Tips for the homeschool fool who gets played by their kid during virtual school. I no longer want to hide in the vortex every time the triggers are pulled, leaving no holds barred mom to surface with F-bombs and harsh profanities.
The dent in my wall is a visual reminder of how I put my foot down (or punched the wall) and cut the cord to my kid’s endless whining during dreaded online learning. When you’ve had your last straw, you don’t have to punch your wall. Follow these new rules that will set you all straight:
Put your foot down: State what you are no longer accepting within this new boundary.
Cut the cord: Break off ties to what is draining your energy.
Don’t punch a hole in the wall: Instead list 3 tangible things that are going to change that starts immediately.
Set morning alarm for independent wake up routine so it starts first thing in the morning!
Set alarms for each time they have to be on screen. Make sure the kid turns off alarms independently.
Decrease expectations of your kid’s work even if it hurts you.
Help mostly during the most difficult subject.
Onus on the kid to ask teacher for help for other subjects.
Don’t give 2 flying fks if the day wasn’t perfect.
Praise everyone for trying their best. Kids get snacks, parents get provisions.
Yes, the world is a disaster right now. But your home doesn’t have to be. Keep your walls dent-free and remember for all to just try your best. Leave any tips for us homeschool fools that are on the verge of breaking something!
I followed a prompt from another writer, who always inspires me @openskystories on Instagram, to write a list of 20 things that emerge. I wrote the list without overthinking (that much). I instantly felt so aligned while I understood my next steps.
In this exercise, I forced myself to look around, then suddenly my senses took over and flowed onto the page – the very last page of my Volume 5: Book of Inspiration – Reinstated.
Senses Coming Through
My senses came through in waves until it flowed intuitively within these 20 things:
Wednesday: Free from teaching homeschool for April Break – and no work tonight!
Sunshine: In the middle of a gloomy week – break from overcast yesterday.
Breeze: Spring breeze coming in from the open screen door by my desk.
Tingling in my hand: From writing, squeezing so hard.
Gazebo: It’s a story of how we got 2 for the price of 1.
Backyard: Our oasis that hubby envisioned.
Feeling free but not quite: So many things to do. Don’t want to do it but I keep thinking about it.
Birds singing: Sounds of Spring. Reminds me of 4am chirping when I cue for my sons to stop gaming and go to bed! Hard truth we are night owls.
My workspace: Love it. Sensible, do-able, perfect.
My writing: Passion but also demise.
My work: Start Volume 6: Confessions of Dr Jekyll Mommy Hide: Professional at work, Freak at night.
Organized: It is but doesn’t look like it.
Unorganized: It looks that way but my space is organized. I feel like this until I write. Organized chaos.
Messy: The dirt around it.
Clean: Is what I should do.
Whatever: It’ll get done at some point!
Be: Go with the flow.
This 10-minute exercise helped to reset my mind and mode. It’s OK to be light and airy and not stuck waiting for the perfect deep transcending topic – which actually did show itself in the end. Follow your senses, trust your instincts.
Try it, I guarantee it will get you to your next page! What came up for you?
This letter is for all parents and caregivers but mostly for the moms that I’ve built close relationships with:
As I delve into play with your child, you give me your trust to seek out their strengths and honour their personalities. At the same time, your wall is up keeping guard, waiting in defence to protect your special needs child. Not wanting to hear the things they cannot do but waiting to hear the highlights of what they can do.
I will always give the good highlights to ensure that I am nurturing their full potential, as well as yours. I give ideas on how to successfully incorporate strategies that may help strengthen the communication between you and your child.
Specifically things you’re wondering about or have never thought about. I will big up your ideas that you’ve already been doing to make sure you know you’re on the right track. I will also acknowledge that it may be difficult to incorporate new ideas as life may already be too chaotic for change.
I See You, I Hear You
I want you to feel like you can share your story and receive support for who you are as a family while you take in some of my insights and clinical experience. I see you in your homes as I work to engage your little ones to communicate in play. I take your family dynamic as insight to develop my approach.
I share other parent’s experiences as resources for you to let you know that you are not the only one with a tentative night schedule or extraordinary meal plan. I want you to hear some of my personal parental experiences mixed in with clinical because ultimately, we are all parents and protectors of our children.
I want to hear your stories too.
You Have My Support
I customize to your family’s needs and concerns in the moment. I hear your concerns about the future for your child as you may have some challenges with tasks of daily living but I want to ensure you that we need to focus on what we can control in the moment.
Let’s take one step at a time, starting with what’s right for you and your family and how we can add or change elements to elicit balanced communication.
I want you to have the information that you need on the challenges that parents have shared with me regarding the community and the school system. I want to be a support system in your life as I understand that having children with special needs is not always the easiest journey but encourage you to share their successes big or small so we can celebrate them and educate the world.
I honour being unique and point out these qualities even though it may not look like what you expect.
I want you to know that I am a shoulder to lean on, a friend who can laugh at the insane stories, a friend who can cry at their first words and accomplishments, a friend who can be mad at the world with you, someone who can help advocate for special needs as it can be a jungle out there.
I want you to know that I understand outside of the box. I recognize your child’s strengths as huge celebrations and appreciate for a lifetime. I encourage you to share your trade secrets as it could help someone else in their day to day.
I want you to be a part of the bigger movement. You are exactly where you need to be. You can help teach us the relevant steps. I want to super-step awareness and get to the ‘How To’ part. Awareness is the first step but next we need to know how we can help.
How can we help each other in our day to day that will increase our knowledge of what other parents may need, if necessary, in a common setting like the park or a store? Or what life is like during a pandemic being stuck at home?
Everyone’s story is different but may share the same themes. The main thing is the love for your child. How to make them safe, strong, and independent.
Embrace each child’s abilities and learning style to teach concepts to be absorbed and expressed.
You have given me the gift of empowerment as you allow me to share my ideas to further your child’s development. You lead extraordinary lives, my special needs families, with your hard work, day in and day out. I am encouraged to see your happiness with every step your child makes to succeed.
You have given me the power to keep sharing knowledge that will also empower others. There will be ups and downs but knowing that your child is the reason why we empower is showing the whole world that being unique is special.
It’s time to embrace and connect to uplift and change this world a little bit faster than expected so that everyone can understand the true potential of a special needs family. One that has strength and value in my heart and soul.
Good Friday is a day to reflect upon ourselves and to go deeper into our inner world so that we can understand our outer world.
The world is immersed in the thick of it.
It’s a time to be aware and thankful for what we have because on this day Jesus suffered taking beats and slashes, then died a gruesome death nailed to a cross. It sounds and looks gruesome.
We’re reminded of this story every year on this day that this sacrifice was made for us to have a better world.
Imagine someone taking brutality to the point of a gruesome death. And then coming back to life forgiving everyone.
A huge sacrifice for people to understand what unconditional love is all about.
During virtual school, my youngest kid is learning about this and doesn’t get it.
It’s a lot to explain to a 6 year-old.
But there’s a lesson even if it’s a simple one.
If we learn to sacrifice a bit of ourselves for the purpose of another’s well-being, then we’ve done good on Earth.
If we continue to show the generations this same lesson, then we’re producing a ripple effect of good vibes for this world to continue to grow and develop, as opposed to crash and burn.
It could also be a lesson within ourselves of how much we can endure our experiences. Understanding that where there is dark, there will always be light.
And to trust that even if our experience is not so favoured, there will be a better one to come. And to trust in that.
Detach from anything old – anything!
Detaching is a form of releasing and letting go. It’s a process that helps the natural flow of being when we cut off from old energy. Here are simple tangible ways to detach from small things so you can have confidence to tackle the bigger (more abstract) things.
cut your nails
cut your dead skin off
do both hands and feet
trim your hair
from your head
from your body
groom your face
tweeze, wax, shave – whatever you do
clean out your underwear drawer
then your sock drawer
then drawers next to it
then the rest of the dresser
then the closet
take a shower – better yet take a bath!
from head to toe
breathe and float
then a quick cold shower- if you will
light a candle
intend or better yet speak out on what you don’t want lingering on your mind, body, soul
communicate gratitude for the truest results
blow it out and intend it’s done
mentally and visually cut cords and lines from anything draining your energy
karate chop it off!
create your protective light laser bubble around yourself
Don’t let ANYONEever make you feel ashamed of your beautiful eyes.
Embrace your Asian eyes – as slanted, chinky, slit-like, almond-shaped, exotic, beautiful – as they are. Especially when you smile.
Story of my life. If we had the internet growing up, I probably would have googled ‘How to round slanted eyes’.
Yes, it was because of ugly remarks from the ignorant white kid at school who called me a ‘chink’ and didn’t let me off the monkey bars. The boy in class who thought he ruled.
That’s when I became so conscious about my eyes. And that it may not be appealing to others. The day I didn’t want the world to look at me.
The day I didn’t want to be seen.
I’ve experienced racism at a young age until now. It didn’t stop at that boy. What about the group of teenage boys in University, yelling from across the street, asking if my clothes were clean from the laundromat – to go back where I came from – ‘chink’.
All the different layers of how it impacts my life – as a child, as a student, as a professional, as a mom, as a wife, as a person.
Too many stories to count. Too much anger to rant.
Honestly, I haven’t quite fought against it either because we were taught to use our Canadian birthright and education to fit in – like it’s supposed to save us from ignorance.
Every minority in the world experiences racism. There are even minorities within minorities. The cycle is vicious.
Why Does it Matter Now?
This moment serves as my right, as someone who has experienced being called a ‘chink’, to expose those for the wrong energy they breed.
Inspired by the #StopAsianHate on social media, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, I’m speaking out now to break the patterns.
I’ve been a target of discrimination because of my eyes. I’m Filipina Canadian with very slanted eyes and very fair skin. I can pass for every Asian because I look Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Tibetan, so I’m told.
I’m the nicest person in the world but if you want to call at me with your racist slurs then bring it!
My slanted eyes will cut you so deep you’ll understand the mysteriousness hiding behind them.
It doesn’t matter what background you are, you shouldn’t be discriminated against!
It matters because my children’s views of an innocent world are being tainted with the dark layers of the world with events in the news, in schools, within our city, and abroad.
They never knew what the word ‘racist’ meant until a year ago, even in our bi-racial family.
My son asked me if ‘racist’ was a bad word when he heard a video gamer say it online. I responded that it wasn’t a swear word but as soon as it came out of my mouth, I quickly changed it.
Yes, it is a bad word for a bad person. He had never heard of the word, so I explained to him.
It’s when a person doesn’t like someone because of the colour of their skin and their cultural background. He didn’t understand.
I began to role-play: “I don’t like you because you’re Filipino or Jamaican”.
He gave me this flabbergasted look as he scrunched his face in disbelief.
I just tainted his view of the world.
It matters for them. And how they have to learn to armour themselves with thick skin to deal with bullying, racism, and discrimination – which I thought was not so prevalent for their generation. How NAIVE of me!
I Am Not COVID-19
Last year when the virus was getting out of hand in China, the impact was in the news. I didn’t even consider how it would impact me from across the world.
I was in the local bookstore where I was browsing for a long time. Back and forth with a lot of items in my arms, sweating buckets in a winter jacket, standing by the art section.
The sales lady glanced at me a few times. I didn’t think anything of it.
I usually don’t like when salespeople bombard so it was fine that she didn’t offer any kind of help…but no greeting…no smile?
Until an older man walked up the steps towards us, not even two feet, and the lady immediately smiled, approached the man, and said, “Is there anything I can help you with today?”
Guess what hall pass he had?
My blood boiled until my eyes sank right into the depths of my soul. I took all of my things and headed towards the front cash at the other end of the store. When I passed her, she asked, “Find everything you were looking for?”
F@(King Biyatch…. “Yup”. I forced myself to mutter as I stormed off.
I should have told her SOMETHING. I should have done SOMETHING!
The same baggage followed me a few weeks later when we travelled to Cuba for a wedding. I was targeted at the Cuban airport by the staff and at the resort by some French-Canadian tourists.
My 10 year-old daughter witnessed this behaviour and instinctively knew what was going on. Tainted.
It was all in their eyes and their ignorant behaviour acting like I was Covid – all week long. Meanwhile, my husband who’s usually the target for being black, was fitting right in with the Cubans, oblivious to what was happening to me. Rightfully celebrating not having to worry about the colour of his skin while on vacation.
I am not a virus. Hate is the virus.
It’s the 21st Century
I shouldn’t have to be in this position in this century. I shouldn’t have to taint my children’s vision of an innocent world where I have to explain why I’m targeted at the bookstore, airport, or on vacation because of how I look.
I shouldn’t have to explain that there are some people out there who hate on people’s ethnicity.
I shouldn’t have to keep upping my family’s pride for being Filipino-Jamaican-Canadian just because other people decide to degrade out of hate.
We are proud of who we are with our ethnicity, our families, our children. We have culture. We have stories. Nothing to hate here.
It’s time to eliminate the hate. It’s harmful, it’s toxic, it’s FUCKING ridiculous.
I’M TIRED OF BEING ANGRY, I’M TIRED OF THE FUCKING IGNORANCE.
I TRIED TO WAIT UNTIL I WAS IN A BETTER PLACE TO WRITE WITHOUT THE ANGER ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.
EVERY NIGHT IN MY HOUSEHOLD, WE’RE ANGRY AFTER WATCHING THE NEWS, ANGRY IN HEATED DISCUSSION.
ANGRY WAKING UP TO MORE NEWS. ANGRY THAT WE CAN’T CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE’S IGNORANT ACTIONS.
ANGRY THAT THE WORLD IS ALLOWED TO BE THIS WAY!
Keep your hate to yourself. Don’t let it spill over to someone who has nothing to do with you. Fix that shit or Karma will come for you.
It’s time to Let Love Rule, like you hear in the songs. Listen to songs, listen to people, read books even if you don’t quite understand them. Let it move you. Shift your focus on worthwhile things (Thought Catalogue).
Learn to understand someone other than yourself. It’s in everyone, even if you have to dig deep to find it. This is where the power is. Change is for the better.
I believe it’s in there. There’s nothing to be afraid of… unless you cross a mother.
I wrote this to myself after I jumped ship, shortly after 9/11, from a corporate software company where I wrote software manuals. I found another position to maintain graphical user interfaces and write engineering processes.
No, this wasn’t doing it for me either.
It was the third page of my new journal that I committed to writing to figure out answers for my next steps to finding a balanced work life – meaning a work life where I was not always so bitter!
I didn’t want to have that constant cringing feeling every day going in to work. I only lived for the weekends. Was there something more out there?
I recently gave it a title in the summer of 2020, when I re-searched myself to start cataloguing content. After a deep conversation last night, this one’s for you:
I feel good when I accomplish
No stress, no frustration
That’s where I’m my best
When I’m equally balanced
And things are handled
Not left to be abandoned
Deal with things as they come
Work until the deal is done
Clear the aura without the huff and puff
You gotta take the shit when it gets rough
But when it’s over, it’s smooth sailing from there
It was the 1990’s, I was in high-school, sporting a perm of long ring-locks and coffee bean shade lipstick. Smelling like mango perfume oil from the Body Shop.
We had pink rose carpet throughout the house, including my room, which was the first room coming up the stairs. I had the faux-wood grain closet with 3 sliding doors, big enough to spread some teenie bopper posters of Johnny Depp and Rick Astley, pulled straight out of the magazine.
My wall beside the closet had the big movie posters that I had got from my cousin who worked at a video store. She gave me all the good ones but I remember only putting up mostly the ones of Wesley Snipes from his movies: New Jack City (1991), Passenger 57 (1992), Sugar Hill (1993), and Boiling Point (1993).
It was always the first thing I saw when I went into my room.
New Jack City and Sugar Hill were in the string of line-ups of movies in the early 90’s that were featuring all-star black casts (after House Party 1990); such as Boyz In the Hood (1991), Juice (1992), Menace II Society (1993), and Above the Rim (1994). A promising new era documented on my wall.
It was Wesley Snipes face on my wall, looking at me when I entered my room. The Boiling Point poster was on the left, Passenger 57 placed in the middle, slightly lower than the others, New Jack City on the right, Sugar Hill on the far right, all hung with clear tape across each corner.
One weekend, I had a chance to go to a club in downtown Toronto. The only times I was really allowed to go to clubs was with my older cousins. We got dressed up, hair fresh with gel, and coffee bean lipstick. To be fun and young.
“Is that Wesley Snipes?” One of the cousins asked.
“Just standing there out in the open?” We wondered.
“Let’s go talk to him” The other one pulled us along.
It IS Wesley Snipes. Just hanging out like a regular clubber. It seemed no one noticed him. There was so much space around him when we went over to say hello.
I don’t even remember how any greetings went.
WESLEY SNIPES was right in front of my face!
“I HAVE YOUR POSTERS ALL OVER MY WALL!” I screamed all star-struck and frozen.
He asked interested, “Oh yeah, which ones?”
I went blank. I could see each poster, laid out on my wall, the way I saw it every day waking up and every night going to bed. Come on, think! My brain had no message or output coming from my mouth. Blank.
He was waiting for some kind of response while the music of the club filled in my silence.
“I dunno………..but you’re on my wall!” I stupidly responded with an embarrassed smile.
“So, how long are you in town for?” My cousin quickly swooped up the conversation just as his body guards motioned for him to move along.
I’m a jack-ass. Ruining the only moment to actually talk to the guy who’s face took up my bedroom wall. The one who’s a big celebrity in his prime! Who was right in front of me! Live in person, in the flesh, wanting to know more about his posters!
“POINT BLANK!” I screamed before he disappeared into the crowd. As I remembered the poster where he’s pointing his big shiny gun.
Fast forward to 2021, the month of March on a weeknight. Decided to wind down with Coming 2 America, just released.
Surprise, surprise. Hey Wesley Snipes! Loved your character, hairstyles, costume attire in this sequel because it reminded me of your rhythmical comical character in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Mar.
Outside of the box, I like that!
These would actually be some good posters. I wonder where I could get my hands on some for old times sake?