Assholes!

Surely someone else has gone through this,  or am I just one of those mums?