Sometimes, I get this funny feeling that many folks think we homeschool mothers are just not normal. “Not normal” meaning: we are somehow exempt from the common plagues of womanhood. You know, impatience, griping, anger, poor time management, selfishness, loneliness, hormones, etc.
I’ll never forget the day a mother told me, “I wish I wanted to homeschool. But I just need that alone time while my boys are away at school!” Where do people get this idea that women who choose to homeschool their children, do it because it’s just so easy for them?
That we don’t “need alone time”. Don’t wake up tired and grumpy on occassion. Never get sick, or have sick little ones. Don’t crave adult conversation, or relish a hot shower without interruptions, or wouldn’t like to spend one day without peeling hardened pasta off the kitchen floor with a spatula.
I well remember the frazzled day I told my husband (in a not-so-gentle way), “I AM NOT CUT OUT TO BE A HOMESCHOOL MOM! I just can’t do it!” Looking back those eighteen or so months, I realize I am not the same woman who sobbed those exasperated words to my husband. Granted, I have the same struggles. Wake up to the same challenges every day. But I am not the same. Because of grace.
I’ll give you a few good reasons why I’m not “cut out” to be a homeschool mom:
- I’m impatient.
This lack of virtue has been my life-long struggle. I get irritable. Easily. Gentleness does not come naturally or easily for me. I’m task-oriented. High strung. A perfectionist. Interruptions bother me. Chaos distresses me. Need I say more?
- I’m inconsistent.
Homeschool moms are Super Women who know how to train perfect children, maintain a well ordered home, prepare healthy meals, sew their own clothing. I can’t do all those things all the time. I start… and stop. Learn… and burn (out). I struggle to with stick with basic routines, much less strict regimens. I’d ruin my kids!
- I don’t have time.
Seriously, what mama does “have time” to homeschool her children? Who is supposed to clean the house and buy groceries and do laundry and plan menus… while Mama teaches her children? I haven’t even mentioned my role of being a wife, much less the wife of a pastor. I definitely don’t have time. Do you?
- I don’t have space.
In my house, I mean. Right now, there are 7 of us living in a 2-bedroom house. Where would I put all those books and supplies and materials- piled on the dining room table? We’d be in each other’s hair all day. It just isn’t reasonable. I need my space.
The odds are against me: temperament, schedules, circumstances. It just wouldn’t work! But it does work. And I am. Not because I’m necessarily “good” at it, or because it comes easily for me, or because everything always just falls into place for our family.
Homeschooling “works” for our family because we make it work. It is a priority. A calling. Even a conviction. Because of our commitment to homeschool, there are many other things we aren’t involved in, don’t spend our money on, don’t invest our time into. Not because some of these “other things” are bad, but because they would rob us of these precious years to nurture and train our children.
I can only homeschool my children once in my lifetime and theirs. Now is that time. It is up to me, and to my husband, to make these days count. For eternity. This is why I choose to get up every morning, sit down at our dining room table, and teach my children in the best way I know how.
Honestly, I don’t love it every day. But every day I am learning, growing, and increasingly grateful to be a homeschool mom. Even though I’m not really “cut out” for it.
Kristy Howard is a believer in Jesus Christ, a pastor’s wife, and homeschooling mother of four. She is passionate about living simply, naturally, and Biblically for the glory of God. Kristy is the editor and owner of LittleNaturalCottage.com, where she furiously writes about her loves during nap time. She and her husband, Jeremy, make their home in North Texas, where they enjoy their growing family, their church, and their pursuit of a debt free life.
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