We are only in February and I am already experiencing huge anxiety because I feel like I have failed my child, and I think grade one is going to break me. My anxiety about this is making me a bit of a hot mess, as in sweaty.

Grade One and homework, who would have thought that you would cause me more anxiety than Jacob Zuma?

Grade One was so different when I started school, now the pressure is on. Everyone warned me. I thought I was prepared. It turns out, I wasn’t. Nothing can possibly prepare you for Grade One.

My friend Carly who blogs over at Mom Of Two Little Girls wrote a post yesterday that hit home for me about how she felt she’d let her daughter down . She’s also a first time Grade One mom.

I feel like I have failed my child, like I have let her down.

I didn’t prepare her enough in life skills. Things like being able to be more aware of how to take care of books and clothes. I should have been more present in getting her to push herself.

Whilst I want her to find her own individuality, I am struggling with things like making sure she ‘gets’ the basic etiquette and manners needed in everyday life.

I feel like I have failed her because I struggle just to get myself organised most days, nevermind the kids. I am hard on myself, I know this, but all I want is for her to be accepted for her own individuality and for her own unique outlook on life.

Unfortunately I believe that I have started projecting my own insecurities on to this little person. I have done so much wrong that I need to slowly build her up and make her see that she is awesome. She needs to learn that in life we need to practice at things sometimes, and that trying and not being good is okay but the key is to never give up.

I feel like I failed her because I am focusing on the negatives and maybe even comparing her to other children, which makes me mean and unfair.

What Do I Want?

I need her to know that I see her kindness, her uniqueness and that I do love her. I need her to know that I am so ridiculously proud of her.

This is something that I don’t do enough and when I do it, I need to make sure she hears me, I need to make sure she is looking into my eyes and realises that we all make mistakes we aren’t perfect but we need to try our best and be our best selves. She needs to know I accept her and love her the way she is.

I need to chill out

Toys will break. Things will get misplaced. She is just a child. She needs to know that nobody is perfect.

I need to step back and let her learn, to be there for her, to make sure that she is not scared to speak to me and that she knows that she can always tell me her secrets without the fear of me embarrassing her. I have the ability to find the humour in situations but need to realise that she is finding herself and that whilst I am an open book, she needs to be able to tell her own story. It is her story, she only need to be there to support her, not to tell her story for her.

I’m Trying

Here are a few of the things I do to try make it better for her:

  • I have a homework caddy, it has glue and scissors, magazines for cutting out, pens, lead pencils and colouring pencils. I plan on spoiling myself with an electric sharpener as life shouldn’t be that hard. The homework caddy is for homework and I state this as we have managed to dry up a glue. misplace copious amounts of stationery and it is only February.
  • Consistency in breaking down homework into edible chunks, for example whilst driving I try to ask engaging questions: “That car has four wheels and a trailer with two wheels, so how many wheels does it have altogether?”
  • I do not shout or tantrum. If her shoes are on the wrong way or can’t be found then we are either late for school or other shoes need to be worn. This will hopefully promote accountability from her side as well.
  • Accountability and responsibility need to be taken from all sides, not just mine.
  • We eat breakfast and then brush teeth before we change in our house, so as to prevent another toothpaste incident this year.
  • We have fun reading time; I love reading and I am so desperate for that love to follow through with both my girls and refer to the point above about not shouting.
  • Slowing down and becoming a fun mom again. I’m battling a bit with this one as it is easier said than done.

My Promise To Her

This past December I embarrassed her. After that she made me “pinky promise” to never speak about her toilet habits even with my family. I’m ashamed to admit that I do it, I embarrass her, and I don’t even try that hard. I don’t do it intentionally. I am just my loud brash self.

My flower child who lives in the fairies, I promise to do my best to step back. I promise to try not embarrass you too much. I promise to let you know that you are loved, even whilst we are both trying to figure out this new chapter and adventure in our lives.

It is important that I don’t project my insecurities on to her, and whilst I will try to make sure she isn’t bullied at school the way I was, I am not sad about it I am just fearful for her.