Meet Sarah Holman, a 4th grade teacher and mother of 3 living in Early County. As a part of Early Choices’ continued efforts to support local parents in raising happy, confident kids, we are bringing you profiles of local parents and grandparents as well as inviting guest bloggers from across the country to write about their own experiences. Our goal? To arm parents in our area with tools to become more confident in their parenting skills by addressing common challenges that today’s moms, dads and grandparents face every day.
As a mom of 3 boys and a full-time 4th grade teacher, Sarah has great insight into both the challenges of being a working mom and also the responsibilities of helping shape other children.
Sarah and her husband, Spinks, have three boys: Ricky (5), Ridge (3) and Max Rhett (10…lovingly nicknamed by Ricky as “baby blue bird”). Sarah teaches 4th grade in Early County – 9 & 10 year olds – but has also taught kindergarten, pre-k, 2nd and 3rd grades. When asked if she has a favorite age group to teach, Sarah said, “No, as my children are 5 and younger, teaching older children is better for me right now, but I enjoy teaching younger children as well.”
During the school year, Sarah usually wakes up at 5:30 AM to get herself ready before the kids wake up. This starts her full day of nonstop activity – feeding everyone breakfast, getting all the boys to school and then teaching a full day. After all of that, Sarah comes home with the kids and plays outside until it’s time to make dinner, and when her husband gets home they all sit down to eat. “Then,” Sarah says, “it’s finally time for baths and bed! I usually feed the baby while Spinks handles the big boys.”
As a teacher, Sarah recognizes one of the perks – an actual summer break. She was able to take the boys to Chehaw Park this past week and enjoy some down time. There are difficult moments, too, though. “Last week my husband was out of town, and I had a lot to do for work and at our house. I was unable to find a babysitter, so I was very frustrated.” Many parents can relate to those moments of feeling totally overwhelmed and being pulled in every direction at once. Parenting is not for the weak of heart!
“Before I had kids, I thought I knew everything about parenting! But, after having my own, I realize now how draining parenting can be because every decision you make affects them. There is no such thing as a ‘day off’. Also, after having kids, I better understand my own mom,” says Sarah. “Parenting takes a lot of patience. There is no one perfect way to be a parent, and every parent has their own set of unique challenges.”
“As a teacher, sometimes my patience is gone by the end of the day, as well as my energy,” Sarah says. “I often worry that my children are not getting the best of me.”
Sarah is certainly not alone in feeling this way – life has a way of taking the wind out of our parenting sails sometimes. We have to remember that we can only do the best we can do – we aren’t going to be picture-perfect parents every day…but being present and engaged is both a challenge and a priority.
On a lighter note, Sarah muses that her family’s favorite thing to do locally is “…play outside in the back yard. In our neighborhood all of the kids play together, and it is so much fun!” Learning to lean on neighbors, friends and family in this crazy thing called “parenthood” can help us relax a little and take some of that pressure off
Early Choices: We’re Here to Help!
The struggle of balancing being a self-sufficient single parent and asking for help can be a difficult one to overcome. As parents, many of us want to think we can handle it all – which is, frankly, not reality. One of the myths Early Choices’ Parenting Initiative hopes to shatter is that parents magically know to handle everything, along with dispelling the stigma that can be associated with seeking advice.
“We receive education and training for everything in life except the most important job of all – parenting!” says Gwen Houston, Executive Director, Early County Family Connection. “Our goal is to change that by offering group cafes, events and individual sessions to parents in our area.”
Whether you’re a working parent, like Sarah, a single mom, the parent of a special needs child, a homeschooling mom or dad, parents of multiples or any number of family scenarios – Early Choices hopes to be a place where you can come with your questions, your answers, your needs and your experiences.