Following on from my last post about an unschooling friend’s bad day with her three kids, a friend of Katie’s posted this link on her FB page, unfortunately, the lovely comments are not posted on her blog page so that you could see them. This post is another lovely insight into the real world of how Mummies who peacefully parent and homeschool feel (but I think a lot of peaceful parents who’s kids go to school probably feel this sometimes too). I love her friend’s comment about her, “”In public you are the invincible 24-hour RU mom. I forget that you are susceptible to weary-of-momness.” I think RU stands for ‘radical unschooler’. I love the fact that her friend acknowledges that she’s a 24 hour mum, which is certainly how I feel. And I LOVE the expression ‘weary-of-momness‘. Weary is so onomatopoeic – the word sound so much like what it means – s..l..o..w and h..e..a…v…..y – oh, so tired. It doesn’t mean ‘had enough of the kids’ but just facing them with less positive energy than one would like. But, as with Ronnie’s family, these “members of an unschooling family really live together” and that’s challenging as well as absolutely wonderful. Ronnie response to the down times though is this, “I am not defined by my bad moments but by my whole self, and my whole self is Ronnie Maier, dedicated unschooling mom, peaceful partner, and woman who never stops trying to do better.” I could happily insert my name in there instead and would feel very happy. Perhaps you could too. NEVER STOPS TRYING TO DO BETTER. I feel that defines me, even when that trying falls so short unfortunately and I really let myself and the kids down by shouting the hell out of them.
After feeling so low, going through life as if “swimming in molasses”, lovely phrase Ronnie, especially since I use molasses to cook breakfast pancakes almost daily, I KNOW just how intractable that would feel, she ends her post like this,
“Unschooling and the relationships between family members in an RU household don’t flourish because we have found some magical way of avoiding bad moods, screwups, and sad times. No, they flourish because the philosophies we live by—my infamous RATS: Respect, Acceptance, Trust, and Support—are not just for good moods, successes, and happy times; they’re for all times. And those philosophies don’t flow only from parent to child but from child to parent and partner to partner.
We are not perfect, and I am certainly not. But we are in this together. We give each other the benefit of the doubt, a Get Out of the Doghouse Free card, or simple forgiveness as needed. And we never stop trying to do better.”
RATS. I must use that as my new mantra; say it under my breath before I feel like raising my voice any number of octaves. Rats…rats…rats…rats…NEVER STOP TRYING!