Monday, April 09, 2007

It ISN'T for everyone!

I had a great visit with my sister today. We chatted alot in between kid interruptions. Hers are on spring break and our school hours are flexible. ( : She kind of started feeling sorry for me a bit, seeing me as a perfect martyr.

"You are always with your kids, you never really get to do things for yourself."

I know it seems that way on the outside looking in but it sure doesn't feel that way on the inside looking out. First, my husband is totally okay with me going and doing anything I want to do when he is home (non-working hours and days off). I think we are both a little surprised at how infrequently this happens. I enjoy a good Walmart trip alone, but I don't venture out often. Pampered Chef parties and sales meetings are the bulk of my time away from home and that is technically "work". It is also only a few times a month. He never minds if I want to go to a "Girl's night out" or do something with a friend.

Second, I think having divorced parents and a very crappy family life growing up allows me to REALLY enjoy my family life now. I sort of get to experience it for the first time. I wish I could have had a typical upbringing instead of one so wildly unpredictable. I feel as though I am raising my three children and also my inner child. My inner child has grown alot in the past ten years. It has been great for all of us.

Third, homeschooling is so much easier and more rewarding than most people think. They envision public school at home (mom and the kids at a table staring at each other for 6-7 hours studying books) instead of homeschool which is way different. If you did school at home, kids would graduate at 12. We also would not want to spend any time together, ever. I actually did school at home for 6 months and nearly made us all stark staring mad. Then I started asking the right kind of questions of fellow homeschoolers and finding a balance. I spend much less one on one study time with my children than most people dealing with 4 hours of public school "homework". Plus, I know the material we are covering and exactly what the expectations are. I am blessed to have experienced both sides and I hope our circumstances always allow us this homeschool freedom.

Pity me because it is hard to be a good mom and wife in this day and age of selfishness. Pity me because I don't like myself or my family from time to time. Pity me because the Devil seems to know exactly what my weak spots are despite the fact that they frequently change. Pity me for the huge amounts of laundry this family manages to go through. Pity me for my sock basket. Pity me because of the forced sacrifices from time to time as a single income family.

Pity me because I spend so much time at home and with my children?? I think NOT. I am loving (most) every minute of it!

I tried to explain to her but it is hard. I finally said, "You don't know what you are missing because you have never done this. I've been where you are and I wouldn't change a thing."

I quickly followed up with, "Don't feel bad though, it isn't for everyone." And it isn't.


Heather said...

My SIL is like that -- even now that she has a baby. I am LOVING this. SOm much more that I thought I ever would. It has been an incredible blessing for our family.

Mia said...

if it were easy EVERY one would do it....I love being with my childern! Well 99% of the time I do...but OH that 1%

Julie Anne said...

So well said.

hulagirlatheart said...

I am just disappointed that as women we don't all support each other more in our individual decisions. There is no one perfect way to raise a family. Each woman does what is best for her own situation. I have had some stay at home moms look down their nose at me because I work, and I hear working woman trashing women who don't work outside the home. I think I would fail miserably at home schooling, but I have all the respect in the world for those people who do it. Much of the time it's not the men holding us back, it's woman holding each other back. I wish we could just lift each other up instead of questioning others' decisions.

thruchildeyes said...

I like this post. There are moments that I think I'll just go get a job and pay someone else to watch my kids. It only lasts a minute, though, 'cause how could I miss this?

Susie said...

LOL--I have a sister like this. I do WOH, but would go back to being a SAHM in a heartbeat if we could. But I'm so glad that I work long days so that I have more days off with my babies. My sister dumps her daughter off on whomever to go out with her friends all the time. I can't imagine not spending every spare minute with my kids. I truly enjoy every minute with them. : )