Saturday, March 5, 2011

finding your way

There's a lot out there about the myriad ways to keep your homeschooled kids happy and socialized - basically, as with anything else in life, the amount of effort you put into it relates directly to the amount of satisfaction they get out of it : in other words, it is what you make of it. I have zero doubts about my kids' opportunities and quality of social time. Something you never seem to read about is where you as the parent fit into the grand scheme of things.

Sometimes it's hard to feel like you fit in when you're a homeschool mom, especially if you have a large family that spans a substantial age range. I'm not just a toddler and preschooler mommy since my older kids don't go off to school each day; nix the preschool set of friends. Many baby/toddler groups these days absolutely forbid older kids attending. On that same axis, since I have a preschooler and toddler to keep up with, I'm not just a homeschool mom. Field trips that require concentration, quiet, and two hands? Forget it.

I used to have hobbies. Once upon a time there was the opportunity to train and show horses. I could sit down and draw. I really enjoyed taking photographs, not just of my kids but for other people as a budding profession. If I felt like it, I could even sit down and read a book.

You give up a lot as a homeschooling mom. There's the time and the effort that go into the planning and the doing, but mostly you give up being normal. You give up fitting in with the moms you used to hang out with, because their kids went off to school and yours didn't. You give up on society thinking you're a sane person who knows what you're doing with your kids.

Even after almost six years, I feel a little lost sometimes.

But I don't think society ever thought I was a sane person.

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