Confessions of an Involuntary Homeschool Teacher
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
312. That's the number of times I said the word stop today. I think I'm losing my sh!+ here. Being a home school mom isn't my jam. I quickly learned this after two failed login attempts, a half baked e-learning course, and 22 meltdowns from my 10-year-old son who refuses to even sit in front of the computer.
What is this world coming to? Oh, I forgot, Coronavirus. This pandemic is really putting a damper on my mom of the year award. Before this, I was the mom sending cookies to school, birthday cards for the teachers, and even volunteering. Today, I am the mom that dreads leaving the bed. Just the idea of being solely responsible for my kids' entire education leaves me anxious.
My phone rang at 9 am this morning, it was my son's teacher. "Hello, Ms. Bautista, how are things at home"? She cheerfully asked as if she just returned from a kid-free vacation in the Bahamas, sipping margaritas on a white sand beach with the waves crashing against the boulders, seashells glistening against the sun. Okay, maybe that was a little overboard, but that's how I felt. My response, however, was filled with stress and confusion. "Do you think the schools will open up soon"? I asked, hoping she'd provide a glimmer of hope to this desperate mom. "Unfortunately, it's not looking so great. We really miss our kids," she went on, "I miss them so much." I proceeded to put her on speakerphone so my son (Junior) could hear her. Maybe this will persuade him to complete his schoolwork, I thought to myself. That did not work out the way I planned. Junior started crying, "I miss Ms. Jackson and my school." Junior is 10 years old, he has Autism and ADHD. I'm sure you can imagine how easy it is trying to get him to sit still in front of a computer for hours, not. <Insert Eyeroll> Did I mention, I also have a seven and a five-year-old.
S.O.S.! Or whatever moms say to get the village to bring wine and snacks. I need a break, a massage, a root touch up, and an iced coffee. My first world problems are showing again, aren't they? My hats off to those homeschooling moms that spend every waking moment with their child, planning lessons, and conducting nature walks. That just isn't me. I like working, adult interaction, and quiet time. How will I survive these next few weeks? I guess I'd better put on my big girl panties and get over myself.
Wait, it's only been two days? I'm fine. It's fine. I printed a schedule last night and pre-portioned snacks. I can do this. Besides, these are my kids. I'm the mom, they will do what I say, right? It's 10:30 am, and everyone's quiet. Yes, I knew it! If I just buckled down, things would turn out for the better. My kids are actually behaving. Wait… What's that smell? Is that fingernail polish? I ran up the stairs as fast as I could, but it was too late. I couldn't save them.
My five-year-old rushed out of my daughters' room, grinning ear to ear. Look, mommy, Tylynn gave me a makeover. His nails were pink, his toes were green, and the carpet, my precious carpet, had a beautiful rainbow painted deep into its woven innocence. I give up. I was going to yell, but for what? That won't change anything. I picked up the empty fingernail polish containers from the ground, threw it in the trash and went into my room. Tears filled my eyes as I sobbed. It was from Sally Hansen. I'm tired, and I'm failing. I pride myself on being able to do it all, but sometimes, I can't. I need a break.
I'm going into this day with no expectations. Same pajamas as day one. I'm not sure if that rancid smell is coming from me or the overfilled kitchen trash can. Today's meals will include cereal, frozen pizza, and Marie Callender's Pot Pies. I'm exhausted, and there seems to be no light at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel. Will I survive? Will my kids survive? We'll find out on the next episode of As the World Turns. Yep, I think I'm officially losing my mind. "Alright, kids time for school!" I belted up the stairs as the kids groaned and whined about how mean I was. Today's lesson, math. Okay, I've got this. I am a well-educated woman with two college degrees…What the hell is an additive inverse, dot plot, and dilation? Well, I know what dilation is I have three kids. But, I don't think this is that. Can someone send a math tutor, that doubles as a nanny?
You know, this pandemic may have a silver lining. I'm not sure I've discovered it yet. But, after being quarantined by the government, I've spent this time reevaluating my life's choices. I want to be a better mom, wife, and friend. I have committed to eating healthier, spending more time learning about my kids, and staying thoroughly involved with their education once they're back in school. Wait, what's that you say? They may not be returning for the rest of the school year? <Throws Journal> Will no one save me from the depths of despair? No one? If anyone needs me, I'll be in a dark corner rocking back and forth sobbing, with a mouth full of sour gummy worms.