Significant changes in our lives are usually the result of some sort of catalyst moment where we can either choose to act out of fear or take the reigns and control what's happening.
I remember the first time I realized I was in control at the doctors office, I felt so empowered.
I have seven children and with my first three deliveries I always felt like I was being told what to do and I lacked the confidence to realize I was the one in charge. It took severe headaches after my third delivery from a complication with the epidural for me to decide I wanted something different.
With my 4th baby I was determined to be in control and gain the confidence I needed to make sure I was in the driver's seat. It didn't come easy. I spent months researching and studying about various labor and delivery methods and alternative pathways. I made a plan and then shared it with my doctor. Of course I listened to the advice he gave me but in the end I made sure that my plan was followed. With the doctor on my side and me in control I had the best delivery and recovery yet.
I don't know why I'm so slow to recognize this pattern.
I already had 6 kids in school before being control of my children's education ever occurred to me. Now don't get me wrong, I was a cookie making, field trip attending, homework checking, centers volunteering type of mom.
And then came the catalyst with one small note at a parent/ teacher conference in 2011. I started questioning what Common Core was and asked all my children's teachers and all of my friends for their thoughts. It took quite a while but I eventually was able to find the tools to begin finding the answers to the questions I'd been posing.
In early 2012 I sat with a friend across the table from our superintendent laying out a heart felt plea for him to research and see what we saw and then help stop this education train-wreck before it came off the rails. He threw his hands in the air and told us he was tired and there was nothing he could do. He told us he had no more local control and had to do what the state tells him to do. I looked him in the eye and told him ,"if you won't fight this, then I will and I won't stop until I've talked with every parent, every teacher and anyone who will listen so that they can decide for themselves if this is the path they want for their children and their schools." Little did I know what I was promising at that moment.
I had a decision to make.
Would I make good on that promise?
Would I run and hide or once again pick up the reigns and be in control? I chose the latter.
As with any life changing moment, you have to prepare yourself and instead of months of study this time around it's been years of daily study. I'm not scared. I don't live in fear and I embrace change. When possible I want to decide what that change is and make sure it's the best thing for my children and our family. This was one of those moments when I got to choose.
I chose to arm myself with knowledge and take action and I encourage you to do the same. Will it be easy? Most likely not. Will it be worth it? Most definitely!
Three years later and my life is on a completely different course from what I ever expected to see but I'm in the driver's seat.
By exposing what is going on in education and the harm that is coming to children and teachers it is not my intention to scare but to empower people.
We can't just complain that we're losing control over education and not expect to do something to get it back. It takes work. It takes time. It takes sacrifice. We need to pick the reigns up and take control back.
We need to go to our school board meetings. We need to be on our community councils. We need to pay attention to what laws are passing and how they will affect us, our families and our children.
I implore you, don't retreat. Choose to be empowered and carry on!