Homeschooling and motherhood seem to go hand in hand. I couldn’t let the Mother’s Day slip by without a little introspection. In all my time of researching about and then actually teaching my children at home, the one thing I’ve noticed is that the vast majority of homeschoolers are mothers. That is not to say that dads aren’t involved, many of them are, to varying degrees, and there are certainly dads who carry the brunt of the schooling responsibilities. But one thing I’ve noticed is the sisterhood that comes with teaching your own children. Our struggles aren’t that unique, but we all seem to struggle on the same points.
Being a mom is probably one of the hardest and most important jobs I’ve ever willingly taken on. Once we officially added homeschooling to my description, the pressure was officially ON. It’s not that parenting was so easy and relaxed before now, but suddenly things became much more measurable. It seemed like there were things put down on paper that I had to prove were going right, or at a minimum just going. Between all of the different homeschooling moms I’ve talked to, I think the one thing we all agree on is the pressure, undue or not, that we put on ourselves to do the best thing for our kids.
As parents, we have countless decisions to make, many of which we take extremely seriously. For most families, the decision on how to school your child is fairly cut and dry. They will go to public school (in most cases) or we will spend money on a private education. It’s becoming much more common that families are choosing the third option, which is to homeschool and I don’t think a single parent takes that decision lightly. There are so many questions.
- What if I’m a bad teacher?
- What if I don’t know enough about a certain subject?
- What if we get bored?
- What if my kid misses out on social activities?
- What if my kid hates it?
- What if my kid hates me?
- Do we have enough wine?
These questions are not unique to the decision to homeschool (or motherhood in general), but it’s yet another added layer to the meters-deep coating of guilt we put on ourselves as moms. As if worrying about, feeding, clothing and otherwise generally nurturing our kids weren’t enough, we’re adding this on to the plate of things to wake up at night about.
The truth is, and I’ve said this from the beginning, it just doesn’t matter.
You will make bad decisions and you will make amazing decisions and as long as the one constant is there; as long as you continue to love your children as though it were your job (because it is), they. will. be. fine.
So, on this Mother’s Day, I’m sending out all the “own it” vibes to all my other Sort of Moms out there. Because we are all putting way too much pressure on ourselves. Over everything. Whether you are homeschooling, or private schooling or keeping your kid home an extra day from Spring Break because you miss them, you are doing the best you can. You’re here after all.