For weeks preceding the start of our tutoring sessions, I was agonizing over what to do with my two kids while I taught. Boo would be in school, and although Yaks and Diddles are well-behaved, I felt they were too much of a distraction to have in the room with a lesson going on.
Yaks trying to pick his own pumpkin - 2007
I have a really hard time leaving my kids. My parents rarely left us with sitters, most likely because it was so expensive! It's not a separation thing, it's more of a responsibility thing. I feel like my children are my responsibility, and to ask someone else to watch them for me feels like I'm dumping my responsibilities on someone else. I feel selfish doing it. A part of me worries that my kids will feel that they are being dumped and that I don't care about them. I didn't enjoy babysitting as a girl, so I assume babysitters are only agreeing to babysit for me out of politeness or obligation. I can count on one hand the number of times we have hired a babysitter and gone out alone. I know it's not healthy.
So, anyway, the weeks passed, and I knew I had to start teaching. This sister needed me, and was anxiously waiting for me to begin. It was the shove that I needed to overcome my "issues", and in turn, learn a great lesson.
I realized that in order to serve, I needed someone to serve ME, and that was difficult. Once I got over that prideful hurdle, I thought of a few mothers in our ward that my kids know and are comfortable with, and explained my circumstances and what I needed. I was hoping that by having several helpers, I wouldn't be burdening one person week after week. I sent them e-mails and then anxiously waited for their responses. They quickly came, all in the affirmative, and were happy to help. I was so relieved. So grateful. My fellow teacher even offered to come to my house to watch my kids so they would feel more comfortable! Then she shared something that another sister in our ward once shared with her. She said, "One reason having children is so challenging is because we are forced to rely on each other for help, and in that way we'll all be able to perfect ourselves by serving one another." Isn't that so true?
I'm eternally grateful for each of them just the same. It reminded me of the talk Elder Holland gave and the experience he shared of an elderly sister who said, "I have never been a leader of anything in the Church. I guess I've only been a helper," to which he replied, "Dear sister, God bless you and all the 'helpers' in the kingdom."
So once again, the teacher becomes the student, and learns a valuable lesson that I hope I won't soon forget!