Whole Parenting Family

The Summer Magic of Teachers Who Aren’t Me


I was dubious. Couldn’t I teach my children everything? (including how to pick up trash as shown above?)

I mean, come on. I am a devoted mother. I am an educated woman. I’m at home with them. Clearly I’m their only-ever teacher on every-thing-except-Calculus-don’t-ask-me-how-I-survived-AP-Calc.

Another big wrong-o lesson for this insufferable woman over here living at my house and wearing my favorite target pj dress with built in bra that’s not fit for wearing all day like I do.

This summer we had the extreme fortune of a handful of dedicated and lovely young lady teachers for the kids. I couldn’t love them more. And neither could the kids. From my little feisty lady’s music class wherein she daydreamed before class about how she and Teacher Julia could somehow play the instruments–JUST US, MAMA–for the whole class instead of sharing with the other kids, to a myriad of swim coaches at the two-week boot camps that we ran back to back to back to back to back, I was floored.

We indulged in plenty of sewing JUST YOU AND ME, MAMA this summer too. But I’m not the best teacher. I can’t get this machine to really work.


The magic of the teacher who isn’t the mother is deep. She offers an outside voice that somehow my selective-hearing-syndrom children could hear and heed. She captured their trust and their hearts and encouraged them with the energy of a 20 some year old (oh, those days gone by) whilst I’m concerned about clean bums, hydrated gullets, and the don’t-touch-the-baby-while-he’s-nursing policy implementation.

SweetPea’s water phobia? Cured! Coping with my daughter who at one point had decided the waters were shark infested and wailing and gnashing of teeth at her instructor? Yes, I brought cookies the next day as an inducement for good behavior and a thank you for the teacher! Taking my son’s enthusiasm for swimming and channeling it (see how I did that?) toward a boy who can really work it in the pool? All while repeatedly readjusting his googles? Yes and yes.


It’s La Croix Sparkling water. Promise. But iced! Outside! Fancy relaxed me!

I am so grateful for a summer of young-lady-roll models and teachers in my kids’ lives. Cue sap dripping from the nearby pine trees, but I had really underestimated the contribution to their developing prefrontal cortexes that energetic and cheery teaches could and did provide.

Enriching activities outside the home were a big reach for me this summer. It’s hot out. The baby has nap time to contend with, heck my daughter still naps religious at 3.3 (do not inform her it’s optional for some other little ladies), and the five year old will still pass out during rest // quietly rebuild again and again legos time. I don’t like to leave my house all that much. I don’t like to live in my momivan. But with help from my mom and sister who would babysit during the baby’s nap & the big kids’ swim lessons, and a kid dangling off my shin asking for it, I did push myself and did watch the kids blossom as a result.


Hand clapping for me! Lesson learned on just how great great teachers can be.

And I have a special something for subscribers that’s hitting their inboxes eeeeeaaaaarrrrlllyyy this morning! Watch for it, or wait your turn, you pedestrian, or cure this disconnect and sign up for my Whole Parenting Goods newsletter that gives discounts & early selection on new fabrics.

SummerBlast Sale

Mailed these out last week along with many others. Golly. Love getting to do my shoppe. Thank you so much for supporting me and my fabric addiction. Cap here. Leggings here. And alligator leggings coming in the fall!



  1. Nancy on August 3, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    learned the same lesson last week. Gus was in VBS at our parish…and although it was a lot of running around I was amazed what he could learn from others that he just wasn’t learning from me!

    • Natural Mama Nell on August 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      It’s pretty special. Many adults loving our children is good for them! Like Laura said!

  2. […] now and then, be it at swim class or at mom’s group, or anywhere that isn’t in her comfort zone, my three and a half year […]