Sunday, 26 May 2013

Things I got right as a Mom

Things I got right as a Mom
26 May 2013

When it comes to my kids, I try my very, very best.  I give my all.  I put on my happy face, my chirpy voice and fake energetic busy-ness and enthusiasm lots of the time.  When quite honestly, I’m not always feeling IT at all.  Yip, I fake it.  Sorry kids!  This however does not mean that it is never genuine, because it usually is.

As a Mom, one tends to be consumed by guilt, lots of the time.  Feelings of having done stuff wrong.  Of not having dealt with something properly.  Of saying the wrong thing.  Of doing the wrong thing.  Of over disciplining and under disciplining.  Of not being gentle enough and of being too gentle.  Of being too strict, or not strict enough.  And so the daily see-saw carries on.  A never ending cycle of personal recriminations.  If only I had…..

But you know what?  We don’t really give ourselves enough credit.  Cut ourselves enough slack.  Being a Mom is a really hard job.  Yes, it is super rewarding, but it is draining too.

Today, was a doozy for me.  A real toughie.  Luke is in the middle of exams and so he asked me to test him on his work.  Quite trying, especially as it became clear that he hadn’t really studied everything properly and that he saw me as his vehicle to greater knowledge as I “tested” him and ended up explaining instead.  I don’t really mind, still greater effort is required on his side.  And in this case, mine too.  Amber’s exams are less than a week away, and so she is also in study mode.  But with Amber, studying is a bit dodgy.  She can spend ages fruitlessly studying, with absolutely no recall of her work even five minutes later.  You know when you have spent an hour studying Geography, explaining in detail, a whole bunch of basic geographic terms and she innocently asks you five minutes later what a “plateau” is again, it is hard.  We have tried mind maps and summaries, reading and explaining.  And so I have to study with her.  It is time consuming and today, whilst explaining the difference between metals and non-metals, I found myself being soothed by my own voice and drifting off to sleep.  Hardly confidence inspiring, if I’m the one that is teaching her, right?  Cole has assessments coming up this entire week too, and so we have been practicing his Phonics, Klanke as well as Maths.  Beeeg tests coming up.  But nothing, no nothing compares with his Afrikaans Oral.  Or should I rather say his Mondeling?  The telling of a familiar story.  And so we chose “Rooikappie” (Little Red Riding Hood).  Not a particularly manly and boy-ish story I agree.  I do admit to having ulterior motives.  Namely, I still had Amber’s Rooikappie oral that she did in Grade 3.  To put it mildly, it’s been trying.  Especially if he’s having a “switched off” day.  Then it is near impossible to get anywhere with him.

But every so often, I look at my kids, and I think, “Helene, you did good”.  And by that, I actually mean, Grant and I, as we are a parenting combo.  Complimenting each other with different parenting skills.

I might make lots of mistakes and get lots wrong, but this I got right:

  • My kids have good manners.
  • My kids are kind to others (not to each other usually, what with sibling rivalry and irritations, but I do believe that they have kindness inside of them).
  • My kids are good sportsmen and women – though they really, really enjoy winning, they are able to accept defeat and give credit to an opposing team when it is due.
  • My kids are honest.
  • My kids are polite.
  • My kids have compassion and are capable of empathy and sympathy.
  • My kids respect elders.
  • My kids can stand up for a friend, and all three of them have done so in the past.
  • My kids respect authority – not necessarily mine (much to my dismay), but they do respond to authority figures.
  • My kids respect other people’s property and  things (once again, not always each other’s).
  • My kids have an appreciation for good music - so happy about this.
  • My kids have all been blessed with an incredible sense of humour and I know that this will help them through much in their lives.

So though I may get many things wrong, I am so very, very grateful for the extremely important things, that I have gotten right.  Having kids is a work in progress.  A never-completed project.  An unfinished symphony of sorts.  I know this to be true, because my Mom is still teaching me.
But perhaps, one should occasionally gain perspective and appreciation for how far one has come already.

My kids are amazingly incredible!  And I am just so very, very proud of them.

You guys rock!
My three most magnificent children - can't believe they're mine
After Cole has said his "Rooikappie" oral tomorrow, I am willing to sell his oral, including awesome poster for said oral, to the highest bidder



  1. Your kids are awesome, just like you! Just today Ouma Leen was saying how proud she is of all her grandchildren! That's you!!

    1. Ag sanks, Bettie! Yours are pretty awesome too. xxx

  2. You and your kids are awesome! Agree with Bettie entirely! And I am very happy that you able to see how much good you do. SO often played down in our society.

    1. Sanks Mommy! I learnt parenting from the best role model there is. xxx

  3. Thank you for sharing a wonderful story! You're an amazing mom and your kids show how good you are at that. We make a lot of mistakes when it comes to parenting. It's really not easy. But I'm so impressed by the way you handle it. You are an awesome Mom. :)