So….I’m a mummy whinger. I know it. I get tired, I get frustrated….and I whinge. I give you an insight into my ‘behind the scenes.’ I share with you when I get frustrated as a mum, as a teacher, as a woman.
But I need to ask you…….Have you met this woman?
This is Lisa Magill.
Have I met her? No.
Do I know her? No.
Has she impacted my life? Yes.
I whinge. I complain. I spend my PMT days being a complete sooky la la.
And then I discovered Terminally Fabulous. A FB page….and to say that she has given me a reality check is an UNDER STATEMENT!!!
Lisa is my age. She is gorgeous and young and full of life.
And Lisa is dying. She has terminal cancer and every few days I get an update in my FB notifications that makes me smile, makes me appreciate and makes me take a deep breath.
I read this amazing woman’s blog and I just sit in awe for hours afterwards. Every so often, after reading (or listening to) one of Lisa’s posts, I just stop and say, “Holy Crap, For God’s Sake!”
I am healthy. I have an amazing husband, two amazing (sometimes unbelievably frustrating) children and a beautiful house. I have a career that rewards me every (ok, maybe not every, but MOST!) day. I have all of this….and I whinge.
And then I hear from Lisa. Lisa is dying….not just sick, Lisa is dying. And she sees the goodness in the smallest things. She posts about getting a full night's sleep. She blogs about being able to go home from hospital, when yesterday she wasn’t sure that she would ever go home again. She does a video entry, laughing about how different she looks after taking the toxic, yet hopefully life saving medication that she has to take daily.
And it makes me stop.
Lisa, I think you are amazing. I think you are so unbelievably brave. I think you are the definition of strength.
You are inspiring me. Me, who is not sick. Me, who is sitting here with the world at her feet and still has the gall to complain. Me, who just listens to you in awe.
If you need a reality check, if you need to feel connection to an amazingly strong female…..or if you just want to read something that will make you appreciate what you have…..
Check in with Terminally Fabulous.
I don’t know her. She doesn’t know me.
Has she had an impact? Yes.
Am I a stronger woman, person, mother because of her? Yes.
Beautiful Woman, I can’t even imagine what you are dealing with, what you cope with everyday. But please, know that my life….no, my appreciation for life is huge and it’s growing…..
And it’s because of you.
I am a teacher.
And on most days I’d like to think I’m a pretty good one. I love my kids. I have a solid understanding of the curriculum. And a fairly decent understanding of how to best implement it. Do I know it all? Do any of us? Teaching is a constantly changing, fluid profession. I say that I have a solid understanding of the curriculum….a curriculum, that is, that has been changed constantly over the last few years and as a primary teacher, I don’t need to understand just one subject area, but ALL. Just when I get a handle on one, the next one is rolled out and my confidence, learning and trust in my ability to do the best job I can, is rocked once again. I love my job, I love my profession, I am passionate about the learning of my students. I am passionate about their little souls, personalities, social skills, emotions….the list goes on.
But I am also human.
And this week, on ABC’s The Drum, someone stood up for me. Jane Caro, who I have always loved for her disregard of others opinions of her and ability to speak exactly what she thinks, sat on a panel and stood up for the wellbeing and human traits of teachers all over Australia.
I have shit days. I have days when I have been up all night with a vomitting 7 year old. I have days when I have been coping with the death of a family member, a colleague or even a student. I have days where I have fought with my husband, my daughter, my self…..and I have sat amongst my class of 5 year olds and pretended that all is ok. I have given it my all. Because in a job like mine, your home life, your emotions, your frustrations and your grief cannot cross over into your classroom.
My job is too important.
Was my teaching as authentic and effective as it could have been on these days? No.
Was my temper a bit shorter, my patience a bit worn or my passion a bit lost? Yes.
Am I still a great teacher? I believe so.
I am all for the building of the teaching profession. Teaching standards….bring it on. I am yet to find a teacher who does not want to build their own capacity and be the absolute best they can possibly be. I am yet to find a teacher who is not passionate about the students that they teach and their academic, emotional and social outcomes.
But if society keeps blaming us, if you keep tearing us down, if you keep telling us what a terrible job we are doing, then, as Jane Caro stated in her impulsive, yet much needed tirade, you will “systematically destroy the morale of the teaching profession.”
I am a teacher and I am passionate about your child. I love my job. I love education. I love watching a child come in at the end of January knowing nothing and leave by December being able to read and write.
But I am also human and I have bad days, weeks….sometimes even months.
So stop judging, condemning, blaming…..and support me.
For my job is the most important.
I am a teacher.
I love my children. I do, I promise….but if one more person tells me how beautiful motherhood is, I’m going to scream. Every time I open my Facebook at the moment, I am bombarded with mothers who are so perfect, so calm and so serene…..
Sorry Lovely Ladies, I see through that.
I too, am grateful for my children. I too believe that I am truly blessed to have my two amazing kidlets. But tonight, I opened up yet another Facebook article and read…...and laughed. This article was all about how this woman has no desire to ever get back to her pre baby weight, as all that beautiful weight reminds her of how lucky she is to be a mum. How everytime she gazes lovingly down at her stretched little pouch tummy, she is reminded of how blessed she is and how much her life has been enriched by the presence of her four children. The accompanying photo is of her and her four children laying in the grass, complete with Instagram filter to haze them over and make them look like they are lying in the fields of heaven. They are all smiling and laughing and looking into each other’s eyes with adoration. OH PUH - LEASE! I was one of four....I've seen behind the scenes!
Then there was a reaction to Em Rusciano’s latest blog article - in which Rusciano wrote about how being a stay at home mum can SOMETIMES suck. This woman’s reaction article went on about how being a SAHM is the most beautiful experience she has ever had. How she appreciates and loves every moment.
I would like to say something and I would like to say it LOUD and CLEAR!
Stating that motherhood is hard, does NOT make you a bad mummy. Stating that you have had days where you wish you could...not actually, let’s be honest…..where you just did let them sit on Minecraft for a couple of hours so you could just get shit done does NOT make you a bad mummy!
And you know what…..call me selfish, vain or unappreciative….but I would love to have my flat pre baby tummy back. I would love to have the time to go to the gym or cook all organic, gluten free, vegan, paleo quinoa salad. I would love to actually have the energy to wake at 5 to do yoga on the back deck instead of waking at 5 to nightmares, drink requests or 7 year olds sneaking the iPad from my bed side table.
But I don’t and I can’t.
Do I regret having kids….God no! I love them and my hubby more than I ever thought I could possibly love anyone.
But is it hard…..God yes!
Is it tiring….Is that even a question?!
Do I ever wish I could get away…..on my own? Judge me...but yes, I do!
Would I change my life? Not a chance…..but I’m also not going to sit here fluffing over how draining it can be and pretending that my life is a series of highlights and positive thoughts.
Motherhood is hard and it doesn’t help anyone to pretend otherwise.