Sunday, July 31, 2011

Forty 40 Years!

According to the Jewish Calendar, exactly forty years and a couple of hours ago I became a mother.  I didn't write "for the first time," because once a mother, always a mother.

With the birth of my first child, my life changed forever.  All I had ever wanted to be was to be a mother.  I had never planned any other profession.  I expected my husband to provide all the financial resources we would need, just like my own father did.  That part of my dream was a mistake, and we'll always suffer for that, unless one of us manages to write a great book, best seller, to provide us with a comfortable income for the rest of our lives.

This may not be "pc" in this modern world, but I still think that there's nothing more important than being a mother.  What's the point of going through pregnancy and birth to give your child to others for raising and education?  No, I'm not promoting "home-schooling."  My first-born and I used to prepare for my parent-teacher conferences.  I knew what to say and ask each teacher.  By the time my younger ones were in school, I was a real professional... mother.  Yes, being a parent is a profession.  One of the things that made me want to leave teaching was that the parents weren't playing their role properly.  I even tried to get the school to invite the parents of remedial students for special parent-teacher get-togethers, so they'd learn how to help their children.  After sitting alone at my desk for hours waiting for parents who didn't come to talk to me, I knew that I was wasting my time.  I didn't even receive phone calls from parents who received letters that their sons were failing English.

A parent's role is to be an advocate for each child.  That doesn't mean to blindly support everything your child does.  It's to help your child and the "system" get along.

I've learned an awful lot in the past forty years.  In some ways being a mother is nothing like I had expected, and in some ways it has been even more wonderful than my dreams.

My five children are all very different. I love all five equally.

It's hard to believe that I've been a mother for forty years.  In my mind, I'm just a teenager...


Risa said...

Nicely put.
I have said it before and I will say it again:
You are 18 with 44 years experience!

Batya said...

thanks peter pan

Hadassa said...

One of my children was in a special ed class for about a year and a half and still needs extra help, which she gets. My husband went to one of the parent-teacher meetings without me and brought back some genuine gems (quotes) from parents in the group meeting. ("Sorry. I just don't have the patience." etc.) It's no wonder some of these kids are never re-integrated. Sad.

Batya said...

Hadassa, considering that there are genetic and environmental causes, no suprise that so few of the parents know how to work the system. Many others just give up, because it's "easier" than fighting.

Hadassa said...

I should have been more precise. The group meeting concerned what parents should be doing at home with their children. Some of the parents, and these are the parents that actually CAME to the parent-teacher conferences, didn't have the patience to do much of anything with their children, even when the staff gave specific advice. As you stated, schools don't function in a vacuum. I thought of that meeting when I read the sentence about parents not calling you even when their children were failing. The teachers at the school were wonderful, but if I hadn't worked, and continue to work, with my daughter at home, she never would have been re-integrated.

Batya said...

Yes, it it up the the parents, and being a parent is hard work. It's so sad/tragic that too many people think the point is to just keep having children and aren't up to the challenge of raising them.