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Everyone on the bus


January 03, 2018

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Arriving back to the office after grabbing lunch, I receive a phone call from the elementary school Principle about my son and a scuffle on the bus. This leads to bus suspension for a couple of days. I’m fumbling in my purse for keys and my shoulder holds the phone to my ear, “Yes sir. Have you discussed this with both boys? I understand you can’t give me that info….Yes, I have talked with him about self-control. I will definitely be talking with him tonight…..I’ll figure it out….yes, thank you.”

End call. Get keys in the door. Phone rings. The school again. Assistant principal.

“Hello Ms. Emberton…..I have your daughter in my office…….”

At this point, I just stand there, listen, repeat.

 “Yes ma’am. We’ve discussed self-control……”

 I feel as if I’ve been sent to the principal’s office twice in one day! I feel isolated and disappointed, and not just in my children but myself.

Everyone with children has their own struggle. The parent that has the child never in trouble may be worried about social skills. There is a parent that is battling with dyslexia and one that can’t control a child’s anger. There are the parents that deal with a variety of School IEP’s and 504 plans (myself being one of those). Let it comfort you that we are all on this bus together. When other parents look like superheroes and everything is perfect. Trust me, it’s not.

Fifteen years ago I would have never admitted that I might not have clear thinking, be unorganized or forgetful. I am no longer in denial and the freedom this has given me is tremendous. News flash: I’m not perfect and there is no need to stress that I mess things up! I honestly thought I shouldn’t make mistakes, and if I did, I was heartbroken. It would cripple me with embarrassment and hurt my pride. Then I had children and huge amounts of humble pie.

Kids, job, bills, family; with all of these things to juggle, there should be no expectation that your child is going to have their hair brushed every day, your 2-year-old have his shirt tucked in, and if her binkie goes into her mouth after touching a germ ridden surface…..really….she will be OK.

It does seem overwhelming when one thing gets added to the chaos, especially when you’re seeing a glimmer of hope for relaxation. For instance, you’ve just finished cleaning the entire kitchen and feeling a little better about the state of the house when, wait…..what is that? The sound of the cat throwing up in the next room? Sigh. Everyone else is too grossed out to clean up…..onward Mom with the least amount of gag reflex. This endeavor is minor! Nothing compared to being pooped on, vomited on and stepped on by your own offspring. You are hardcore. You got this.

It is crazy to think we can control our children and our environment. We can set parameters, create boundaries and model behavior, but can’t control an outcome! We do our best to love and make decisions; and the outcome usually is not what we envisioned in our head. Sometimes it’s much better! Sometimes it’s not.

Don’t let the chaos run your story by engaging in isolating thoughts. Get honest about your reality and reduce expectations. Make the best decision you can make with the information you have today and let go. Wait. Let life unfold rather than manipulate it. Do not assume you know what will happen in the future; there are forces going on that are beyond our thoughts and control.

The things we can control? Faith, attitude and expecting promising things for your life and family. The chaos hates contentment so get content with your chaos. It is temporary and before you know it, you won’t have to clean anymore bottles or sippy cups. A new phase begins. And most of all, there is not one parent out there without a struggle……we are all on this bus — or getting kicked off — together !

 


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