A common question these days is, “So, how is homeschooling?”
I get the sense that people half expect me to regret my decision. That they wouldn’t be surprised one bit if I broke down in tears and said I hated it. That I couldn’t take one more day of it. And truthfully, that is kind of what I expected to happen. I really didn’t think this would work.
No one is more surprised than me that this is actually pretty awesome.
I want to be frank with you. If homeschooling wasn’t working, I would admit it. I’m not here to sugar coat anything. If you’ve been reading my blog for two days or two years, hopefully one thing you’ve come to expect is my honesty. So trust me when I say, I’m digging this whole homeschooling-unschooling experience.
Homeschooling is hard. It’s requiring a ton of work. And yes, I’m not getting much of a break from the kids.
Guys, I’m having so much fun.
This experience has taught me so much already. For starters, it’s showed me that we are made to take care of our kids. We are hardwired to make the necessary sacrifices and to put in the hard work that raising them requires. I’m not saying that you have to homeschool. If you read anything I write and feel like I’m saying homeschooling is always the right choice for all people then you aren’t paying attention. What I’m saying is that we can do it. Whatever “it” might be for you. You. Can. Do. It. You can do whatever hard thing your kids require of you. What’s more, wrapped up in all the sweat and tears and yes- curse words – there is fun. You can be the parent you need to be and enjoy being a parent. I promise.
I was listening to two separate people on two different podcasts recently who both ultimately said the same thing – we struggle to value the sacrifice and work that it takes to raise kids. We assume that people who stay home with their kids as a SAHM or homeschooling mom must be miserable, and when they tell us they are actually quite content, we smile and nod but secretly doubt. How could they be happy? How could you find joy and contentment and fulfillment in spending your days with your kids? Kids are the worst!
There are more memes and post out there about how much women hate to spend time with their kids than there are posts that say, “Hey! I like my kids and enjoy spending time with them!”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that kids are a drag that deter us from our dreams. That they are the things that keep us in a holding pattern of stress and struggle and stagnation until we can send them off to school/college/a job and we can get back to living our life.
But what if we viewed raising our kids as a chance to spend time with them, to work with them, and to enjoy them? Not every minute or even every day, of course. Living with other humans is hard. But do we sell this whole parenting gig short, do we sell ourselves and our abilities short, by not viewing this season of life for what it really is? A gift. A season. An opportunity.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. I would have never chosen to homeschool if my oldest son didn’t require it. I never wanted this life. But man oh man, am I grateful to be on this journey. I’m grateful that God smacked me in the face with the responsibility that I have to these precious babies. He reminded me that he didn’t bless me with them for my sake. They aren’t here to stroke my ego or to make me feel better about myself or, worse, to fill my home with shiny little replicas of me that I get to parade around on social media. These are individual human beings. With needs and wants and desires of their own. My job is to shape and support and facilitate their life, which means it’s much less about me and far more about them and who God has made them to be.
We make parenting about us, which is why we tend to not enjoy it as often as we could.
This past week, I’ve had moments of stunning clarity where I see my three babies in the light of who they are, and who they are becoming. And I’m amazed.
What a gift. I’m so grateful to be on this journey with them. I’m so glad I get to spend my days with them. I’m psyched out of my mind that I get to go on walks and listen to music and paint and read books and yes – WATCH NETFLIX, THANK YOU JESUS – with them. Kids are so much more fun than we are, you guys. Like, seriously. I’ve laughed more with them in one day than I have with most adults I know…ummm…ever.
We tend to make parenting this horrible obligation. Even if we don’t admit it, even if you want to argue with that statement, the truth is we tend to fill our life so full of other things that could wait that we don’t have the time or energy to enjoy the things that are growing up right before our very eyes. They won’t be around forever, you know.
This isn’t my way of telling you mommas out there to quit your job and stay home. This is not my way of saying you should homeschool. This is my way of saying, enjoy those babies. Yes motherhood is the hardest job out there. And yes it’s the worst paying job. And yes you will literally lose your mind and your sleep and your skinny jeans in the process. But golllllly. Is it worth it. It’s SO worth it. So choose wisely. And remember that they aren’t here for you.
You are here for them.
‘And yet, your life is very different from the one you pictured so long ago. Do you remember our castles in the air?’ asked Amy.
‘Yes, I remember; but the life I wanted then seems selfish, lonely, and cold to me now. I haven’t given up the hope that I may write a good book yet, but I can wait, and I’m sure it will be all the better for such experiences and illustrations as these;’ and Jo pointed from the lively lads in the distance to her father, leaning on the Professor’s arm, as they walked to and fro in the sunshine, deep in one of the conversations which both enjoyed so much, and then to her mother, sitting enthroned among her daughters, with their children in their lap and at her feet, as if all found help and happiness in the face which never could grow old to them.