Monday, September 04, 2006

A Back to School Comment About Children Told To Me

Yesterday at a family reunion a relative who is in her 30s who works as a public school teacher with two boys in elementary school made the following proclamation:

“I am so done. I spent six weeks with my two boys and that is enough. I did my six weeks. I went back to work last week, and my kids start school after Labor Day. It was so great to go back to work, I am so happy to be back that I am not even complaining about the usual work stuff or that the town I work for started school before Labor Day.”

She then went on to tell how rough it was to spend six weeks with her children, that it was so hard home with them during the day instead of her being off working and her children being off at school and in after school day care. She went on and on with complaints and negative statements about her experiences with them this summer.

I sat silently and listened along with everyone else. I did feel like retorting, “I have my boys for 52 weeks a year” but decided to just keep my mouth shut.

One thing that I did think was “Six weeks is a torture? Six weeks?”

One reason I kept quiet is that I don’t feel that we are in the same place, meaning I don’t feel that the time with my children is a torture to be escaped from and that six weeks is some horrible long amount of time to be with my kids. I didn’t want my comment to come off sounding like I was complaining that I choose to be with my kids so much to homeschool them.

The second reason is that I didn’t want to compare my life to hers; I didn’t want to come off as my choices and my life being superior to hers, or her being wrong about her life and me being right or something like that.

Thirdly, I didn’t want to have anyone think there was a comparison thing going on such as the reason she was burned out of being with her children was because they are monsters and mine are angels, as that is not true.

So I sat quietly and listened to her go on and on with complaints about spending time with her kids this summer. Note that they were only in a part-time sport camp one week and they did take family vacations some other weeks but spent most of the summer relaxing at home and playing and swimming in their in-ground pool. Everyone else kept quiet too.

I am not going to make judgmental statements about this thing that was said by my relative. I was just dumbfounded and still am surprised that anyone could think that being a mother at home to two children for six weeks during the summer is too much and undesirable. It is just so foreign to me that I can’t relate to her statement at all.

I also continue to be a bit confused as to the number of teachers who tell me that they love their job and love working as a teacher yet have such a hard time being with their own children and even go so far as to speak of time spent with their own children as unpleasant if not torturous. My assumption would be that if they love to be with other people’s children so much would they not love even more, to be around their very own offspring?

Even more confusing to me is those women who chose professions that deal with pregnancy, birth, parenting, or working with children yet openly state that they dislike children to such an extent that they have chosen to never bear their own children. But that is something else entirely to ponder, although I really would love some insight to explain that circumstance, if you have some thoughts about that, please share them with me!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , .

No comments: