Dear Teacher – My four children haven’t read to me tonight.
But we did do two school runs, one at the usual time and one to collect Amy (5) from an after-school club.
I stayed patient, calm and caring while my exhausted 3-year-old Ava walked at a snail’s pace and cried helplessly for the 45 minutes because her legs hurt and she was exhausted. I made her a hot chocolate, held her close while she sobbed and shouted for her daddy. I listened while my eldest two children gently tried to help me distract and console their youngest sister.
I took the children to see their father at work so that my youngest could cuddle her daddy and know he was okay because he was working late at work. In that minute that’s exactly what she needed.
I listened to all their stories from their day at school. I heard their likes and dislikes, what they had learned and what they would be learning next.
I prepared and cooked and tidied away after two different meals, one for the children and one for my husband and I.
I helped my eldest two children with their applications to be digital leaders. I spent twenty minutes with each child, helping them find the words they wanted to say to fill in their application forms. I helped my eldest, James (9) format his word document and email a copy to his school.
I listened to James read a story and sing songs to two younger sisters (3 & 5). I listened to their laughter from the kitchen as I rushed to eat my tea whilst spending time helping Lily (8) with her application.
I emptied, cleaned and prepared packed lunch boxes for the next day.
I emptied and loaded the washing machine and drier for the second time and folded all the clothes away.
I listened to James when he told me he wanted to go straight to sleep instead of reading his own book like he usually does – I think its important he listens to his body.
Lily and Amy read in their beds with their nightlights while tidied our bedrooms.
And I thanked my children for their help and told them I loved them as I kissed them goodnight.
Tonight my children didn’t read to me, but I want you to know its not because we don’t value their education.
We appreciate the energy and thought you put into teaching them, because it shines through in their passion for learning.
I want you to know that we think reading is important too, and I feel guilty when we don’t read together.
Family life is hard, fitting everything in is a constant juggle. We struggle to find balance. Sometimes we just don’t get time to read together, but lots of good things still happen.
An exhausted parent
P.s. We are rubbish at recording too!