As homeschool moms (I use solely moms intentionally because homeschool dads are generally revered as superheroes 🙂 ) we don’t receive accolades. We don’t get a certificate for the new skill we learned. We don’t get a bonus for juggling everyone’s needs and activities in a certain week even though it took extra hours.
We don’t hear “job well done”. Our role is not celebrated by society. Sure, every once in awhile someone says “my gawd I don’t know how you do it. I’d kill my kids if I spent all day every day with them” but that’s not positive recognition. It’s not even about us. It’s about them. It makes us feel… invisible, maybe.
They Don’t Know
Though many partners are grateful for the life their kids are living, if they are the working parent they cannot appreciate what we homeschool moms do, because really, they don’t know.
They don’t know that we only slept for four hours because one child was so immersed in a new digital drawing project until 3 AM and the other is so excited about playing electric guitar that he gets up at 7- leaving, at best, 4 hours for sleep if we want to be with our kids when they are awake.
They don’t know that it is after so many trials, conversations, and attempts that we have finally figured out how to navigate a day, or a week, when each child has different things they want to do, and it doesn’t seem possible to make it all work.
They don’t know that in the spare 40 minutes we have each day we are checking the web for recipes everyone will like and cool activities for the kids. They don’t know that we attend events and activities even though we don’t enjoy our time in the environment, because we have prioritized our kids.
They don’t know how much we have read or listened to so that we can better respond to questions, challenges, and curiosities, or how many times we have stopped ourselves in our tracks, backed out and started again because we are applying what we are learning as we go.
They don’t know how much thought, reflection, learning, improvement, and growth it’s taken to make life so peaceful.
Sure, parents whose kids go to school do these things too, I’m sure. And they have a different set of circumstances to which I cannot relate (“Gawd, I don’t know how you do it” comes to mind. 🙂 ).
Even the partners who came alongside our belief that not sending our kids to school is what’s best cannot appreciate what a day is like. And unless roles switch, and they become the homeschool parent, they never will. And that’s okay.
It’s Just an Acknowledgement
This may sound like a complaint. I assure you, it’s not. I choose to spend all of my time with my kids. I adore them and they are literally the two most awesome people I know. At any moment I could choose to send them to school for free and then decide to go back to work full time or not. Yes, I have Boku privilege. I know.
I could choose for my kids to spend several hours awake without me each day- I could choose that. They are old enough and responsible. But they both like having me up with them. I make them snacks and they often call on me to listen to or look at something. I love having the privilege of being the one who gets to do that all day every day. Really, I cannot believe I am so lucky.
On weeks like this when my partner who normally works from home is away, though, I am reminded of how much homeschool moms do. As I finished putting the last dish in the dishwasher before we leave to pick up my husband at the airport I gave myself a little congratulations.
Homeschool Moms Life
With two kids exploring new things they are passionate about this week, and with two very different sleep schedules, I have learned enough to allow my kids to flourish in the time my partner has been gone.
The laundry is done. The house is clean. We ate yummy home cooked food all week. The beds are made. And I managed to sneak in close to a dozen auditions, too– and write this piece, and another piece… all while supporting my kids fully. It was not crazy or chaotic. It was calm, peaceful, and connected. I feel really, really good about that.
I could try to tell someone about this accomplishment- my parnter, my sister, a neighbor-even another mom. It would sound so silly though. Only another homeschool mom could understand what a robust and accomplished week I’ve had.
It’s okay for me to pay myself on the back. It’s okay for me to acknoweldge how awesome it is that I was able to do all of that this week while keeping home mostly peaceful. I’ve worked really hard to get here, and probably, so have you.
Here’s To Us Homeschool Moms
Tomorrow morning my partner will bring me coffee in bed while my daughter and I watch a show. He will listen to my son play guitar and probably take him to breakfast. The dishes will be put away, the kitchen clean, and the guinea pig’s cage cleaned, by him, before I even wake up. It will be easier, smoother, and all will feel easy again. Like I said, this is not a complaint. This life is beautiful.
Still. Here is to us- my fellow homeschool moms. Here’s to us continuing to learn, grow, improve, listen, try, watch, give up old habits that no longer serve our family, add in better habits that do serve our family, learning to better communicate… all the skills that go unnoticed on a daily basis but are so much a part of our work. It’s a wonderful life we’ve chosen and I think it’s good for us to pat ourselves on the back when we know we’ve done well. And this week, I’ve done well.
How about you?