Every now and then in the past year or two I have found myself online, haphazardly browsing preschool or school school website. I look at the places I’ve heard of that teach something admirable or in a way that I agree with. Faith based preschools, Spanish immersion preschools, Montessori schools, classes, day camps, and various other options.
Usually it’s at the end of a harried week or two or month or two or life or two, when something’s thrown a wrench in our groove resulting in one tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, and ultimately grasping at possible solutions mama. Just looking for some quiet and actual alone time.
The price tag is always enough to make me realize it wouldn’t work. And in calmer moments I realize I would miss my munchkins, I like the idea of being able to shape their learning to some degree and I love the idea of them not being stuck on someone else’s schedule for the majority of their days.
In general, I know the things we want for our kids are good and – with the right research, a little zest, a lot of grace, Jesus, and love – we are capable.
But I am coming to terms with the fact that overwhelm happens. It is part of life, but as a family, it’s important to remember the needs of the whole family and changing things as necessary. We can change how our days and weeks are put together so our habits and schedules support us a little better and overwhelm us a little less.
Our lives are not actually at odds with each other. The kids are not the intruders or the problem. No one in the family is more important than anyone else in the family. A family can’t be completely kid-focused or completely parent-focused. It has to be a give and take, an extending of grace, freedom, and consideration to each person involved.
Some days I’m really good at balancing my needs with their needs. I finish up the day feeling ok about everything. Some days I realize I didn’t put as much into being a parent as I should. Some days I realize I’m just letting the time slide by.
Most days it’s a combination of all of it. There are winning moments, failing moments, and many, many middling moments. As much as I want to be the best at everything, there’s really no way to know how to be a good parent when you are your own imperfect self and they are their own imperfect selves. There is room in this story for all of the people, and that includes the imperfect people who get selfish, or lazy, or hardheaded, or impatient.
All you can do is show up for the day and give it your best. Or what you can.
There is always room to improve.
But there is always grace.
In the next week or so, I’ll be writing a little more about what has helped me be more balanced in our family. Somehow I’m not finding myself wishing for loads of childcare quite as consistently. So that’s improvement. Thank the Lord. :)
Anyway, coming soon!
This month I am joining the #write31days community to explore the idea of the Whole Together Family because I believe we get be who God created us to be – together. Find the whole list posts here or click on the image.