I have been failing as a mom.
My oldest boys have decided to get a High School diploma so they are taking some summer classes to get caught up. My oldest, Ethan, is in a math class. He didn’t understand the math, but instead of telling me he just stopped doing it. One day I was checking to see how he was doing and saw that he was over a month or so behind.
I was incredibly annoyed, but I kept telling myself that I have to help him either way so I might as well have a good attitude. For countless days I sat with my son, for HOURS, helping him to get caught up on math. Somedays we spent over four hours of just sitting, doing ridiculously complicated math.
One night I came to my husband in tears saying that I can’t do this anymore. I felt like I was neglecting the rest of the family and I’m hardly understanding what I’m trying to help him with. I begged for him to take it over and help him with his assignments at night. He said that he was too busy, but that he would be happy to pay for a tutor.
Pay for a tutor?!? And openly admit that I can’t do this? Admit that I’ve failed as a mom? If I had only done more math with him when he was younger then he could have understood it better. If I were smarter, I could easily help him get caught up. If my husband had more time he could help him. If, if, if….
Why in the world was I making this about me? Because it’s not.
This is all about my son and what he needs to learn from this experience. He now knows that when he doesn’t understand something it’s about 100 times easier to just admit it in the beginning. He knows he can do this math, he just needed a little help in understanding it better. And I hope he has also learned how much his mom adores him and wants to see him succeed.
This was never my problem, but I sure as heck tried to make it mine; because if he failed I was so worried how that would make me look. I can be so vain.
So, what have I learned from this experience? I learned that my son sometimes has to struggle in order to learn and grow. I’ve learned that I’m not as terrible at math than what I thought I was. I’ve learned that I LOVE spending time with my kid, even if it is finding the hypotenuse of a triangle or solving for X. I’ve learned it’s ok to ask for help, even from tutors, I don’t have to know everything or be able to do everything. Most importantly, I’m learning that I need to allow my kids to have their own hard experiences so that they can grow and I don’t need to jump in and save the day.
I haven’t failed as a mom because I keep loving my kids day after day no matter what.