The Teacher Mommy Curse

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The rules of the house are quite simple. No TV during the week. No video games during the week. Read everyday. Go outside and play everyday. Trying to limit fast food to once a week or even less. Save treats for Movie Night (setting up camp in the living room and watching DVDs on Friday nights). Milk everyday; soda for when we go out to eat. (The last one is tough to enforce with their grandma living around the corner and my brother telling them, “It’s okay. Don’t tell your mommy!” That’s nice.)

I do not mind the video games the kids play so long my husband has played them and deemed them appropriate for our children. Minecraft is one of those games.

I have not actually played Minecraft but some of my friends’ kids play it and love it. There is a lot of extensive detail to playing the game which I won’t go into here. I will say that there is a free version that M has been playing and loving.

So much that he would like the paid version if he once again receives straight A’s on his report card. That, we do not mind.

I did mind, however, when he came home from school today and asked me, “If I do all of my homework, can I play video games?”

I felt a power struggle being born.

The educator I am replied, “What do YOU think the answer is?”

“Why not?” he exploded to which I raised an eyebrow. “ALL OF MY FRIENDS get to play video games ALL WEEK!”

I breathed. Slowly. Purposefully. Remember, I said to myself, keep your cool. Do not engage in an argument or you lose, Mommy.

“What your friends do is irrelevant to what YOU do. How I raise you has nothing to do with how other parents’ raise their kids. Also, how many of your friends get straight A’s?”

He gave me a few names plus more of his friends who are trying to raise their grades to get the coveted straight A report card.

I asked, “How many of those kids get to play video games during the week?”

He thought about it and said, “I don’t really know. I didn’t ask.”

“ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS? ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS?” I asked in true Sheldon fashion from The Big Bang Theory. “ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS get to play video games all week?”

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Source: Google

He smiled.

I added, “By the way, never start off saying ‘All of MY friends…’ because I can always find one of your friends who doesn’t.”

Such is the curse for having a teacher for a Mommy.

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Day 4: Pushing limits

Today I scrubbed the kitchen island countertop and purged boxes of my teaching history.

The kitchen is eighty percent decluttered. The top cupboards and pantry are done. I have the bottom cupboards and under the sink to figure out. I also would like to revisit the junk drawers and put away or donate all of minor random things once and for all.

I went through several boxes of teaching. I kept a few books on education that I enjoy reading, in and out of the classroom. I set aside primary, phonics, and ESL books for another friend who teaches second grade. More stuff is scattered throughout the house and will soon be given a new home in a couple of classrooms, finally getting used and helping children learn.

I don’t know why I thought I should give away most of my things. I think I just didn’t want to feel tied down to them. I wanted to stop waiting for a job and to give all of these wonderful resources a new label other than “stuff in my garage”.

If there is anything that I know for sure, it’s whatever you let go into the universe it will come back to you ten-fold. Call it karma, optimism, whatever you want. When you let go of something whether it’s money or negativity, or in my case, teacher supplies, you will be rewarded exponentially. Now I’m not saying declare bankruptcy and you’ll win the lottery. I’m just saying when you quit worrying and focus on more positive thoughts and actions, the more you’ll notice the positive things in life. Maybe some of my stuff wasn’t effective for ME but that doesn’t mean that someone won’t find it useful.

My daughter A pushed her limits today in gymnastics and learned a new skill on the bar. She was the first in her class to do a reverse pullover. I don’t even know if that’s the right phrase. All I know is that when she’s holding herself up above the bar, she can swing herself all the way around, legs first. Whoa, right?

My son M pushed his limits with his video games tonight. I allow video games during the week but only if homework is done. He finished early because he’s gotten wiser about time management. Unfortunately there’s some rule about “saving” his place in his game where the enemy has to be defeated, the level has to be completed, the stars have to be aligned, whatever. It took him fifty minutes to save a game. All of our commute home from the gymnastics studio and then some!

Fifty minutes! That’s absolutely ridiculous. He was pretty upset that I yelled at him but I don’t apologize at all for being a hard-ass. Not at all. Had he been reading he would have put a bookmarker in his book and went about his bedtime routine. As I put him to bed, I told him that he needed to come up with a solution so that this doesn’t happen again.

Do your children have video games and if so, how much do you allow them to play? Do you have different rules for summer or the weekends?

Also how much do you emphasize school and homework? How do you work with your child’s teacher?

Oops, snuck in child-rearing questions but this is the week of everything. Do you have clutter in your home? How do you get rid of it? What do you consider clutter?

There you have it: stayed off Facebook for a solid week, Zumba-d my ass off for an hour (no, wait… it’s still there), cleaned the countertops, purged teaching clutter, saw my daughter push herself beyond her limits, and am helping my son define his.

Also noteworthy: had Rubios for dinner (first time going out to eat in a week, yay!) and said no to a drink at a Starbucks-like franchise called It’s A Grind. That last one took strength because it was so hot this afternoon, my friends had delicious icy caffeinated beverages in their hands, AND even offered to buy me a coffee!

Have I reached my limits yet?