Once you become a parent, your life changes in a myriad of ways. You no longer become the centre of your own universe. From the moment you hold your child in your arms, you know that now there exists another life that matters more than your own life. At the most basic level this is our expressed desire, our inherent need to keep our race going. We believe in humanity and we want to thrive and flourish. Protecting our young is the most important thing we can do as humans.
Our parental love is being tested now as parents feel varying levels of fear as the school term draws near. The mounting pressure to get them back to school from our own needs to go to work, to the kids needs to regain normality in their lives; the fear of sending them into a place with so many other people, that could make them vulnerable; the fear of the “new measures” that will be put in place and how it will effect them; the fear that something might happen to them, is overwhelming, but the push to send them back to their school life is also strong.
All through my life as a mother I have felt the conflicts of societal pressures and my own values. Society strongly suggested I should push my children to study hard, get good grades, go to college, get more good grades, go to uni, get a degree, so that they can get a good job, buy a nice house and get a good deal on a mortgage. We have been taught that these things will bring happiness and security to ourselves and our children. And to some extent this is true. Having a well paid, respected career is a good thing to want for them, but we also need to teach them that there should be a balance between working and living. Too often the corporate based careers bring long hours, long commutes, siting at a desk for hours at a time, all with a huge helping of work related stress. Perhaps it was my own childhood experience of my dad working long hours in the city, and seeing what the stress of giving us a lovely home in a nice place did to his health, that made me not choose that path myself, or want it for my children. I didn’t push them to get good grades. Of course I encouraged them to study and do their school work, but we also really encouraged them to play sport, and to have full social lives. Their school life from my perspective was much more about an education in relationships and people, through making lifelong friendships and developing team fellowship.
They got good grades; not top of the class, but they both did well. They both tried college but neither chose to remain in education longer than a year after leaving school. They both have non-corporate based careers that make them happy without undue stress, loving partners, and great friends.
I should say how blessed I feel that my children are no longer school age, and becoming a grandmother is still hopefully part of my future, so I do not have the fear that parents are facing today.
But I would like to send you a message, that I hope might bring a little strength to parents of school children right now. Remember that no-one cares about your children like you do. Not a teacher, a doctor or a politician. These people are there to do a job; to deliver whichever curriculum, prescription or agenda they are imbued with the task of giving. They maybe the nicest of people with the best intentions, but they are not you, and they were not there the moment you first held your child in your arms. Only you know what is best for your child, and that decision must come from your heart. If any decision you make doesn’t feel right, or brings with it a sense of unease, then listen to your heart and change it. Your children are connected to you; only you know what is the best for them.
I wish you good health, clarity and calm and most of all love ❤