Even after all these years, I still find myself getting my feelings hurt when someone - a parent or a teacher, even a colleague, thinks that I made a decision without considering all possibilities - all angles - and all of the individuals involved. I’m not sure why, but I get prickly when I think that the people I work with and for don’t trust me to make the right call. Today I was reminded how silly it is to react that way. Today I was reminded that there isn’t a parent around who doesn’t second-guess himself. There isn’t a mom who doesn’t say, “I should have handled that differently” or “I made a mess of that situation.” Mothers and fathers of younger children wonder all the time, “Am I doing this right? Do other people see that I am uncertain? Can they tell that we disagree on almost every approach we take to disciplining our kids?” Parents of teenagers prefer to act like they’ve got the whole thing figured out - until they realize they haven’t. As a parent of adult children, I still wonder what I could have done differently that would have made a difference in the lives of my children and grandchildren now. So, if we don’t completely trust ourselves to get it right all the time, of course we will express doubt about the decisions others make, especially the decisions that affect our children.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we are all stumbling around in the dark here, but sometimes that’s just what we’re doing. We really don’t know if we’ve made the right calls, said the right things, focused on the important issues until after the fact. At that point we can decide to beat ourselves over the head because we went wrong, or we can decide to do our best not to repeat that mistake or some version of it in the future.
Teachers and principals are not in this business to judge parents. We are in the business of teaching kids and partnering with parents. Parents get to decide how to raise their own children, and they get to decide if and when to ask for help. We can only offer to be available.(and most of the time we can actually help.) Moms and dads who are struggling with children who are a challenge and make poor decisions don’t need the rest of us to talk about what they should have done or should do in the future. They need friends who will listen to them, cry with them, and remind them of all the good, hard work they are doing to raise their kids. They need friends who aren’t afraid to share the stories of all the messes they’ve made. They need friends who will pray with and for them when times are tough.
I’ll probably never stop getting my feelings hurt when people question my decisions, but I can keep trying to remember that the life of a parent is rife with laughter and tears, joys and heartaches, triumph and doubt. That’s the nature of this business. I once heard someone describe teaching as “Good work, hard work, important work, holy work.” That’s what parenting is! “Good work, hard work, important work, holy work.”
Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re wise.
All Lourdes volunteers are invited to join us on May 23 at 8:30 am in the school cafeteria for the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. We will celebrate the 2017-18 school year and all the amazing volunteer efforts which made it such a joy-filled and successful one.
Please RSVP to Michela Donohue at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
Dates to Remember:
May 2 Holy Family Hospital Drive begins
Filming for ASCD in PreK and K classrooms
3 Grades 2 & 4 Testing
4 First Holy Communion Preparation, 8:30 - 11:30am
Grades 3 & 5 Testing
STAR WARS TAG DAY AND BAKE SALE. SEE FLYER FOR INSTRUCTIONS. ALL BAKE SALE ITEMS 50 CENTS
5 First Holy Communion, 10:00am
7 Grades 6 & 7 Testing
8 Grades 1 & 3 testing
Band and Choir Concert, 7:00pm
9 Grades 2 & 4 Testing
Progress Reports online
10 Muffins for Moms and May Procession, 8:45am
11 Grades 4 & 5 to John Paul II Center
Mass at noon
14 Inclusion Symposium begins
15 Inclusion Symposium continues until 4:30pm
16 Eighth grade to Patrol Picnic
17 Sixth grade to Forensics Lab
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.