I read this post From Raising Arrows today. It is very good. I do not feel exactly the same way, but I feel close to the way this woman feels. She talks about why mothers of large families do not share what it is really like to be a mother of many (and a homeschooling one, at that).
One thing she said is that we do not want others to think or say that we should not complain, as we brought it upon ourselves (You chose to have this many, so now live with the consequences!). This is for sure the one I agree with the most. I cannot possibly share with others what my life is like day to day because most around me do not have this many kids and most around me do not chose to homeschool their children.
I have been given negative judgements about both homeschooling and having a large family so many times. I know the probability that someone will say something negative is great. I am usually wary that they might tell me how I could easily get them into public school, so why do I not do that?! I am also very aware that there is a great chance they will say something about how I should not have had yet another child.
I hate, hate, hate the question about whether a pregnancy was a surprise or whether it was planned. In my opinion, this is only for my husband and me to know. I wish I had the guts to tell people I feel that way. I also hate the question about whether we are done. This is something very rude to ask, in my opinion. When you hear I am having a hysterectomy, you will now that we have decided we are done. It is not polite to ask us. It is none of your business. In truth, even getting a hysterectomy is none of anyone’s business, either, except the couple’s.
I read a comment under the post above that said that the homeschooling mom of many who wrote the article should tell everyone the truth and leave it up to the other person to choose to be kind or unkind. She said that mothers like her NOT sharing what it is really like make other moms who compare themselves to others think that everything that mom does is amazing, and wonder why she herself is not that capable. She said for that reason, the author of the post should lay the truth out there.
I can see the point the commenter is making, but I disagree. The post’s author has been judged too many times and does not need the negative energy coming her way. Not only will others judge for the reasons given, but they will also tell her she disciplines wrong or should not have done this or that, or that somehow, she parents wrong or does not take enough time for herself, or whatever. This, we have also heard much of. We have been a parent for quite a while. We have decided what we like and don’t like by way of disciplining and we don’t want to tell others how we do it. It is not because we do not want others to learn from us. It is more than likely that we know that anyone, from a person with no kids to a person with two to a person with 5 kids, will likely tell us we should try this or should not have done it that way. We just don’t want the advice. Honestly, if we want advice from you because we trust you, you are a good friend and we like the way you discipline, we will ask you for advice. If we do not ask, don’t give it to us. We did not ask for it.
Just last week, I heard that I should have grounded my children because of lack of help around the house. I decided I did not like the idea of grounding while I was a kid watching my friends be grounded. I don’t believe in it and these are my children so I get to decide. Sometimes I do tell them they cannot do this or that activity unless they do their homeschool dailies and chores, and we stick to that, but I do not ground them. I still let them do other things, even outside of our yard. How I discipline my children is really my choice UNLESS I am physically harming them (which is when you should come get my child and take the child to your house to live for a few days because it means I have temprarily lost it, because I do not believe in that)!
I will tell you what it is like, little by little, in blog posts. I cannot possibly tell you all at once like you are a hard drive and can download all of it. You cannot, so if you wish to know what it is really like to homeschool many children and just want it little bit by little bit, then just subscribe to my blog posts and you will get them via E-mail as soon as I write them.
I will tell you this. These past couple months have been SO HARD! I am so glad some of the homeschool classes are over with. I am glad we get to rest a little. More will be over with after next week. Then we will officially have a break from outside learning for a bit. It will be nice to just stay home and sleep in (no early morning seminary).