For the longest time as a teacher, I believed mathematics was mostly about the solution. I’ve always been one to appreciate the fact that most of the time there’s only one right answer, but there are a variety of paths a student can take to get to it. I must admit I didn’t always care about the path they took as much as I did about the final answer. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate more about mathematics as I walk into my 7th year of teaching is the actual process of doing mathematics. My students get so caught up with ‘did I get the right answer’ that they miss the beauty of the thought process they just went through. From experiences I’ve had in Math for America SD & other professional developments aligned with the fairly newly adopted Common Core Standards, I have learned to appreciate the productive struggle that mathematics sometimes provides in order to tap into different ways of thinking. I’ve probably lost some of my readers at this point, but please keep reading. I promise I have a point!
I think back to some of my favorite classroom discussions with my students and how the beauty of their thinking derived so much understanding whether or not they got the right answer. Often times I, myself, am exposed to another way of thinking from my students & I am further able to do the mathematics. What I’ve come to enjoy as a math teacher is more of the actual mathematical thinking and less of the final answer, because sometimes that’s what it’s all about! It’s not about getting it right. It’s about productively (and sometimes unproductively) allowing yourself to struggle toward the solution while making mistakes that grow your brain. As an educator I feel it is more my responsibility to place value on the thinking than it is to place it on the solution.
And so the question is: Why is the title of this post “Bad Moms?”
Well, I’m glad you asked :). Tonight I went to see a movie that I was counting on for a good laugh. Yes, it was a little… Ok A LOT raunchy, but I indulged a little bit. #noApologies After watching the movie, I sit and wonder if there’s actually any mom out there that believes they’re doing motherhood perfectly. For some reason in my mind I started to draw parallels between my role as a mom & the role I ask my students to assume when they’re in my classroom. Often times I find myself so consumed with getting this thing called motherhood right, that I don’t even know what the heck that means. What is the “solution” to motherhood?! Like ok… so when you’re a kid you know that your ultimate (I use this word lightly) goal is to graduate high school & go to college (maybe). I’m only speaking from the perspective of my reality right now, so continue to go with me here… Ok, so I’ve graduated college & I go do more schooling because I know I want to be a teacher and that’s what’s required of me. So then I finish that schooling, apply for jobs & eventually land a job. In the midst of that I meet a guy, choose to love this guy for the rest of my life, get married & pursue this thing called life. In the midst of that, we conceive a child… and another one… and now what?
This is what I’ve been living for, right? I’m working my dream career while settling down with the love of my life and raising two chocolate babies. In my opinion, success is measurable in the area of my career and even in my relationship with my husband but when it comes to how I’m doing as a mother how do I measure my success. Tonight the movie suggested that we’re all bad moms. Not any one of us has it right, and I choose to agree with that to an extent. I haven’t spoken to my mom about this at all, but I imagine she is just now beginning to feel some type of ‘success’ as a mom. She can look at the three kids that she raised and say confidently, “I did alright.” I, having grown up in her household, would never ever say that she was a bad mom. In fact, I saw a woman of strength who loved us unconditionally & did everything in her willpower to honor God in the way that she and my dad parented us! I’m grateful for the childhood that I had & I love my mom for who she was, is and will be in my life as my momma!
And so I think about this thing called motherhood, and I look around at the mommas in my circle of friends to see that we all wear motherhood differently and that’s ok. So much of the time I find myself looking to my left and looking to my right for affirmation that I’m doing the right things as a mother, only to find that I’m dropping the ball in some area or another but here’s the thing… It’s not about that! It’s about the productive struggle of figuring out who is the mom God has called me to be to the children he has handpicked me to be the momma of! “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” So I choose to be present, because I know that He chose me to be the mother to Theophilus Patrick & Uriah Beau, and so instead of looking left and right I choose to look up. I don’t know that there is a solution to motherhood, but I do know that as I make mistakes and grow through them God is going to bring about success. And so if I can encourage any other mommas out there you do you while acknowledging where your strength comes from! Shoot, I’m really trying to encourage myself!!! XOXO!
“I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
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