I have never claimed to truly understand the trials and tribulation of parenthood. I’ve never given birth or adopted a child through some state agency, but some days I truly feel as though I am both teacher and mother.
I constantly preach to my kids the importance of independence.
I will not hold my kids’ hands every step of the way. They have to learn to succeed ON THEIR OWN. Society won’t hold their hand for them.
I will not always be there to wipe away the tears and kick their tails back into shape.
For most kids, this method I use works…
until I have to actually turn into “Mom”.
More so than most professions, I come in contact with a wide array of children whose living situations are not “typical”…honestly, what is typical anymore?
I’ve had students from every walk of life. From students living in self-proclaimed mansions to students who bounce from house to house every day, I see it all. Sometimes, I get knocked right on my butt and am forced to refocus my perspective.
I had a moment today where I truly had to stop and think about being “Mom”. Yes, I teach middle schoolers ELA. Yes, I preach relationships with students…but what happens when I have to “mother” the student? Way beyond building a teacher-student relationship, but truly having to tend to the student’s basic need and desire for love…what happens then?
What happens when I have to hold the kids hand and fight with them to simply finish a single problem because no one will push the child at home? What happens when I am the one pushing the student to succeed and be their absolute best because no one at home believes they can be better than where they came from?
I hear so many people (mostly parents) say that ALL parents care, they just don’t always show it.
I beg to differ.
Now, this post certainly wasn’t written to bash parents. I know many parents who are very supportive of their children and who push their child to excel.
My point is that we ALL have to realize that some days we have to put on our “Mom” hat. Some days, being “Mom” is WAY more important than being the ELA teacher because, well, who else will fill those shoes?
So, as frustrated as I may get, I am going to try my absolute best to remember that having to fill this role surely isn’t my kids’ fault. At 11, 12, and 13 years old, a child shouldn’t be worrying about who will be making dinner or whether or not anyone truly believes in their ability to succeed.
Next time I hear a, “Mom…I mean Ms. Bal”, I’ll put a smile on my face and except the duty not with resentment, but with every ounce of love I can muster.
After all, we all just need our Moms some times…