Friday, January 10, 2014

Out Of Place Working Homeschooling Parent?


THIS WEEK In Review...
Daddy took the kids on a field trip in his new 'Homeschool Dad' t-shirt. The kids had another great week with their expanded subject list and my 16yr old dd is conducting school for me until she returns to Community College at the end of the month. Yippee!

THE SQUARE WITH A BUNCH OF CIRCLES

That's what I feel like when I go to Homeschool events in our local area. The other moms are rather nice, welcoming and open. However, we have very little in common.

I'm a Working Mother, will always be and has always been.

I truly enjoy working and being a mom. Now with homeschooling, I have to be honest and say, I love that also. And I'm good at all of those areas. Really good. (at least that's what my Hubba tells me). I haven't felt burned out, trapped or frustrated with it and I do believe in some cases traditional school is okay and always an option.

Yet when I'm surrounded by my homeschooling teacher peers, they all LOVE being 'stay at home moms', think of public school as a real life villain and seemed pretty similar in some of their motivations. But respect that I do work.

WHY I WILL NEVER GIVE UP WORKING

Simple economics of life and common sense for our family.

I've seen the 'other side of love' and it ain't pretty. My mother single handedly raised my brother and I after neither one of our fathers stuck around. My aunt who was married 2 times was left with 8 kids to raise on her own when one of her husband's died and the other left.

Although, I have a great and wonderful husband, I personally don't think it fair or realistic to believe that he should take care of all of the family finances when I am fully capable of helping. Also, if he were to ever lose his job, get ill, or some other catastrophe happen, he knows without a doubt I have his 'back' just as much as he has mine.

There were times when he was laid off and I still worked. There were times when I was laid off and he still worked. And there were times when we both were laid off and one of us found a job first. Also, when our kids were younger, he worked nights and I worked days. Or, he ran a home-based business for 5 years and rented an office to see clients to work around our kid's schedules. But both of us have always consistently worked outside the home.

IS IT CULTURAL?

Now I am an African American female, who has a ton of peers and family of multiple cultures. Most all of my African American friends who are married with kids - work.

A good number of my other race friends who have multiple kids, either stay at home while their husbands support the family or they've found jobs where they work from home.

So I'm believing that in some ways, this is a cultural thing at least where I live.

WHAT WILL I TEACH MY DAUGHTERS?

I will teach them to have viable careers that will allow them to have the best of both worlds. To be able to work, sometimes from home and be able to take breaks. I will teach them to be realistic and believe that although Love is a wonderful thing, it takes work and 2 people and that being a partner to your spouse also means not expecting them to be everything. That you want him to know that if he ever needs a help mate to sustain the family, she will and can do it. I also would hope that even when they are home with their kids, they at least work part-time outside the home to give them a bit of a break.

BUT...Grandma is more than happy to stay home with the grandbabies - just bring them on over.

STAY AT HOME? WHY NOT?

I believe staying at home isn't a bad thing. My husband stayed at home for 5 years and ran a very lucrative business while doing so. But it was a difficult dynamics for both of us and he was ready to get out of the house. He didn't have many adult friends that were male and at home, so he was adamant that he had to still work in some capacity. My Hubba is an amazing man to have maintained a successful business yet my kids didn't think he worked at all, lol!

As for me...It's just not my thing. I love working, being challenged outside the home, having other things besides the kids to talk to my husband about, to meet him for lunch, to exercise my mind, to network to build opportunities for my kids. I got lonely during the few times I'd been home for 1 year with the kids when they were infants even though I was working on my Master's Degree while home.

By me working, I was able to get my husband a job at a great company I was working at. He's extremely happy there, while I've moved on. By working, I was able to land my son a great internship just because of who I knew.

So for me, although staying at home sounds great, I see the benefits in me working and couldn't even see giving that up just to homeschool.

TIMES I KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT

So when I'm around the peers in my homeschool group of moms, who complain about how hard it is to school the kids at home and take care of the house (I keep my mouth shut) because I find it extremely fulfilling and not difficult at all to both homeschool and work. There are times it's challenging, but not once have I felt the need to complain about it being hard. Maybe working outside the home, having had kids in public school - I realize just how lucky I am.

HOMESCHOOLING AND WORKING why do BOTH?

I have to be honest. For me, homeschooling is SO much easier than when the kids were in public school. MUCH easier. I know what my kids are learning, they like learning now that they don't have all the drama in school, and we work together for their success. We have flexibility to work it around my work schedule, their activity schedule and explore subjects in pieces...it's just plain wonderful to have this type of freedom.

It's not hard. I don't complain, because I appreciate being able to do it. I actually rush home from work to school them (using a boxed curriculum or interactive curriculum where I administer but not really have to teach).

THE GREAT DEBATE

This is always a debate item. I consider it a mute point. Do what works for you and your family. What fulfills you. Because in the end, you only ever get 1 life here on earth. Make it count.

2 comments:

  1. I swear you were reading my mind...crazy. I've had this on my mind a lot lately. I've even written a post about it but haven't had the guts to post it yet...mine has a little different theme. I'm glad I work too. But I've found a balance. I don't think I could ever go back to full-time unless I had too. I like the set up I've got going on. I'm a horrible homemaker and go bonkers when I'm stuck at home too long. I'm not as confident about my ability to manage it all right now, but I'm sure with a few years under my belt that will be different. I too have noticed some...differences when I'm around other homeschool families. I'm the odd one out most of the time. I only know of two other families whose mom works. Some interesting dynamics definitely occur at times with my homeschooling friends. Thanks for bringing this topic up!

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  2. Thanks for saying that Heather. It's just rather lonely from where I sit, finding others that have a passion to do both. However, I just met a lady through my husband who stopped him at an event that our Umbrella group was hosting to ask him how to contact me since since she also works full time and her husband does as well and she just wanted to talk to me. So there are others out there, many I believe, but they kind of get lost within the masses.

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