In general, I would say that if you want to practice motherhood before you take in on as a career, you should try herding a bunch of feral cats whilst feeling hungry, anxious and insisting on teaching them sign language. If possible, do the above in heels.
Legit feels like this most days. It takes patience, a "crap-ton"(Teentz says this often) of laughter and more Grace then should exist on the planet earth. And that's just for one child. Even then, the house will be messy, feelings will get hurt, sibling rivalry will turn bloody on occasion and tears will be shed. Usually all this happens within 5 minutes. Being okay with not being okay will keep you sane.
So it occurred to me recently. That I may have made a giant mistake. Not in having the kids, I wouldn't trade them for the world (most days). But in the way I'm teaching them.
Do you know the difference between herding and shepherding? Did you know that there is a difference?
Herding is done from behind, driving the flock forward. Forcing the behavior. Making sure they see the stick and stay in line. I call it fear based learning.
Shepherding is done from in front. Leading. The sheep follow and would do anything for the shepherd. Cross the street? Sure. Next Pasture? Whatever you say. Take a right? You got it. Why? Because the Shepherd has their back all day, every day. He has kept them safe, feed, protected and has been fully engaged from the get go. They know him and know that he would literally do anything for them.
In my experience, the only learning that sticks around is the one motivated by love.
Can you see where I'm going with this?
If I want my kid to get excited over math, he better see me excited over math. If I want my kid to learn how to be vulnerable with the select few who have earned the right to hear her story, then she better see me soften up and do the same.
In my pasture, I'm usually barefoot, sans makeup, wearing black stretchy pants, pen stained fingers, calloused hands and reminding myself to breathe well and deeply because if I don't I will lose sight of the stunning scenery all around me. And it is breathtaking. You should see it at sunrise and sunset. I have one child on my back, another holding onto my arm, and a couple old enough to venture toward the fence exploring boundaries. They always come home for dinner. My pasture is straight-up magical. It's wild and green and glorious with rolling hills, mountains in the background and a lake that protects us. My pasture grows things. Not plants (I suck at gardening) but people bloom here everyday.
Shepherding vs. Herding. It was a game changer for me.