Eddie is here today from The Usual Mayhem to share her life as a momma. Her blog is full of educational activities like her preschool frog unit. She also offers ways to teach diversity through her Around the World in 12 Dishes.
Hi, I’m Eddie and I blog at The Usual Mayhem. I’m happy to be here guest posting on Crayon Freckles!
I’m going to put this post “Interview Style”, with the questions asked and then my long, rambling answers. Feel free to roll your eyes when I get up on my soapbox, or gloss over anything that makes you yawn.
1. What is the most challenging part of being the type of mom you are?
I have some hyperactivity and attention issues (understatement) and, while it means I’m creative and sometimes alarmingly energetic, it also means that I fight to keep myself and everyone else on track. We joke that I can juggle two balls but not three…if schoolwork is all done, then either the house is a mess or I forgot to make supper!
Luckily some of the kids are much more organized and we work as a team to encourage each other. Two of us help the others not to take themselves so seriously and two of us start thinking about supper or cleaning behind the scenes. My husband switch-hits wherever he’s needed and also lets me fire multiple ideas off him at high rates of speed until I tire myself out. He even manages to look like he’s listening intently as I switch topics 47 times per minute. Teamwork; it’s a wonderful thing!
2. What is the most rewarding?
This one’s easy. We started homeschooling because my oldest was off the charts IQ-wise when tested (college level in many subjects in grade 3), but struggling at school because of some learning challenges and bullying. He was so shy and down-trodden that he literally scuttled along, looking over his shoulder for threats, everywhere we went. He never slept more than a couple of hours a night because of nightmares and anxiety. He was 4’10” at age 12 and so thin that you could see his bones through his clothing because he couldn’t get anything down past the lump in his throat. It broke my heart. When we saw him turn back into the creative, happy, and mostly-confident person he had been before school we were sold! He has now graduated and is learning some subjects for pleasure and working part-time landscaping while he figures out what he wants to do next, probably nursing in a seniors’ residence. He’s also 6’2” and a solid 225+lbs of amiable brawn. Clearly food is no longer an issue!
Our next two children have never been to school and they are productive, compassionate, creative and confident people. My daughter will be 12 next month and she has no idea that she’s supposed to feel fat, dress a certain way, or act differently around boys. My 5 year old has been teaching himself to read so he can read the books he sees his siblings with. None of my kids have any clue that 7- and 8-year age gaps between them are supposed to be a big problem. They’re all good friends and seek out each other’s company and it brings joy to us all every day.
3. What do you think are the most important value(s) parents can instill in their child(ren)?
I think that a sense of belonging is probably in my top two. Every child deserves, needs, to feel that they are welcome and accepted “as is” in their own home and that they’re good enough to go anywhere and do anything. If you feel like you belong, are ok just as you are, you grow to be a confident person who treats others with kindness, dignity and respect. I didn’t feel welcome in my own home as a child, so we make sure that our children know they are great people and we have confidence in them.
Compassion is probably the other value of my top two. If you can’t understand and empathize with another person, and work to make your corner of the world a better place, then you are missing one of the greatest things about being human. It matters. You matter. What you do to improve your street, your neighbourhood, your city, your continent……it has a cumulative effect. You never know how an idea, spoken words, or an action will take off and change someone’s life.
4. If your children could describe you in 3 words, what would they be?
I’m quoting here:
“Funny, kindhearted, and a good mother” (K, 20)
“Kissy, Huggy, and a good cook”. (D, 5)
“Thoughtful, strong, and loving.”(M, 11)
(I didn’t even have to bribe them!)
If I could describe our family as a whole in 3 words, it’d be loud, boisterous, and happy. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, feel free to come and see for yourself. Bring your earplugs.