Am I failing my children?


I left the house today for much needed alone time to sit and reflect on all the decisions I have ahead of me. What better place to connect with my inner voice than the beach? We all know how that salty air and flow of the ocean seems to center us. When I arrived on the sand, I felt it was fitting that the sea seemed as unsettled as my heart.

This season of life has not been easy.

We all know it, no matter the blessings that may have come from being at home the past 5 months. We have all had our share of struggles to accompany them. And the fast-approaching time of back-to-school has triggered all feelings for me this year.

Now I know emotions are being amplified this year due to the uncertainty of the world around us. But just like the rain rolling in, I can’t help but feel unsettled. Like I am making the wrong choice for my children and for our family….whatever choice that is.

I’ve gone back and forth in my mind – and in my heart – with what school should look like for our family this year.

As a preface, last year we had a child in 5th grade at the public school and a child in full-time PreK-3 at a private establishment.  It has never been a question that our oldest daughter would just follow the traditional way of learning in the public school system.  

Until the pandemic, that is.  

And my husband and I made the huge decision to send our youngest to a tuition-based Pre-K program last year that made my momma heart nervous.  That program, however, ended up being such a blessing to our little’s heart and soul, I couldn’t imagine school life any other way.  

Until the pandemic, that is.

Now I sit here days before school is scheduled to begin, contemplating all the past decisions we have made for our girls regarding school and weighing all the possibilities of school for 20/21.  

And, it is so much! Too much!

I can’t help but think that I am doing it all wrong.  

“I am failing my children,” are the words I keep telling myself.  

If we decide to homeschool, I am failing my children.  

If we decide to send one to school and keep one at home, I am failing my children.  

If we decide to send both girls to full-time school, I am failing my children.

As moms I believe we have that “gut instinct” that only mommas can have for their children. Typically, I’m pretty entuned with that feeling. However, all these what-ifs keep floating around in my head and they are making it so hard to hear my heart this school year.  

There is not going to be the perfect answer.  

There might not even be a clear choice.  But whichever choice we make this year, mommas, will be what’s best for our children.  

I’m not saying this choice won’t come with sacrifices or compromises….because they will. But if we embrace the choice we make, it will be the best choice.  

So as I sit here in reflection today, I also offer up an extra prayer for each of you…for courage, for confidence, and wisdom in your decisions this school year.

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Tina is a stay-at-home mom of two girls, ages 11 & 4, and loves having the opportunity to be there for every moment in their lives. Tina and her family have lived in many places in Kentucky and Arizona and eventually decided to settle on the Gulf Coast in 2016. She is a southern girl at heart and enjoys raising her two girls, along with her husband, in the small-town southern charm of Ocean Springs. A believer in personal growth, Tina loves to learn new things. She is passionate about being healthy in every aspect of life. To Tina, true health means working towards clean nutrition, more natural products for the home and family, physical fitness, and most importantly, mental and emotional health. Of course, these things can be challenging at times but she makes it work the best she can by planning for success. Tina explores all of these topics on her lifestyle blog, The Bourbon Cactus, where she shares recipes, her fitness journey, parenting lessons, and life experiences. She is honored to be part of our local mom tribe and can't wait to share some of her knowledge and experiences with #228moms here on the Gulf Coast.