Did I Do Enough?


As I sit here and watch them run in and out the house, make new friends in the neighborhood and fight like cats and dogs one minute then sit down and play with each other the next. I wonder, did I do enough? The first day of school is around the corner and as I reflect over our summer and start to evaluate the days that ran together to make the weeks that became the two months that encompassed our summer I wonder, did I do enough?

When we took our trip to granny’s house in Alabama did I capitalize on every educational experience? When grandma and grandpa came to visit did we experience personal growth and fulfill any of our family curriculum objectives? Did I allow too much screen time? Did we work on our reading as much as we could? Did we practice our letters and our math problems and learn the next level of self-care?

As I sit here and look at our children, winding down after a day of play, I don’t know if I have done enough. But what I do know is: he learned how to make up his bed. I know that when I shared how I get house work done by listening to music and set up his tablet with his favorite group on it he cleaned his own room no problem then volunteered to help with his sister’s and my room. I know she now sleeps all night in her own room without needing her brother to camp out on her bedroom floor. I know that she really enjoys cooking and having her “own ingredients”. I know that decorating the reading phones was a fun moment. I know we had a moment to talk about our faith while sitting on the balcony and observing the wind move the leaves on the trees and brush our skin. We connected as we observed the sun and the movement of the clouds. Then we colored. I know we are learning to sit at the table and say “may I be excused.”

*Sighing* did I do enough academic summer enrichment for this upcoming school year? I don’t know. What I do know is that I focused on filling their emotional cups so that they would have a sturdy emotional foundation to stand on. As Dr. Gary Chapman so insightfully pointed out in his book The Five Love Languages for Children, I do know that once their emotional tanks are filled it’s easier to discipline (which in my opinion means instruct, not necessarily only mean punish). I joined my husband on the journey of discovering all of our personality types so we could learn to better parent either the same or different personality type in our children.

So my fellow mothers and fathers as you anxiously send your little scholars into the next school year wondering if you did enough, I challenge you as I challenge myself in my reflective moment, look at all the good that you are doing and give yourself a proverbial pat on the back. In the areas you see that need improvement, get the right tools along the way for yourself and your children. No one person has all the answers. Remember it takes a village, and sometimes that village has to be hand-picked (tutors, sitters, neighbors, special education experts or programs, etc.), as most of us don’t live near our families of origin or may not have the support of them even if you live near them.

And now, my fellow parental units, go forth and Have A Great School Year!