I called my husband in the middle of our homeschool lesson, telling him how hard it is to make it through a lesson. I have kids pillow fighting while I call him. Already, I had solved at least 3 dozen little problems, such as:
-Telling my 10 year old son a dozen times to please not suck his thumb.
-Resolving conflicts over who gets to play with one child or sit next to whom.
-Asking my kids to please not scream loudly, step on the piano keys, hit people, fight, etc.
The list could go on, but I do not want to overwhelm you. The point I want to make is this:
Homeschooling is HARD WORK!!!
My grandmother told me on Halloween, that I need to send my kids to public school so that I can have a break. I know I need a break. I couldn’t possibly agree more. Homeschooling is hard work. She means well. I have just heard one too many times, that since it is hard, I should quit.
These are the things which make it hard:
-The bullying comes from one’s own siblings
-Mom has to remind herself to breathe in slowly, close her eyes, relax and breathe out slowly (frequently)
When a homeschool mom, Mom’s hobbies become:
-putting together the homeschool room/ homeschool areas.
-finding curriculum, worksheets, books, learning games, co-op groups which suit the family, homeschool group events, learning aids and so forth
-cleaning and organizing homeschool stuff
-filling out new schedule or routine plans, or calendars
-finding ways to escape when the husband or other big helper, is in.
I am really upset that some people tell me that because it is hard, I should stop doing it. Do people ever go up to U.S. Soldiers and say, “If it is so hard, then just stop doing it!”? No. No, they do not. They go up to them and say, “Thank you. Thank you for serving our country. Thank you for keeping our nation free.”
Public school teachers have a frustrating, difficult job, like unto mine in many ways, but different also. They are also stressed, like me, over teaching kids to have respect for the teacher. They are also stressed about kids fighting, running around the room, not listening at times, and so forth. Yet, when a public school teacher complains, do people ask them to quit, and tell them, “You really should not teach school, because it is too hard. You need a job that is less stressful.” No. People do not. They thank the teachers. Mothers gush over public school teachers and tell them things similar to: “I do not know what I would do without you. You are a great teacher. Thank you so much!”
Parents have a very tough job. It is neverending. It is very difficult. It is stressful. When parents go to others and complain about how hard it is, do we say to them, “You should not be a parent, then. Just stop being a parent. Give the parenting job to someone else. Let people in care centers do it, take lots of breaks and switch shifts. It is too stressful for you. You need to not parent that child anymore”??
Seriously? If you said that, you would have just lost a friend. He or she would think you are insane. They did not complain, wanting you to tell them to stop doing it! This is what they want. They want you to have empathy for them. They want you to be a listening ear or a sounding board. They may want a hug! They do not want to stop being the parent to their child!
Next time you feel like saying to a homeschool mom, that what they do is too hard, and she should quit, know that you are risking losing their trust in a big way. This homeschool mom will not use you as a sounding board again. She will add you to the bottom of her extremely long list of people she cannot vent to.
Know this also, that this woman truly does have a very impossibly long list of people she knows she cannot vent to, or dares not try venting to for the first time. She needs to vent. It is a healthy thing all women must do to keep their sanity. Women who homeschool are not extrahuman. They are NOT more amazing than other women. They are normal, everyday women who need listening and caring from other women. They need a sounding board. Please do not tell them to quit.
Instead, support them as a friend supports a friend. This is what we homeschool moms crave. We need badly, people who listen and empathize, but do not tell us to quit homeschooling. We need people who listen, think inside their heads, perhaps, that that is really hard, and then say aloud, “That would be really hard. Let’s go play, and get our minds off it, and help you feel like yourself again! You need a break!”
So if you are my friend and you are reading this, call me and let’s go hang out. If you are a really good friend, you will ask about homeschooling and listen, but not tell me to quit doing it.
Thanks in advance for calling me and going out to a movie or to dinner, to help me to be myself again, or for those who have done so, in the past!