Monday, January 10, 2011

Mom guilt.

beware blitching ahead (blog bitching)

Sometimes I think I could either justify my position or eternally suffer from Mom Guilt.

We all have it.

Dad's have it too but on a different level. it's not as ingrained in them like it is in mom's. Dad's would never feel guilty if a kid didn't get their hair combed or have a clean face out in public. Neither do they care if their outfit didn't match, or they didn't have proper Sunday shoes, most Dad's just don't notice those things.

I honestly have no room in my life FOR mom guilt.

today I have conferences. for all 5 school aged kids. back to back, in a row.

the hubs is coming along this time, he's probably afraid I'd go postal on the school teachers and spin wildly off my rocker into a manic episode and accost these people, causing bodily harm and irreparable damage to my reputation.

I'm pretty sure he's coming mostly to prep the teachers that HE won't be here to help with homework anymore starting next week.

since he has helped in that department alot this year. that and he drives them to school and picks up most days.

while i have been doing nothing but baking the cupcake all school year thus far.

this will be a HUGE CHANGE and DISRUPTION in our household. (the traveling, not to mention the new baby)

sure i did fine when he was traveling for interviews. I think we'll get a routine down eventually, but some things JUST CAN'T CONTINUE AS THEY ARE.


hours and hours of it. lots of it I would call just crap busy work.

I'm sorry but my previously Straight A student who has always loved school, doesn't need to waste his time on writing his spelling words 3 times in repetition just for freaking practice. he gets 100% on most of his spelling tests and has his whole life whether he does that ritual or not.

to me that is a HUGE WASTE OF TIME. unless you need that kind of practice. he doesn't.

PLUS he's been so stressed about getting all of this crapwork/worthless assignments done, he now hates school and would rather have moved out of state rather than finish the school year at this school. that's sad and WRONG.

we told his teacher , until he starts failing his spelling test on a regular basis, we will from now on, forgo that ridiculous assignment. it's busy work. he will also forgo doing multiple practice problems of things he already knows how to do. (a couple are OK, a whole page isn't)

meanwhile, since we've been coddling the 6th grader, and coaxing the 3rd grader (who needed to master her penmanship to please her teacher and make up 15 math problems or create sentences for practice or do spelling workbook pages that won't ever be collected.) my 4th grader has gotten lost in the shuffle and doesn't freaking know all the basic geometric shapes and has an F in math timed tests.

I have mom guilt because HE got lost in the shuffle.


because the squeaky wheels were getting the grease while the bolts on that other particular tire were totally falling out and getting lost on the ride we call life.


He slips through the cracks, because if a kid tells me he doesn't have homework I believe him. glad that is one less to work with for hours in the evening while unmedicated.

if he doesn't empty out his bag and show me his progress report from NOVEMBER, i don't go searching.

and if I don't know he has IEP meeting requests or papers being sent home and to look for them in the mess of a backpack, I don't go hunting.

because by then I'm just glad that one person, one student, one teacher isn't SQUEAKING AT ME for some FREAKING GREASE!

meanwhile this kid really is behind. he's also content with C grades when other siblings are driven to get straight A's.


we also told the 3rd graders teacher that we don't want her missing recess as punishment for not returning papers that were supposed to be signed by me, just for the sake of a signature.

or because she didn't complete her busywork/spelling workbook assignment.

I mean seriously it's 3rd grade, NOT HIGH SCHOOL, not college for hell's sake. it's 3rd FREAKING grade.

the most important thing THAT CHILD IN PARTICULAR NEEDS TO LEARN at that age is SOCIAL SKILLS! that plus run off some of her excess energy.

she's bright. one of the brightest in our home. she is intelligent, well beyond normal skills. sure she rushes, sure her penmanship is less than stellar but SERIOUSLY? in 3rd grade she is there for the social. and she shouldn't be punished because i didn't sign a freaking paper or we missed it on the counter in an effort to be on time.

I have mom guilt from the tardiness.

they are tardy because I insist they have matching clothes on, a clean face, and their hair combed by ME.

ideally they would eat breakfast and brush their teeth everyday too, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't.

i could, in theory let that go, but in reality I can't let it go.

so i tend to yell every morning. which gives me guilt.

we are late even though I try, which gives me guilt.

because of this mom guilt I've actually considered homeschooling. or *GASP*, going to a charter school.

I come from a family of public school teachers, who teach PUBLIC SCHOOL! who attended public school.

I don't believe in homeschooling. I don't believe in Charter schools!

and yet, it has come to this where I consider it a viable option to alleviate my mom guilt?


PLUS. The school gets paid to have my child in attendance, not on time, but THERE.

with open enrollment, I think, hmmm, maybe this school doesn't want the funding that my kids school gets to have My children enrolled there.

perhaps, I should shop around while it is open enrollment for next year?

I've never before considered open enrollment, and yet here/now i do.

see that is the justification to alleviate my MOM GUILT and counteract the empty threats of having the truancy officer sent out. or to AVOID THE BUSYWORK!

we have yet to see the truancy officer. it's not even warranted but since the principal threatened it, I'm bugged.

did you know in all of the years my kids (any of them) have been in school I've NEVER EVER missed giving Christmas gifts to my kids teachers. not to mention the years i was super on top of it and did halloween, valentines day, easter, teacher appreciation and end of school year gifts. That's the kind of parent I usually am.

this year. i didn't do them, ON PURPOSE!

it was so out of character LIBERTY (the 11 year old) NOTICED!


do i have mom guilt about that? NOPE!

i even had gifts sitting there,

i gave them to someone else.


ok so is this worthy of my mom guilt? I don't believe it is.

I should save up my mom guilt for things like failing to provide home cooked meals daily and cussing.

I can't wait to see how this all pans out.

what causes you mom guilt?

where do you stand on busy work?

Just in case anyone wants to defend the teachers, let me tell ya first...

My mom is a retired school teacher.

My older sister teaches a high school autistic classroom after years of teaching special ed and autistic classes in elementary school .

My little sister taught elementary school at a primarily English is a 2nd language school for a few years before staying home with her kids because paying daycare for more than 2 was not worth the teacher salary she got.

My older brother (currently) teaches 8th grade science at the advanced academy here.

My aunts and uncles have been teachers and administrators in various schools high schools and school districts .

I'm related to high school Librarians that became that after teaching forever in regular classrooms.

I get where teachers are coming from as far as being under-appreciated and under-paid.

I also know teachers can look the other way on tardiness.

I know for a fact Teachers don't all have to give busywork or packets of work just for the sake of "practice".

P.S. right after we started at this school they started a new policy of locking all of the outside doors when the bell rings to make tardy kids go through the office and to keep unwanted people from access to the hallways except through the office. this coincided with the sex offender moving into the neighborhood, and was deemed appropriate for the safety of the students.

the policy bites us in the butt at school.

meanwhile the sex offender happens to live right next door.


yup so

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Rebecca Irvine said...

Bet you're looking forward to having kids in two different schools next year ;-).

Don't feel guilty for doing the best you can with what you've got.

elle said...


LOL, I'm a home school pusher.
But seriously, I swear the real reason we are going to home school is cuz momma can't get her own butt out of bed before 8, let alone get children fed/brushed/and there on time...

vsalono said...

You better get those parent teacher speeches memorized because you will be saying that crap for the next several years. Even in High School.
Other hints...... Long hair can be braided the night before. Boys with crew cuts or flat tops don't really have to comb their hair in the morning if you are running late.


HMMMM..... Our school also does immediate locking of all doors, always have. I personally am never late, but as a mom with one in kindergarten, I watch every morning as the kinder teachers yank the kiddos in the minute the first bell, (not even a warning bell) has rung. This is crap. The older kids do not move from their lines until all 3 bells have already rung so that gives all the kids a minute or two to get to their lines and not have to worry about the trip around the school into the principals front entrance... bullshiz...

I have tons of mom guilt...... I can't even let myself sleep in on the one day that my husband does not work during the week and let him take care of our kids in our own house.

I have tons of guilt over not having every inch of our house completely organized and spotless... even though no one in my entire family helps me do anything...... this is changing this year!!!

I have have tons of guilt that our family seriously sucks. My kids don't have grandparents that do a flippen thing with them so we make up for all that...but then get to hear crap like....."YOUR KIDS ARE SO SPOILED" from said grandparents. It not only pisses me off but I feel guilty that they suck so bad when my kids see all the neighbors that are so close to their families and I have to explain that ours just suck.........................

As far as our homework goes... our kids go to a public school with quasi uniforms. They learn a year plus ahead and I am so used to the homework that it just really no longer bothers me. A lot of families choose to opt out of our school because of the homework and level of learning. We have weekly progress reports that have to be signed and daily folders that have to be signed so we don't lose sight of one of them in their studiesand grades!

Girl, you have to do what you need to do for your family.... and no one can fault you for that!!!!

Mamarazzi said...

i want to say forget about it and let the guilt go, but i know you won't, we never do.

i think you are right to take the A students and not make them do the busy work, that is absurd. homework is SUPPOSE to be an exercise in being assigned a task, completing that task and turning in the task. PERIOD.

it should not be hours and hours of crap work that never gets looked at by the teacher...and a signature would ONLY be expected if a kid is going days at a time not turning in their homework.

ugh...i have so much to say about this but i am preaching to the choir.

just keep doing your thing. love your kids and stand up for them.

eff everything else.

Mama T. said...

I feel your guilt. I have it too. I say go ahead and feel it and just keep doing the best you can. I'm against teachers sending home busy work. I teach Spanish in middle school and I advise my students to spend 10 minutes every night studying, practicing, memorizing Spanish. Some do, some don't. I used to require a weekly signature from a parent but I learned that it often forced some students into forging and others just didn't study anyway. I considered home school for my own kids as well. I only have 2 of them and I would have gone absolutely nuts having to deal with them all day.
As I said on Facebook. You have every right to require the teacher to show you their lesson plans, curriculum maps, etc. and tell you how the assignments fit into the State Core. We all know that there are excellent teachers and their are horrible, lazy teachers. I agree with Mamarazzi about the signature thing. That shouldn't be a daily requirement. It's easy for a teacher to tell which kids might need to get a signature for a time until they get into the habit of getting organized. In my opinion, organization skills, etc. should be taught at school and at home. The teacher needs to help the students with those life skills as well. The stupid papers are a nightmare! The assessment scores are what end up in your kids' records. I think it's the teachers job to spend time in class with the review activities, games, worksheets, etc. to prepare the kids for the assessments. Your brain needs 60 repetitions of a piece of information before it goes into long-term memory. Not 600. God bless you.

tammy said...

I hate busywork too. Thankfully, Connor's teacher hates it as well. She doesn't believe in homework, just for the sake of homework. And if he passes the spelling pretest on Monday, he either gets an accelerated list, or gets a pass on the spelling assignments and test the rest of the week. I love that. He typically only has one page of homework, and it's usually math and then he's supposed to read.

As for Charter schools? I LOVE LOVE Taylor's school. It's small enough that the students there are all known by most all of the teachers. They get individualized help if they need it. No slipping through the cracks, and none of the stupid policies like public high school. They are taught accountability and treated as the young adults they are. And none of the "other stuff" public high school brings either.

Do I still have Mom guilt though? All the time. There is always something moms can find to be guilty of.

Janna said...

I have guilt 24-7

That my oldest dd's handicap effects my other kids. I spend to much time with her needs & not the other kids.

That my 2nd dd hates cheer leading and I made her stay in it. And now has a medical excuse to get out of it (tonsils) But by quitting she will now have an f on her report card.

That my twins didn't get enough one one time and I haven't put them in activities like my others. And that one has add and the other has adhd.

That my youngest has a reading comprehension problem.

I have guilt.... and that's probably why I am phat

Don't feel bad.

Look for a job for the dh in Idaho, preferably Idaho falls.

Just remember Mom knows best

revbex said...

I feel your guilt!!
Actually, it's my own, just worded in a much funnier way by you. My kids are rarely late and never uncombed but have a host of other issues (how the heck could I have NOT noticed that my older daughter was trying to see how many days in a row she could wear a pair of socks before the color changed?!)
I work from home so I am not as "present" as I want to be; at the same time I am never able to give as much to work as I feel I should. I love my job and my kids and I'm glad that I get to have both (I'm a minister so many years ago it would have been a choice between mom and nun) but I feel like I am never doing quite enough in either regard.
As for busy work - argh!! I also am kinda sorta thinking of an alternative school experience. My 2nd grade DD is reading at a high school level and has late elementary math skills, but has to write out the spelling words over and over every night and "drill" on her subtraction. I have started having her look up new vocab words from her reading and learn long division instead. She has an amazing teacher who customizes work as much as possible (the spelling tests are at least a challenge) but can't do it all.
Anyways, just a note to say I hear ya and you're not alone.

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