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Monday, December 15, 2014

the confessions of a homeschooling mom


fuzzy early morning deliciousness

And, right on cue, a week before Christmas, nearly halfway through the school year, I start googling local schools and private school tuition costs and daydreaming about having hours a day to write and do work on a nonprofit I want to start....

The secret homeschooling moms don't like to say out loud.

The terrible truth.

And really, the secret that any stay at home parent will fear to admit to.

Because we aren't ALLOWED. Because THERE ARE SCHOOLS and TEACHERS you could send your kid to, so you CANT ADMIT IT...

The terrible truth, is this...



And sometimes, sometimes, I DONT WANT TO DO IT.

And sometimes, like this morning, a my kids whine and pout and I threaten and cajole and feel like a terrible mother/teacher/person, I go down into dada's study, and pace, and wring my hands and yell and swear. About how I GAVE UP MY CAREER, to do this whole homeschool mother thing, and I'M NEARLY FORTY with NOTHING to show for it and THEY DONT APPRECIATE ME. And, WHAT IS THE POINT, they are WHINING children who will NEVER learn to LOVE LEARNING.

And I stomp away, as he offers to come and holler at them for me, and I say NO THANKS, and shut the door, and STORM AWAY. Because I AM MAD. And, MY THINKING IS ALL IN CAPS, JUST LIKE THIS POST.



And I google schools.

And I suck.

And I, worse than yelling, get that chilling whispery mom-voice and demand my children come and sit and DO THEIR LESSONS.

And they do.

And I know I suck.

And this, all this, happy denim-clad homeschooling moms aren't supposed to say this out loud. They are cheery and happy and think in platitudes about how great it is to sacrifice for their children.

For why? Why again?

Because. Because.

And I remember, as we sit down at the table, and I see how little miss is fighting a cold, and we send her to nap, and she does - GASP.

And little man reads his next chapter of Treasure Island, and after much coercing he reads it, and likes it. And I think for five seconds of hopefulness, well, there is that, because that, that reading of Treasure Island at age 8, I helped him do that.

Oh, even now, as I write, I think, I cant actually post this. One, that sounds snotty, braggy. And two, people are sensitive about educational choices. And three. I will sound so whiney and terrible and people will think, then duh, send your kid to school!

But...even so.

I know, and we chose to do this with our family, for good reasons, that had to do with what our kids needed, at the time. And maybe that will change, even next year, but for now, this is good, and what they need, and I do love that its raining and we are cozied up drinking tea and reading about pirates.

But its still hard.

But because we homeschoolers - and stay at home moms too - make that choice, an against the grain choice, it is almost this unwritten rule, that it is not allowed to be hard, we are not allowed to say it is hard.

Teachers have it hard. And we say this, as a society. We can say it. The working mom does too, and we let her say it. We write articles on Huffington Post and admire their diligence.

But, I don't see this for the stay at home mom, the one with the graduate degree, the one who is a social person and misses going to work, for works sake, the one who has given up a lot, to do what she thought best.

Hey, the attitude seems to be amongst general society, she chose to be at home all day, so tough cookies, cookie.

And even more, among the homeschooling ranks anyway. We are supposed to bravely smile and say how lovely family time is, how we cant wait for tomorrow, how everything is going swimmingly.

So, maybe its not kosher to say in staying at home/homeschooling ranks. But this mama has gotta just say it.



And sometimes, sometimes, I DONT LIKE IT.

I had a friend say this to me the other day, "No seriously, how do you do it??"

Its just one of those things, I said. You do it.

But that answer wasn't enough. Because, how do any of us do it?

So, society might say to someone like me. Put your kid in school and go back to work! But, but, I think, THAT IS HARD TOO.

And really, we need to step back and say, procreation and the raising of children - in whatever form - IS HARD. The choices, of education, of lifestyle, of parenting style. All of it. HARD STUFF.

Frankly, I don't know how working mamas get up at 5am, rouse their sleeping child, bundle up in the dark and gloom, get into the car with snacks and packed lunches, drive to daycare/school, drop off kid, drive to work, work all day, drive to daycare/school, get kid, get home in the dark make dinner, supervise homework, get kid to bed, do more work, sleep, finally.

Oh. My. Gosh.

That makes me admire and shake my head in disbelief and want to hug you all.

THAT seems hard to me.

And yes, homeschooling mama day is hard too. Some days, it isn't very fun. Some days, it stinks. Get up, make coffee, get dressed, kids dressed, Cheerios, playtime, call/cajole/yell to get kids to school table, read a book, do a math lesson, read a history lesson, simultaneously fending off requests for snacks, reading "Biscuit," story time and circle time for little girls, calling little man back in for his book report writing, no Legos at the table, please, for the love of God. Lunch. Alphaphonics with the little miss. Feeling guilt for not doing that cloud dough project with the toddler. Clean up lunch, call/cajole/yell for kids to do chores. Begin dinner as kids eagerly sit for Ipad time - trying not to resent Ipad - ha - then dinner, bath, bed, whilst intermittently settling squabbles, pulling toddler off the table, doing laundry, and trying to write an intelligent email to a colleague.

Yes, dada, I would like a bottle of wine tonight.

This is when I realize, its time for Christmas break.


No seriously though. And this is why I love our homeschool/work from home lifestyle. We need to regroup, re-center, breathe, do some fun Christmas projects and make cloud dough. Lets let go of book work, and just be.


My confession and simultaneously, my admonition.


We mamas, we gotta stick together.

Cheers to that, eh?

my guys.

in addition to a confession I am daringly posting a picture of me, in pajamas, BEFORE COFFEE

stinky little belovedly dear hooligans...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sometimes we have to vent/admit/talk things through just to remember why we do this labor of love. You are a great mama with great kids. You've given them the gift of your full attention and care, and it's only for a season. Keep up the beautiful work. 😍

  3. Thanks!!!! yes it's very hard sometimes... more and more those days without any sunshine outdoor, nore snow, just a grey and wet rain :/
    Bon courage, you are not alone even if we are all alone in our house with our little homeschooling-problem!

  4. Yep, I'm there. This is HARD. I spend my whole day thinking in italicized caps, especially when the two year old screams at me, the baby cries, the four year old just wants me to do more letters with her and then... What's that? A positive pregnancy test? Oh boy. Things are getting harder in the near future.

    But at least that means they will also be getting 110x better! I never knew the depth of feeling and love and endurance I possessed until my children came into my life. The hardness of it has made me better for sure.

    I love your blogs sara, they make me realize I'm not as crazy as I thought... Or rather that there are other crazy people like me out there. I'm still not certain if that is comforting or disconcerting...


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