When I first knew about unschooling, I imagined, and found on the internet, mothers who were full of JOY and RAINBOWS and FAIRY DUST. And even if that’s not really accurate, that’s how I viewed them. They were goddesses and they were DOING it.
I on the other hand, was not.
I was here, in my house, grinding. And not in a good way.
I was still the same me. I was still grumpy, I was still not great on a lack of sleep. I was still fussy, and impatient, and I still hated that my son woke up the baby all the fucking time.
Heaping shame, for not really being a total fraud at this unschooling thing, on top of it all, meant I sunk deeper and deeper into this abyss I created for myself. I believed I was scarring my children for life; they were going to grow up thinking that they were worthless because their mother was grumpy. Unschooling was meant to produce kids who didn’t need to recover from their childhoods. Another thing I was failing at.
I basically hibernated for 18months. I spent a lot of time in bed. The kids watched a lot of television. We often didn’t leave the house for any kind of exercise even though sitting on the beach in the sun is my happy place. Getting up to the beach, a short 200 metre walk felt like hiking the Heaphy Track. I often couldn’t do it.
Bit by bit, we’ve come back. Taking gluten out of my diet has helped A LOT. In fact, I now feel it as soon as I’ve eaten some. The same scratchy, uncontrollable, irrational, grumpiness starts to seep in. It honestly feels like I’ve lost my grip on reality. I cannot believe I lived with that feeling for so long.
Reading autobiographies helped. A lot of people are crazy – I was not alone!! Going to a homeopath helped. Going to therapy helped. Therapy helped me find compassion for myself. Helped me identify when I felt comfortable and how awesome it would be to walk through life like that.
Writing my blog trudykessels.nz helped. It helped that I could voice my opinions, swear, make people laugh, and that people valued it. Writing has always been a kind of meditation for me. I’m a much nicer person when I’m writing. Reading the book Beyond Civilisation by Daniel Quinn helped me see how I could develop my life into a more tribal, more connected way of living. It gave me hope.
The point of this blog is to lower the bar. WAAAAAAY down. It’s so that mothers everywhere can read it and think, oh thank FUCK I’m not the only one. It’s so that they can read it and find some compassion for themselves. It’s so that they can read it and maybe come a step closer to finding their comfortable place of acceptance. And then extend that to their children.
No Mary Poppins here. Just me. And you. And our kids.