Monday, September 28, 2015

We're all in this together.

You guys, I did not ever intend to be a homeschool mom anymore than I intended to be an alphabet soup mom (currently: ADHD, ODD, SPD, & I'm pretty sure dysgraphia that I don't believe has any kind of acronym).  I did ((ALWAYS)) intend to be a mom though.  Part of being a mom (parent), in my opinion, is doing what is best for your kids any time you have a way to make the best happen. I think I've said this before, but I'll say it again:
I am NOT supermom.
I am NOT any more qualified than you.
I am NOT patient.
I am not even sure what I'm doing most days, quite honestly!  I'm just winging it here folks!  There are positives and negatives of being a homeschool mom - and of being an alphabet soup mom.  I don't think public/private/charter/magnet/boarding/or any other kind of schooling is wrong, it's just not right for my kiddo (at the moment at least), or my family.  My sister is one of the most intelligent people I know, she went to a small town public school.  The hubby is another one of the most intelligent people I know, and he went to a large public school.  I don't think I fared too poorly in the intelligence department myself, and I went to a small private school. We each do what works for us & our families.  It's really that simple.
There are as many types of homeschooling families & reasons behind their choices as there are ways to homeschool!  We are all doing the best we can with what we have!  Some days I'm the on-top-of-it-all homeschool mom, and we do a thorough set of studies (that I planned out in advance even!), followed by outdoor time, chores, non-electronic playtime, etc.  Some days I don't want to do any.thing., so I assign "independent study" & try to allow myself a breather without guilt.  (Oh, you better believe that there is ALWAYS guilt!) I think it all evens out though, because I truly believe that all of life's experiences are learning experiences.  And, plus also, I've got 365 days x 10 more years to fill KMan's brain with any knowledge he needs my help filling it with.  It's all good!
Last week we went camping.  There was no worry about pulling KMan out of school, our school room (that'd be the earth/life/experience here folks) travels with us. We're also going to have a Fair Day, just like I did growing up in DFW.  I realize it's not a thing around us, but we're making it one - road trip! Again, no worries over pulling him out of school, or putting him in an anxiety-inducing state of the weekend crowds.  We're also planning another camping trip soon because there's just such a small window of good camping weather here in Texas.  Who cares how long we go, we can learn on the road, and we can school all summer long *gasp*.
Of course, I can't schedule dr appts for when I don't have kids with me (ha, I can't even pee alone most days!).  I have the weight of teaching my kiddos "everything they need to know in life" placed squarely on my shoulders, and I sometimes feel left out of the things that are going on at the neighborhood school. - I was SO going to be the super mom my own mother was & be involved in all. the. things. at the school.  Guess I just stepped that game up a bit, huh?  I'm so totally involved in all. the. things. - janitor, teacher, counselor, principal, electives, administrator...
We have to sacrifice too.  We don't eat out often.  We rarely get to have a babysitter (I think our last night out was in May).  My clothes all come from the discount rack of the cheapest stores.  We eat a lot of generic grocery items.  I gave up my Y membership.  Etc, etc, etc.  We chose these sacrifices, sure, but once I took on homeschooling I lost the ability to change my mind & go get a job. (Honestly, now that I homeschool I have no idea how I'd find the time for a job!)

Please don't judge me for my choice to be a lead parent (trying that out instead of stay at home mom - because I sure don't stay home much!).  Don't judge me for my alphabet soup kiddo's behavaiors (and you better not even dream of judging him for them!). Don't judge me for my decision to homeschool.  I don't need side eyes.  I don't need snide remarks.  I don't need whispers behind my back.  I need support, adult conversation, friendship, and respect.  I'll do the same for you, whatever choices you make.
On the same note - don't think you couldn't do this.  Don't think it'd be too hard (I'm not saying it isn't hard - but traditional schooling has its challenges too!).  If you have ever had even the briefest notion of homeschooling, stop & think it through.  Though it has many challenges, it also has so many perks!  (Also, if you do homeschool & have had any thoughts about enrolling your kids in public school, give it a good hard look.  It doesn't make you a failure, it makes you amazing for doing what is best for your kids & your family.)
Our kids are only with us for a short time.  They deserve our love & true devotion, our wise direction in what is best for them, They have an opinion on things, and they should get to voice it, but we have the final say & we know what the world is really going to bring them.  Do what is best for you & your family & don't take anyone else's opinions as anything more than their opinions.  They are not living your life & do not know your child or family as deeply as you do.  No matter what, always know that if you are doubting ANY parenting decision(s) it's because you are an amazing parent.  Hang in there.  We've only got (approx) 936 weeks with them from birth until adulthood. ((If they're already in school, you're down to at least 676 weeks already!))

Thanks for letting me get that out. I've heard a lot of comments - positive & negative - about homeschooling & about being a lead parent lately.  Come on guys, we're ALL doing the best we can with what we have.  Even those truly awful, CPS-worthy parents are probably doing the best with what they can, they just need more of A LOT of things (love, guidance, support, grace, etc, etc, etc, etc).