Mosiah 8:18 “And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;”
A homeschool mom has had a very difficult days, weeks, months and years. She has had ups and downs just like you have. The difference between a homeschool mom and other women, though, is that when other women say their lives are difficult, people do not usually tell them to quit whatever it is they are doing because what they are doing is futile or too difficult.
For a homeschool mom, taking the risk of telling you that homeschooling is very hard, is a risk. That risk is a big deal. She has heard from many, that she should stop homeschooling if it is so hard. She wants you to be a listening ear or a sounding board. She is testing the waters with you. She will test the waters with many, until she finds someone who will allow her to have frailties, to not have to pretend she is someone she is not. She does not want to stop being a homeschool mom because she feels overwhelmed, just like mothers do not want to stop being mothers when they feel overwhelmed.
Next time you feel like saying to a homeschool mom, that because what she does is too hard, she should quit, remember that she could have been a dear friend. This homeschool mom may not risk being truthful with you again. She may add you to the bottom of her extremely long list of people to whom she cannot vent.
Is it the duty of a homeschool mom to bear this life without complaint? Must she live life telling everyone homeschool is going perfectly, even if it is not, because of potential passing of judgement about her incompetencies? Does the homeschool mom not get your part of “bear one another’s burdens that they may be light,” because she has chosen a path of which you do not approve?
Please do not be a person 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. She who homeschools is not extra-human. She is NOT more amazing than other women. She does not think she is. She is humble and does not think she is better than you because she has chosen this different path. No, she is not judging you, so please allow her the same courtesy. She is a normal, everyday woman, as unique and complicated as any other woman, who needs listening and caring from other women, just like all other women. Just like all other women, she needs a sounding board. Please do not tell her to quit telling you the truth by telling her that if homeschooling is so hard, she should quit.
Instead, support her 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. So, please, whether you understand the homeschool thing or not; Whether or not you support it or agree with it, Support the woman. She is a child of God, and she has burdens that she would like to tell you about. Just listen. All she needs is a listener. Be that person for her!
Perhaps instead of telling her to quit, you can say,”Oh, that must be hard.” Then you can tell her you also have troubles, and she will listen to you, too. She will then say to you, “Oh, that also must be hard.” You do not have to have the exact same life to be friends. Friends are just people who support one another. They listen to one another. They are there for each other. Just be that for a homeschool mom! She will be so relieved to have finally found someone.