Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad mum. I hope that I’m a good mum most of the time..well let’s be honest a half decent one some of the time..but there are some nights when I come to bed and have a right good word with myself.
Tonight’s subject of self flagellation is my eldest..my gorgeous little man..well he’s 10 but will always be the 2.6 kg boiled monkey and first born little cutie that popped into our lives and felt like we’d never been without him. Anyway, he’s a gentle little soul, confident at times – usually with a football or with his mates – and a bit shy, self conscious and too self critical at others. He’s smart but a bit lazy and whilst he loves maths, science, coding and all things my husband really, he’s recently decided that reading is boring and has developed a bit of a crisis of confidence with his writing.
Well I’m not even sure if it’s a recent development, more that I’ve been working with him more on his homework since working for myself ( and from home) two years ago and have come to realise that when it comes to creative writing or putting pen to paper for a written task, he just doesn’t know where to start. There are tears, he gets distressed and down on himself; I go from calm to agitated to antagonistic and then walk away, frustrated that I’m not able to help him more and extract the confidence, skills and breakthrough that he needs.
Because I bloody love to write. It’s my happy place and how I make my living! And I just can’t comprehend why he finds it so hard. He’s my baby boy so why does he struggle with one of my favourite things to do in the world. I’ve talked to his teachers, we’ve discussed the mental block of the blank page, the use of post it notes to help organise his thoughts, the need to read a lot and write and write some more. And watch YouTube videos and other media to engage him in a subject beyond the written word. And I’ve done these things, but probably not enough. I have friends that spend hours doing homework with their kids every night and I take my hat off to them, they’re awesome; I just don’t seem to pull it off and fit it all in.
But I digress. The whole thing has done my head in today as yet again he was in tears and completely disengaged and I rapidly went from coaxing to frustration followed by a regroup, positive pep talk and YouTube video of the subject matter at hand. But we didn’t get anything on paper, got nowhere near our palm cards – this painful exercise is a speech to be delivered in less than a week- but I keep going back to the thought that what’s bothering me almost as much at his distress and inability to write is why he isn’t like me. I made him after all. Surely I should have passed some things on, particularly something as important as writing, which is my biggest passion. So yep that’ll be keeping me up for a little while yet before I finally nod off and do it all again tomorrow.
Am I a total loon and nasty, self obsessed harpie..does anybody else project their fears and expectations on their kids and assume that they’re mini mes rather than wonderful versions of themselves that they’re growing into? Answers on a postcard..I’ll be over here rocking in the corner..!