Aidan is a homebody. He does not take challenges, he would do anything to avoid them (doesn't play games or feign exhaustion when asked to do anything physical) and he likes to be the hermit in his own comfort zone. So, naturally, this trip has been a challenge for him sometimes, especially when he's tired or upset (specifically, iPad issues not going his way and he always act up when I make him do homeschooling assignments). He struggled the first few nights and it went away. Until two days ago. When I went into serious homeschooling mode, his homesickness came back with a full force and he was either resisting everything I asked him to do or offered to him or was in full blown tears, begging to go home. Two nights ago was awful, I turned to a specific group on FB asking if it would get easier. Some questions were asked and I mentioned that he say he misses different things such as his friends, his cats and his dad.
And before you know it, I became the evil mother who is very selfish for dragging (forcing) her sons to do this when it's her own dream. That I was ripping my sons apart from their dad, leading into a divorce lifestyle AND that my boys would be psychologically scarred for life needing therapy. Ultimately, some of them said the same thing, that I was damaging my sons' relationship with their own father just because I wanted to chase my dreams.
Talk about a major slap in my face and a total "look at the mirror" moment. I felt HORRIBLE. I was so discouraged and found myself on a defensive mode. I thought it was a safe place for me to ask for help, but it only turned into a serious attack on my character as a mother. "I'd never do that to my son!" and that my seeming "defensive" was seen as me not admitting to the "elephant in the room" issue.
Then yesterday (day two of serious homeschooling), Aidan was completely NOT Aidan all day. I felt like a failure. I felt like I was selfish. I felt so sad even. Nothing I did could distract him or change his mood, he remained ANGRY at me all day. Then came bedtime, it was his turn to sleep with me. He dramatically said, "I refuse to sleep with you" and I didn't push for it, I simply said, "I'd like for us to chat and sleep together."
I let him go and sulk away. 30 minutes later, he came to me, "I want to sleep with you, but I don't want to at the same time because I am so upset at you." "That's ok, I understand completely and respect your feelings. I would still want to hug you even if I was upset with you." He joined me and today? The happy Aidan I know returned (zero homeschooling today).
I asked him if he was okay with still traveling with me? "Yes, can we still go to Alabama?" "Yes, but that would not happen until around March?" "That's ok, just make sure daddy joins." "Sure, we would have to plan it around his Spring Break tho." "Yes!!"
I knew there would be moments that wouldn't be easy for Aidan. I do not want him to be a hermit in his own comfort zone because I feel that it will lead him to make poor decisions in his future. I TRULY believe that my doing this trip, will somehow give Aidan coping skills about getting out of his comfort zone and to be okay with changes and challenges. In the long run, he WILL benefit from this and the pros greatly outweighs the cons.
Earlier this evening, I told the boys about Convo's "Keep On Dreaming" competition and Aidan said he WANTED to do it. I was shocked. I said, you'd have to be filmed and probably some photos shown publicly. "I WANT TO DO ITTTTT!!!" jumping up and down. He already brainstormed ideas with Eitan on this.
I watched them discuss ideas with such a positive light in their eyes and when they were discussing, I was suddenly brought back to that FB group, to those specific people and I thought, "FUCK YOU." I mean, really, fuck you. How dare did they assume that I'd psychologically damage my boys? How dare did they call me selfish and insult my parenting? And ultimately, how dare did I let them make me question myself like that?
They are exactly, right, I'd NEVER do that to my sons, I'd never put them in a situation that would potentially traumatize them or require them needing therapy. And yes, even if this dream is MINE, I know with 100% confidence, no make it 110%, that they will forever remember this as one of the best time of their lives.
just a mother who fled from society's constraints and is super excited to wake up to the outdoors, remain braless daily and teach her boys the art of boredom and discovery.