I wrote “The Truth” on my old blog, the one I started as a barely-married person and wrote on until my children leeched out all my creative thoughts and all that was left was sappy mommy stuff and pictures of babies and toddlers that no one finds entertaining except sometimes the offending blog-poster. That post was a turning point in my parenting, I was sure. And then it became my last post ever (with the exception of a “Christmas Card” post for the sake of honestly representing my old blog space). As it turns out it wasn’t actually a turning point in my parenting and instead of admitting that to my small public I just got pregnant and had another kid and made my brain even mushier and the parenting struggles exponentially harder. To be fair, I was sufficiently warned about what a third kid does to a family, but 3 kids 4 and under, well, just look at the emoji options on your phone and apply every single one of them to every single day multiplied by every single child in your household and go ahead and divide the happy ones in half for yourself and multiply the angry ones by at least as many kids as you have and there you have it!
My youngest is 3 now. As of yesterday my two boys, now 7 and 5, are both in school for at least 12 hours a week. Today I became officially free from the temporary ideals of homeschool and their less than ideal Vellinga-style application. It was bittersweet, because despite all the pains and troubles and complications and emojis, I love my kids and love spending time with them (I know! I even surprised myself with that one!).
And you know what? I felt a little bit of my old self come back with that freedom. I still don’t all the way know what I like to do for fun, or feel like going out even when I have the opportunity to because it takes so much energy to have fun when you’ve spent all day sweeping crumbs and wiping pee off the toilet lids and breaking up kid arguments over every dumb thing in the world. But hey, to feel like writing again, to feel thoughts in my brain? It’s a start.
So the truth of this moment is that while I am a little sad over our ‘failed’ attempt at homeschool (which I will probably relabel once I feel like processing all my thoughts and feelings on it), for now I will sit in my quiet, sunny, and now empty school room and celebrate making a space for myself. And celebrate what real parenting means to me, one booger wiped on the table, one potty accident on the carpet, one tackle-hug, one Pokemon episode, one peanut butter sandwich, one carpool ride, one bedtime story, one scary dream snuggle, and one choice at a time.