Dilemmas

Some days are good, some are bad, some are happy, some are sad, and some are just ridiculously over the top frustrating you don’t know what in the world to do next.

Last week seemed to be filled with days described last.

So frustrating.

Barely any school got finished and what did get done, was usually done with yelling and tears. Honest to God, you would’ve thought I was telling Paige that I was forcing her to write a 10000 page report, instead of a few simple workbook pages. Heaven forbid that math get done (we are now behind where I’d like to be by about 8 lessons *sigh*).

Zoe has been insisting that she needs to be the center of attention, so that has been a hindrance. She’s at that age where everything within grasp is worthy of going directly into her mouth. And no matter how many safe things you give her, she’s going after everything else. Pencils, yarn, crayons, paper, hair…

It’s funny, my most difficult child was actually the best. I guess the yelling did have one child paying attention.

Except, I don’t want to be that mom that’s constantly yelling.

Nor do I want school work to be such a battle that the girls end up hating learning.

I’ve made Paige’s lessons short. If she actually does the work in a timely manner, she can be done in about 2 hours (and I don’t mind her breaking it up, just as long as it gets done). And in fact, those are only the days that I have to do her science with her. The other two days should take about 1 to 1.5 hours.

But what actually happens is that she struggles to stay on task and school can take all day (and often ends up running over to the next day). I have us on a 4 day a week schedule, so that’s usually not a big deal. Unfortunately, we’ve had a few busy weeks in a row and now I feel like we’re rushing to catch-up before I ship them off to Camp Oma’s House for 10 days.

I get SO annoyed when she just can’t do her lessons. It just kills me to see her screw around and miss questions when I KNOW she knows the material.

And maybe that’s the issue. I feel like she needs to go through what I’ve (we’ve) picked out for this year and I’m hesitant to push her ahead another year, but I’m also wondering if she isn’t just ridiculously bored because she either knows the material already or is picking it up so quickly that she needs to be challenged more.

When I sit and enter her math in for her (she’s usually dancing around the kitchen), she gets 95% of the questions correct. When I make her do it herself, that drops to 80% or even lower.

PART OF THE REASON I CHOSE THE MATH THAT I DID WAS SO I DIDN’T HAVE TO SIT WITH HER TO DO IT! Trying to work on a computer with a 7 month old is a fruitless endeavor.

I’d do it during Zoe & Kira’s nap, but Paige still needs that time to lay down and quite frankly, I need that break from the kids.

How do you judge what level your child needs to be in?

How do you know when it’s time to just give up on your plans?

What would you do in this situation?

Honestly, as frustrated as I can get, I’m happy I can homeschool her because I can only imagine the amount of trouble she would be in on a daily basis. Her school is never done while sitting, she’s either standing or laying down and CONSTANTLY moving. And we have a saying in our house “in goes air, out goes noise”. Paige has to be constantly talking or singing.

I’ve read threads about what others do, I’ve tried different approaches…I just don’t know where to go from here.

I also want to respect wishes about how my husband wants her to be schooled (which means no unschooling or montessori methods).

I know it will get easier as the younger ones get older and can entertain themselves (well, when Zoe gets older. Kira is surprisingly independent and will join us and do some of her books or read and play by herself all day), but I don’t want Paige to suffer in the meantime.

I want school to be fun, I want her to WANT to learn. I wish I knew what I needed to do to accomplish this.

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What is beauty?

As a young girl, beauty was a way to describe the world around. Flowers, trees, butterflies…they were all beautiful. But people? That was different.

I grew up believing that to be beautiful was to be thin. Anything bigger than a size 8 was ugly, bad, gross.

My mom certainly didn’t push this idea on me. So where did it come from? Books, magazines, doctors, family, friends, classmates…

You get where this is going?

I’m not thin. I’ve never even been close. Growing up, I was always the fat girl. I may not have been the biggest, but I sure felt like it. I was constantly made fun of, bullied, traumatized. Clothes never looked good…in fact, it was horrible shopping for anything.

I was on diet after diet from middle school on. And nothing worked. I’d lose a few pounds, but then gain way more back. In an effort to be beautiful, I starved myself. To attempt to fit in, I exercised myself into exhaustion.

I feel (sometimes) like finding someone who loves me for who I am was a complete fluke. As if I don’t deserve love because I’m a size measured in double digits.

I know (logically) that beauty isn’t measured by your dress size, or by the way you wear your hair, or by the clothes you wear. I don’t judge others for how they look…so why do I find it so difficult for me to feel beautiful?

Honestly, I feel frumpy. Disgusting. FAT.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve lost a significant amount of weight and should be proud of that fact. Or that I’ve had 3 children and it’s going to take a while to get my body back. I feel like whenever I go out, all eyes are on me and judging my decisions. Like I shouldn’t be eating out or shopping for new clothes.

“Geez, did you see what she ate? Have a salad you cow”

Are people actually thinking these thoughts? I HIGHLY doubt it. And I definitely DON’T think like that when I see other people. Why is this so engrained in how I think of myself?

My definition of beauty needs to be amended. Maybe I don’t think I’m beautiful when I wear a dress, but my kids think I am. Maybe I feel frumpy when I wear an outfit that looks cute, but my friends think it looks great on me. Maybe I need to stop judging myself and listen to others.

But it’s difficult to reprogram 30 years of thinking.

“You have a pretty face, but you would be beautiful if you lost “x” amount of weight” ~ said by a doctor.

I’m healthy. I work out anywhere from 5 to 15 hours a week (depending on our activity levels). I eat pretty well. I don’t smell, I’m not a drain on society. But I just can’t feel good about myself because I’m constantly being told that fat is, in fact, NOT beautiful.

It’s all me. All in my head.

“Beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.”

If only I could be comfortable being me. If only I could accept that God made me this way. If only I could feel like I’m enough. If only I could feel truly beautiful for once.

If only.