Contributor Amida writes for Journey Into Unschooling.
After almost a decade of use, we finally chucked our old phones and upgraded to a new cordless set. It is nothing exceptional save for one new feature: the intercom. We live in a two story house and had spent many a time yelling up and down the stairs to whomever is on the other level.
Now, with this new phone, I jokingly remind the kids that, rather than screaming for someone to turn on the printer or come to dinner or what have you, they ought to find their “intercom” and speak calmly and in a more tolerable volume.
The funny thing is this little joke has leaked into other areas of our lives and has become a sort of motto: don’t stress, find your inner calm.
I am constantly reminded of the need to find my “intercom”, especially on those days when it seems the world is falling apart.
You know the ones: you’re late getting your kids to class and they can’t find their uniform/homework/socks. Or a tornado has somehow ended up passing through your youngest child’s room — again. Or your baby drops a banana on the floor and the dog gulps it down… only to throw it all up later. All this while you’re trying to remember how to do a basic geometry proof, review spelling rules, and decipher your six-year-old’s latest journal entry without insulting her attempt. And let’s not forget that the soy milk turned to curdle in your coffee that morning and catapulted you into the realm of Bad Day.
At some point in this scenario, I lose it and yell at the dog to stop barking and everyone else to just SHUSH for a minute. I mean really, can’t they see I’m just an ordinary mom without the super powers?
I didn’t even get to enjoy a decent cup of joe yet! After an especially trying moment (and ok, maybe I screamed just a little), my children, amused at this wreck of a mother, reminded me to stop stressing and to find my inner calm.
And you know what? It worked. I took my moment and put everything on pause. I stopped trying to do everything at once and tackled one thing at a time (barf first). The kids worked on something else until I had time to help them. One occupied the dog. One switched to a different subject. And the other just continued to happily fill pages with words she has learned.
Photo by kajsa
We all have these moments of frazzled chaos. It just comes with the territory of homeschooling/parenting.
The kids are going to do different things at different paces and sometimes, it just happens they all need something at the same time and you feel like a failure for not being able to be everywhere at once and wonder why you ever signed up for this gig in the first place.
It’s good to know that the kids — demanding though they may be — can actually be quite patient and forgiving (they are more than happy to forgo the spelling and play with the dog while mom de-stresses). We can always pause and take a breather.
It’s reassuring to know that right at that moment before the breaking point, I can look over to the mantel, where the phone is, and quietly remind myself to dial intercom. As for the curdled milk in coffee? I’m still searching for the answer…
How do you find your inner calm?