Omaha Girls Rock Camp

2 weeks ago Lily was wrapping up Omaha Girls Rock Camp. This was a week we had been excited for since my friend, Alanna, had suggested I check it out for Lily in January.

During camp week the kids learned about their being inclusive, songwriting, vocal instruction, stage confidence, meditation, & yoga, on top of a weeks worth of instrument instruction. Some of them hadn’t ever played their instruments before! Lily picked the drums & has been playing them for a couple of years (with a looooong break, well over a year, just before camp.) But knowing the gist of an instrument is a bit better than nothing! The confidence in all these kids by the day of their showcase was obvious.

I was so excited by Saturday. I was seriously fan-girling majorly. Idgaf. Her band named themselves The Flaming Hot Cheeto Dragons & their supervisor made them all t-shirts for the day of the show. I wish I could have bought one! They were pretty awesome.

As far as the drums were concerned, Lily killed them. KILLED THEM! Strangers even came up & said “you were awesome!” & her drum instructor gave her the biggest & longest hug.🤗 I loved the environment & Lily will ABSOLUTELY be doing it again next year.

Please enjoy, The Girl I Used To Be by The Flaming Hot Cheeto Dragons:

http://www.tighedup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/img_4819.trim_.mov

🤘🏼👩🏻‍🎤🥁⚡️

12 Years Worth

Yesterday, Jimmy and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary. The last 2 years have taught me more about our resolve as partners then the 10 before it. We now have 12 years worth of memories, experiences, fights, tragedies, love…just built up. Out of no where, a guy showed up on his first day of work (where I also worked) and I felt this urge to talk to him…and here we are.

If my kids ever care about this blog, I want them to know that there dad BEGGED me to go on 1 date with him. HA! It’s true, ask him – he will admit it. I really wanted to be friends and just have fun, no pressure. He asked one day again while I was working a shift at my second job (he was just there distracting me) and I said

“OK Jimmy Tighe, I will go out on a date with you if you answer 1 question correctly.”

“Oh…OK…” {pressures on}

“Who did you vote for in the last election?”

Luckily for him there was only 1 wrong answer, and that was George W. Bush (which I’d take that turd sandwich back in a heartbeat today, sadly. But I digress…)

We went out for Chinese food. I found out later he wasn’t a fan of Chinese food but was going to just deal with it which was pretty cool of him. He opened my door and gave me his coat and my feminist side was like ‘I DON’T NEED YOU’ while my sentimental side was like ‘holy crap, look at this charmer!’

Dating Jimmy was sweet and innocent. We hung out at bars and watched movies and just genuinely enjoyed each others company. And sure enough, a mere 2 months later, I found out I was pregnant. Whoops! So, officially knowing each other for just 4 months and dating for just 2…we had some pretty gigantic grown up stuff to deal with.

And booooy, did I make him deal. I ran him through the ringer. Being pro-choice, I choose to keep our baby because that is what I felt was best to do. I didn’t know why I felt that way since Jimmy made me insane and I acted like I would burst into flames if he touched me. There was even a moment when it looked like it just wasn’t meant to be. I pushed him back so hard and so far. How he dealt with me, I’ll never know. I’m sure ecstatic (and unbelievably fortunate) that he did.

It was 1 single reluctant (at 1st) hug. We had, had a great chat. I wanted to be cordial. Then he asked me for a hug before he left for work. I rolled my eyes, exasperated. But I hugged him. For the first time in months I opened up to the love we had and we hugged and I cried and he called into work. It was, just like that. It sounds insane. It is insane! I don’t care, it was easily one of the best days of my life.

Not long after I called him up at work and let him know we were getting married that next Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse. He had asked me many times to marry him so I figured he wouldn’t say no. 😉

Yesterday I woke up, tiredly walked into the kitchen with Myra. Started making some coffee when I noticed out of the corner of my eye and bouquet of flowers and a card that read:

“My wife: love you, love our life

I love watching your face light up and knowing I can still make you laugh.

I love how you bring out the best in me and don’t let me settle for less.

I love sharing the quiet with you as each day winds down, feeling totally content because you’re near.

I love everything you do…everything you are…everything we have together.

That’s what I love…now and always.

Happy Anniversary”

and a handwritten note that said:

“I tried to find flowers that were as pretty as you are but failed.

Love you then, now, + always

Jimmy”

I really hope my kids grow up and find someone just like their dad to spend their days with…what an amazing feeling to be loved unconditionally.

Heres to 12 more…

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Empathy is a Muscle

My parents, especially my mom, showed me the importance of compassion.

I became a mom in October of 2006. During my pregnancy I remember feeling a sense of importance on what kind of parent I’ll be & what type of children I’ll raise. Right out of the gate I knew if I could teach my children empathy I will have done something right.

There’s a page in baby books that is a letter to your unborn child. In 2006, I poured my heart onto my oldest child’s baby book. I shared the importance of teaching them empathy & my hopes for them to live with an open heart. My second born had a(n accidentally) similar letter in their baby book. My youngest has yet to have a baby book, but that’s kind of how it happens, huh? Though I know my sentiment would be the same. The importance of empathy doesn’t change.

Why does empathy come easy to some but others seem to lack the ability? The truth is that we all have the ability to see & understand a different perspective. Some have true feelings of sorrow & weep for other people’s pain. They feel joy & excitement at the happy news of others. Feeling joy for others happiness seems to be the easier of the two.

I can’t help but feel it’s quite a privilege to not be able to deeply feel someone else’s pain. It takes a great amount of practice to hear the pain of strangers who are experiencing things we can’t possibly understand.

Teaching my children empathy has meant a great deal to me. The first positive comments I hear from my children’s teachers are about their big compassionate hearts. It makes me feel like I’ve truly done something right.

When I posed the question: ‘Where did you learn about empathy?’ to my Facebook & Instagram friends many said their parents, siblings, pets, & even their own children.

My friend Megan, who writes an incredible blog called Abbott and June, shared this excellent video with me & my heart exploded so I must share it:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw

My sisters thoughts on the matter were a quote from the character Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.”

I’ve rarely struggled relating to others & though I’m outspoken about my opinions, I enjoy hearing the other side of an argument. This is likely why my friend group isn’t loaded with only liberal progressives. In fact, several of my closest friends align themselves with conservative values & that’s rarely made me do more than roll my eyes.

Your political affiliation has nothing to do with compassion & empathy. If you see you’re “party” do something you don’t agree with, that is morally wrong, you shouldn’t justify it. Sometimes, wrong is just that.

In the end I want my kids to always defend the helpless &/or hurting. To lift people up. I want them to be aware of right from wrong & to not live their lives in silent complicity. Their lives should be filled with a variety of people, opinions, & experiences so they can use their empathetic muscles in a well rounded way, for the good of humanity. Wherever that leads them, I am proud.

To my children, I love you no matter what. Being your mom is my honor. I hope I make you as proud as you all make me.

❤️❤️❤️

Wednesdays With Lily | Sitting In The Back Seat


Ah, the back seat. Officially the WORST place in the car. Nobody likes the back seat. If you do, you’re strange. I’m just joking! If you like sitting in the back, cool. I personally think it’s hell on earth. I have five fun things to do when you’re stuck in the back seat plus five ways to overcome motion sickness!

Fun Things To Do Back There

There are actually a lot of fun things to do in the backseat. I personally like to do a lot of these in real life. Lets go!

  1. Look out the window and make a story out of the clouds.
  2. Make up a scenario in your head.
  3. Annoy the person who is driving/any person in the front seat because THEY STOLE THE FRONT FROM YOU!
  4. Play punch buggy because, why not?
  5. Try to learn Pig Latin.

Ways To Get Over Motion Sickness In The Back

Ah, motion sickness. The worst part of the back seat. Actually, the worst part of any seat of the car! Here are some ways I have overcome my motion sickness!

  1. Look out the window. Seeing things solid on the ground will help the motion sickness.
  2. Take a nap.
  3. Take some motion sickness medicine.
  4. Tilt your head to the side.
  5. Eat some ginger, or suck on some peppermint. Trust me, I don’t know how or why, but it works.

Well, that’s it! Those are some ways to overcome motion sickness, and some ways to make sitting in the back a bit more fun.

Showing Up For Yourself:

It’s now round 57 of me starting this blog post over. Lately I haven’t felt quite sure of my decisions. My feelings are all over the place. I’m constantly overwhelmed & struggling to complete minimal tasks. My anxiety has finally caught up with me, as I knew it would. This is what I like to call, the calm freak out phase.

Coming off of a trauma will affect everyone differently. My goal through the initial shock & first steps of healing was to be strong & loving to the kids. I wanted to get back home & pull the pieces back together, whatever way I knew how.

I remember sitting in therapy after we moved back. It was one of the only places I could cry & not be afraid of the kids hearing me. She asked me what happy looked like to me and without a beat I told her:

“Drinking wine on my patio living a perfect moment.”

I use to have those. I could feel the contentment in my heart. Every breath felt good. The kids were happily asleep. Bills were payed. House was clean(ish). Friends joyfully laughing at my side. A perfect moment. It felt like ages ago yet I thought about this perfect moment of happiness often. I longed for it. Jimmy did too.

On my birthday a dear friend who has shared many wonderful moments on my patio (& I, hers), drinking wine & laughing, sent a birthday text:

(She’s in the green, I had gotten a new phone since sending this.)

A couple Saturdays ago, this very friend was sitting out back of our new home drinking wine with me. It wasn’t quite perfect since I have a lot to work on in the self love department. But did it feel great anyway? Absolutely.

On Tuesday Jimmy & I giddily made our first mortgage payment on our new home (yes, I was oddly stoked about it.) Things aren’t perfect but the horizon looks promising. Before I was having a baby, staying positive for the kids, homeschooling, moving multiple times, trying to figure out our finances, & commuting to all kinds of therapies. And now I’m now continuing our healing journey, personalizing our new permanent home which we adore, loving the kids new school, & so on.

I no longer need to fight. We’re winning. Maybe the battle isn’t over yet, but we really are kicking some major ass. But why do I feel like I’m choking? I believe I t’s because I had no time to panic when my family needed me to be strong. My mind is finally letting me lose it & it’s been a real eye opener. My calm freak out phase, if you will.

A few days ago I was scrolling through Instagram & noticed a post from a local mom who I met through the homeschool circle, Christy Thomas. I enjoy reading her posts because she stays positive so I know I won’t end up in a haze of anxiety. In fact, I often feel uplifted by her posts!

The post she made really struck me. It was about her B.A. running streak, her pride in it, & how “this is how she shows up for herself.” She shows up for herself. Wow. I kept thinking “how do I show up for myself?”

My family needed my strength & they got it. All of it. Now I need me to be strong. I matter. And as Christy mentions in her Instagram post, my self love will trickle down to my family.

Christys post reminded me of an article my mom shared with me a couple years ago. I wish I could find it but alas, I have deleted my Facebook account since then. The gist of it was getting things done for your future self.

Why is it easier to motivate yourself where your family is concerned? Why, when it comes to benefitting you’re own greater good, does it feel selfish? It’s silly to take so little value in ones self. I’m done using this as an excuse. I’ve decided to re-learn how to be kind to future me. To start showing up for myself.

I’m excited for this horizon.

Michaela✌🏼

The coolest thing I’ve ever done:

I have never & will never feel that there is only 1 right way to have a baby. I’ve had 3 children and 3 entirely different births. Each one I was pretty adamant about not having a plan. I really wanted to go with the flow & not let any little thing “ruin” the experience for me.

Of course, you can’t have no birth plan, & with Lily my plan was pretty cut & dry. Give.me.the.drugs. I planned on having a vaginal delivery with an epidural. The thought of a drug free delivery scared the living crap out of me. The wheels fell off quickly with too many people in the room, horribly painful back labor, being talked into pulling her out with forceps, & vomiting repeatedly because of a bad reaction to the epidural. It was fairly traumatic.

Colins birth was a bit better. Certainly a lot less chaotic. I knew what I was getting into so when I asked again for the epidural I was very aware of how sick I became before. Because of the back labor during Lilys delivery, they had given me a bulbous epidural so I thought this time “don’t get too much of the drug & you’ll be a-ok.” So I didn’t, yet I still experienced days worth of nausea. Yay.

So as soon as we found out about baby number 3, I knew I’d be skipping that epidural. My only “plan” was the desire to deliver Myra as natural as possible. Outside of that, I was pretty open to “whatever happens, happens.”

A year ago today was the day. I woke up at 8am. I heard, or maybe felt, sort of a pop in my belly/lower abdomen area. I thought it was Myra just kicking or moving. Regardless, I had to pee so I got up, walked to the bathroom & as I was going to sit down I felt a gush. Yep. My water broke. How lucky it was on the toilet, right?

I called the birthing center to let them know what had happened. It was going to be a waiting game as I hadn’t had any contractions. Lily & Colin were picked up by my mom & Jimmy came home from work. We were basically just staring at each other waiting for something to start. Luckily, when I called in to the birthing center again for my hourly check in, my midwife informed me that I could go into the hospital now & they could put something on my cervix to get these contractions going. I was down like a clown.

We arrived, I received a very painful cervix check & the pill, or whatever, was placed on my cervix. We walked around the maternity floor for a bit & man oh man, those contractions started & became intense very quickly.

My nurse was so sweet and asked if I wanted her to draw a bath to help alleviate some pain. Fairly desperate for pain relief at that point, I agreed. The thought of having to take my clothes off to get in, then dry off once I was done & re-dress sounded terrible. But, again, the pain. So I got in.

Jimmy: “Is it helping?”

Me: “No, it still hurts the same, now I’m just wet.”

I didn’t stay in long before deciding it was stupid & I wanted to get out before the pain became unbearable.

Now at this point I wasn’t really getting much of a break between contractions.

Me: “I’ve changed my mind.”

Jimmy: “What?”

Me: “I want something for the pain.”

Jimmy: “I think you’ll regret it.”

Me: *glaring at him through the pain of a contraction*

Jimmy: “You said you really wanted to do this naturally. Remember how sick you got after getting an epidural?”

Me: “I’ve decided only an insane person would do this without drugs.”

So I pushed the Call Nurse button. In came my sweet nurse, & I made it clear that I wanted something to take the edge off. I thought there was a long road ahead so I thought maybe I could just get the intro drug or whatever. 🤷🏼‍♀️ She & Jimmy exchanged glances. Then she reminded me how much I wanted to do this naturally. I lost it.

ONLY AN INSANE PERSON WOULD DO THIS NATURALLY!

So she calmly had me lay back so she could check my cervix. I thought that first cervix check was painful, HA!

Nurse: “4 & a half centimeters dilated.”

Me: “Then yes, I want the f***ing drugs.”

I mean, I was in that much pain & I wasn’t even to the half of way mark? Nope. Not happening.

Just then my doula walked in with a smile. She told me the nurse told her the situation & that whatever I wanted to do was perfectly fine & it would all be ok.

I was fairly certain my nurse was taking her sweet time on purpose but I was too exhausted to say anything. She walked in with the drug. My sweet sweet relief was on its way. I wanted it baaaaad.

Suddenly I found myself screaming. I couldn’t control it. I was screaming my ever loving a$$ off. The nurse looked at me and said:

“Michaela, do you feel like you need to push?”

I couldn’t speak, I just stared at her like she was the most annoying person in the entire world.

The other nurse began to check my cervix again & immediately announced:

“She’s at 9 and a half, call the midwife now!”

20mins. That’s how much time passed between 4 and a half & 9 and a half. The funny thing, once I knew I was THAT close, I didn’t want the drug even if I could have had it (which, obviously, I couldn’t.) I was ready to meet my baby girl. The pain was much more tolerable knowing I only had half a centimeter to go.

My midwife came. I pushed and she had me stand up on the bed with this bar & squat so I did. I ripped my IV out by accident without even noticing. Within 20 mins I was holding my gorgeous Myra Mae Tighe in my arms.

It. Was. Awesome.

I was able to stand & walk to the bathroom after. Stand in the shower on my own. On the epidural you are basically unable to use your legs for a good long while after delivery. In the shower I cried & cried peaking out the crack of the door as Jimmy was holding her, rocking side to side & gleaming down at her lovely face. I was so happy.

Whatever happens to you after you give birth, holy crap. That’s a drug I wish could be bottled up & given to my favorite people. I felt as if I had just won the heavyweight championship of the world. For about 3 weeks I was on a high I can’t even explain.

Everyone deserves the birth they want. Each of my babies births were different. In the end, I got the most incredible gift. There is nothing wrong with having a plan & it going completely left. Having your plan be an epidural, natural, water birth, whatever…in the end you get to say “I did this.”

This is my experience & for me, It will always be the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

What a day,

Michaela Tighe✌🏼

Photos taken by my doula, Hannah

Today I sent my kids to public school:

2 years ago, my husband walked in the door at 10am on a Monday in February. He was visibly upset after learning his employer at the time had not done something that was promised & this one small act (or lack thereof) changed the course of our lives. We uprooted our family which, unbeknownst to us, actually protected one of our children from a bad situation that had been occurring. Our new home added a layer of new challenges, though I can say without a single doubt in my mind that I would do it again. Was it perfect? No. There was certainly better ways to fix our situation. Still, knowingly or unknowingly protecting my children will never be a regret. I would move our family 100 times over without batting an eye.

Last month my daughter told me she would like to go back to public school. We talked about why & I listened as she reflected on the last year. She’s been a very impressive human in all of this. I wish I could begin to explain my pride in her. She surprises me daily & I continue to learn & grow as a person in her presence.

Her feelings were valid & from the beginning of our homeschooling last year I had assured the kids that public school wasn’t going anywhere. After discussing our options Colin expressed a similar sentiment as Lily & it became clear that it was time to sharpen our focus on what these kids were wanting. With clear heads & much deliberation, we decided as a family that we would begin the process of buying a new home in a school district that met our needs.

Our single most important criteria was what the school district offered for special education. Colin struggles with fine motor skills. This causes issues with many school related activities. If you work out, your muscles are tired & your sore. It’s the same idea for Colin only it his fingers & wrists that are tired & sore. The tiny muscles in his hands need to work harder so he compensates by using his bicep. Exerting energy using the larger muscle makes his arm poop out much quicker. Once he’s had enough, he begins to distract himself. He doesn’t want to sit still & he gets pretty wiggly. Now being aware of what a good school & quality teacher support looks like, we started our search for the perfect area.

Our list of criteria had an excellent special education department at the top of the list, but we certainly had other factors that mattered. Small class sizes, ethnic diversity, focus on quality art & music programs, & a district that was well funded & supported by its community. We narrowed our search to two different areas, one had 4 out of 5 of our criteria, the other had 5 out of 5. I rooted for the one that met all of our criteria though it wasn’t looking good for us. Most of the houses we liked were gone within a day of listing & the others wOuld not suit a family of 5. We offered on a couple in the other school district & were (luckily) beat out by better offers. But on Feb 3rd we had an accepted offer on a house in the school district of our dreams.

The real work began. I contacted every one I could think of at the school district that would ensure Colin received any & all of the support he needed. In Nebraska, we have a place called PTI Nebraska. They basically give you knowledge on how to advocate for your special needs children. One phone called changed everything. I learned that I could use our pending contract to enroll the kids now which might be ideal for Colin since the school district needs 45 days to do a full MDT which includes IQ, social emotional, behavior and functional academics.

Another family meeting took place at our house & it was decided to enroll the kids now so that we had any services needed for Colin ready to go by next school year. It felt like the best move to support his desire to return to public school. Meeting some neighborhood kids before we moved into the area would be a bonus. Their enrollment went smoothly & we had a start date in place.

So why did I feel sick? My stomach was in knots. I thought about all the (what felt like to me) mistakes I’ve made thinking I was doing the best for my kids. How can I know if I’m doing the right thing? I took a really deep & thoughtful look at the past 2 years. Though I have learned a significant amount about advocating for my children, I didn’t need it until Colorado. When we got to Colorado I didn’t know what I was up against. Before Colorado, our school district and teachers didn’t need me in their face. You could feel the love & support for the kids right from the start. We were lucky.

After some much needed advice, I decided I needed to speak with their new teachers directly. Talk about having a weight lifted. I didn’t feel like I was leading my kids into a dark room with no flashlight. We had found the light switch & what sealed the deal was our school tour the very next day.

Colin’s new teacher informed me that once she heard about him she specifically requested him. *one moment while my heart explodes* We arrived at the school and immediately bumped into her. She greeted Colin with the warmest hug. She asked him if he wanted to peak in on the class & say hi. He did & off they went. I stood back & watched my shy, sweet, charming little boy greet his new class peers with a bit of hesitation & a lot of excitement. She let him know that his new classmates have been so excited to meet him. It was basically all he needed to reassure himself he could do this.

Lily’s teacher was at a meeting the day we toured. When we popped into her class we were met with a slew of girls excitedly waving & once they got the go ahead my blue haired hippy child was surrounded by girls. Giggly & excited to tell her everything she needed to know about her new school. They showed her around & I hung back with the other 5th grade teacher. We left the school that morning knowing without a doubt in our minds that we were exactly where we should be.

Today my husband & I dropped our two oldest babies off at public school. We walked them into their classrooms & took their pictures with their new teachers. We shook hands with some support teachers & gave our kids hugs & kisses & told them where we’d pick them up. We watched as they excitedly got to see their new seats & where to put their things. We left happy with our decision.

✌🏼Michaela

My evolution of homeschooling:

When I first experienced a homeschooled kid it was 1996. I was in my middle school chior class & she was seated next to me in the soprano section. She was kind and silly. I enjoyed talking to her and was curious why she wouldn’t join us for the rest of our classes, or why she was even in our chior class to begin with if she was homeschooled.

I went several years after this experience not thinking much else about homeschooling. It wasn’t until after I started Cosmetology school in 2013 that I interacted again with anyone who had been homeschooled. My main feeling towards these individuals were no different than any other peer at school who happened to have been public schooled. They studied hard, made friends with ease, & grew as individuals. At least I’d have to assume so because I literally saw no difference in their day to day conversations compared to anyone else. It was clear to me that homeschooling didn’t make them some anti-social weirdos who couldn’t sit in a classroom.

These students embodied you’re typical 18-19 year olds (I was an elderly 28 at the time) so I never really had a personal negative experience on homeschoolers. It was society that made me feel really weird about the subject. As my kids thrived in public school I often wondered why would you homeschool? Do your kids hang out with other kids their age? How do you know what to teach? The list goes on & I was certain at this point you had to be glutton for some sort of punishment to decide to homeschool your kids.

Then, my public school loving self met my first homeschool mom friend. I didn’t judge her, she didn’t judge me. We liked wine, argued politics, and laughed about the trials and tribulations of small business ownership. She listened while I choked back my emotions about moving from my hometown in Iowa to Colorado Springs. She gave me advice when I first entertained the idea of homeschooling while we searched for a home in a great school district in The Springs.

Ultimately, we decided to go to the public school that was within the boundaries of our rental home (I chronicled that experience here) knowing we would be changing schools once we bought our new home. After it was clear that, that plan was not working as well as we’d hoped, the thought of homeschooling trickled back into my mind. It was at this point that I finally researched the topic. Like, up all night, down one rabbit hole after another, obsessive type research. If I was going to do this, I was going to be prepared. I googled every type of homeschool question imaginable with the words ‘peer review’ attached to it & began to set our learning plan officially in motion.

I decided to reach out to my homeschooled cosmetology peers. I needed insight into how this decision would affect my kids. They were open to all my questions and freely shared their experiences as homeschoolers. Remarkably, their answers were similar in many ways & they both gave a very non-judgemental tone towards all educational options available. I felt 1) they had an overall, very positive educational experience 2) homeschooling isn’t for everyone just as much as public school isn’t for everyone 3) they intend on educating their children (slightly) differently than their parents had educated them. All in all they were grateful for their experience & wouldn’t have changed it. This was a comfort to me at the time because I felt I had no choice, I was homeschooling out of necessity.

I sit here today, much less ignorant about the homeschooling world. Nothing is wrapped up in a perfect little package. Taking a public schooled kid into a homeschooled world is not an easy task. I’m proud of us & I’m thankful for the time I’ve had to bond with my kids. I think they’re exceptionally cool & I want to allow them an equal say in the way they are educated.

I guess I’ll end this on a cliff hanger of sorts. We have some big changes on the horizon. Until next time…

✌🏼Michaela

Where our homeschooling journey began:

I promised myself to write one blog post a month at least. Knowing I would be delving into our decision to homeschool had me seriously procrastinating. The last couple years haven’t been exactly easy. When I reflect back, the build up to homeschooling ranks right up there with one of the most painful parts.

Lily, my oldest, has always been an exemplary student. She has loved books since infancy. Teachers love her. She’s intelligent, kind hearted, and well behaved.

Colin, my middle, started school at three for speech. He is possibly the funniest kid I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Very charming and loving towards everyone. He’s a hard worker IF he likes you. Boy did he like his speech pathologist. I’m so happy she was brought into his life. His speech quickly progressed and he formed bonds with every teacher he had in preschool and kindergarten. To this day he talks about his old school and how much he misses his teachers.

Then we moved to Colorado Springs (there’s much more to that story, but that’s for another blog post on another day.) I toyed with the idea of homeschooling initially in Colorado because I didn’t want to put them in a school just to pull them out once we finally bought a home in a good school district. Our rental wasnt in the greatest school district, but it wasn’t the worst either. I was met with a stern ‘you’ll regret that’ by some teacher friends and figured they knew best.

Lily was not excited to start at her new school but Colin was thrilled. I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling really great about the school myself. Colin had an IEP & they were not ready for him. His teacher was confused and not even slightly helpful about this. It didn’t take long for Colin to dread going. He would cry and tell me how he was getting his recesses taken away every day because he’s “stupid” & “his brain doesn’t work right.”

My day consisted of me begging him to go in the mornings, dropping him off, crying and worrying the entire day until I got to pick him back up. Heading home and pulling out all his school work and doing it with him for 10-20mins each evening. I asked the school to get him a classroom aid on multiple occasions but they said it wasn’t needed.

He was unable to write quickly & efficiently. Because of this independent learning was extremely difficult. Because of that difficulty his recesses were taken away to continue having a hard time doing that work independently. That work would be sent home uncompleted for me to do with him. I felt like I was going insane.

Day after day Colin would share his terrible experiences with me. It was wearing on him. It was wearing on all of us. He lost his love for learning at the age of 6. Cause of death: a failing system with one size fits some education. We couldn’t continue sending our kid somewhere that took his happiness away.

I pulled him from school just after Thanksgiving break 2016. Once we decided to move back home (again, a blog post for another day) it made sense to pull Lily to homeschool as well, at least until we find a home in a great school district.

I want to make it clear that I am a lover of public schools and a huge supporter of public school teachers. Up until Colins first grade teacher, I have had truly excellent relationships with every single one of my kids teachers & their school. I’ve trusted them and felt I was putting my kids in the best hands.

My family is the single most important thing to me in this world. To be very frank, the opinions of people living outside of this home do not matter when it comes to what’s best for us. Whether you’re for or against homeschooling or public schooling, this is what’s best right now. Later things may change because public school isn’t going anywhere.

You never know what the month might bring…

✌🏼Michaela Tighe

Why I left social media & regret it:

I can say with confidence that those who know me know where I stand on most things. I’m not shy when it comes to my opinion. That is why after the 2016 election I disappeared from social media. Deleting it all felt so right. Nothing was sacred. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, even Pinterest were deleted permanently. I didn’t want to see or hear about anything or anyone because I was so deeply disappointed and disgusted by many of the people that I care abouts presidential candidate choice.

Then *BOOM* life punched me in the stomach. My son was going through a terrible time. It became clear we needed to pull him out of public school & begin our crazy new homeschool life that I never saw coming. I needed to find support. Google was too informative and weeding through everything was overwhelming. I needed to know what the state requirements were. I needed *gasp* a facebook support group. After going through all the hoops to permanently delete my social media accounts, I was making a new one in the hope it would ease my worried mind. 

Boy, did it. Almost immediately I had the answers I needed. I was able to find (through direction in these Facebook groups) a like minded local homeschooling group. However, I was still plugging my nose at the thought of palletting anything my friends and family with opposing political views would or could potentially post.

So, I tried to stay low key at first. I only added like minded friends and family. I was resentful and if I’m being honest, I’m still a bit resentful. That side of me probably won’t change, but what has is my awareness of their feelings. Of their right to not only disagree with me, but of mine to still care about them & be considerate of their reasons without selling out my truth. As time continued, as I read more, as I took some deep breaths…I began to open back up. Adding more friends & family that I love unconditionally, no matter who they voted for.

Some days I’m still upset at the way my country that I dearly love is going. The difference is, I understand that these people I care so much about…they were trying to do the best that they felt they could do too. We clearly don’t agree with what the best is, does that make them bad people? No. Does it make me a bad person? No.
I’ve had Facebook since 2006. My eldest daughter was born October 2006. All those memories are not attached to my new account. Messages, pictures, videos…gone. Yes, I did upload everything from Facebook. It’s truly just not the same. I had my Instagram account since 2010. My son was born December 2009. Memories all backed up, but no ‘on this day’ reminders that have always meant so much to me. In one angry resentful swoop, *poof* – they’re gone.

If I could go back, I would suspend my accounts & just take a break from social media. I’d look internally at what is important & focus myself onto those aspects. I wouldn’t sever ties with people that I genuinely like who may never speak to me again nor understand why I cut them loose. Most importantly, I’d still have all those precious memories to share easily with you all. My family is my heart. I will never make such a silly mistake again.

My friends who know me forgave me immediately with no grief. I truly feel lucky to have these people in my life. Even if they’re politics make me crazy (and vise versa, I’m sure), it’s worth it just having their love and support in my life.