The kids and I are in love with one another – And Minecraft

Homeschooling, I am blessed, My kids, Parenting, Unschooling

I learned a new favorite saying from my friend and fellow veteran, unschooling/ homeschooling mom, Heidi:
“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow”

Along with “My hands are full but my heart is overflowing.” (thanks Maggie Mackay)

These two saying are basically my mothering style. I mess this up but this is the goal.

And yes, I’m feeling pretty emotional today because I’ve realized, my children have been at home with me 24/7 for 14 weeks and I have gotten over the hump. The only way I can explain what “hump” I mean is we’ve all had kids home all summer long and at the end of the summer you are so ready to be away from your kids. You are arguing, not getting along, etc. You are simply counting own the days to be separate from one another.  Well, with homeschooling, for me, I got to that point but didn’t send them to school and our relationships suffered, no learning was happening, and everyone was miserable.

This new approach to parenting and homeschooling has given me back my relationship with my kids. I don’t yell anymore! OK – I have a few times the last several weeks but this is a GREAT improvement to where we were.  They are not throwing fits. We are having fun together again. I am reveling in their joys, new explorations, hobbies and interests. They are my little BFF’s. I’m still their mother – make no mistake about that – but we are also happy to spend the day together.

Only if you walked this journey with me could you fully understand what I’m saying. Of course, I’ve always loved my children and they’ve always loved me.  I would have died for them at any stage of this process.  But, we have falling in love all over again with each other. I compare what happens to parents, (well what happened with ME, I can’t speak for others) is when you have that new baby it’s like a new boyfriend/girlfriend. You are so in love with them and find everything they do amazing. If they have a hobby or interest you learn to love it as well because if it brings your love joy, you love it.

Then you get married, the honeymoon phase is over, and you sort of get into a lull and your focus shifts just a bit. That football obsession you once thought was “cute” is now not quite so cool and gets in the way of the things you need him to do for YOU. You find yourself rolling your eyes when he excitedly talks about an amazing play he saw. Before long he no longer comes to you to share those moments because he feels you belittle it.

For my kids, this happened as well. Minecraft (right now) is their obsession. I didn’t know the first thing about this “silly” game.  I didn’t try to get it. But, after reading blogs, books, essays, and forums about unschooling/deschooling they ALL say the FIRST step is: “Just start enjoying life with your kids. If they are in to something GET INVOLVED IN IT WITH THEM. Don’t just allow them to play it, encourage it, play with them, help them find new information about this obsession, dive into it WITH THEM.” I took this to heart. I sat down with the kids one day as they were playing Minecraft and said, “Can I play with you guys?” They looked at me like I had grown three heads and then excitedly brought me a tablet and they talked over themselves trying to tell me what to do. We laughed together (well they laughed at me mostly 😉 ) and spent two hours on this “silly” game that I now LOVE! I get it now! And I didn’t play it with them with the “teacher” glasses. I just played it like a friend with them. OK, I can’t say I didn’t find myself every ONCE in a while thinking, “He just did math.” and then stopping myself. Just enjoy the game, the time, the laughter and the joy.

As soon as I post this blog I am going to join with my kids again. They are waiting patiently on either side of me laughing and talking and planning what they are doing. I can’t wait to join. The dishes are still in the sink and that’s so very OK with me.

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  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.