Homeschooling Mommys: Freedoms and Development

Moonshadows made a comment in her “The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars” post that got me thinking . . . She said:

Another problem with the current “social situation” is that (assuming a two parent household) if one parent is working and the other is not, the non-working parent’s future is potentially jeapordized.

I was the primary breadwinner in our family the first six years of our marriage, as my hubby made his way through university, while we simultaneously grew our family and shared the responsibility of caring for them on a daily basis. Upon graduation, it was time for me to get to stay home finally, full time. So, the past 15 years, I have been a stay-at-home mom, and the past 14 years, a homeschooling mommy. So, is my future potentially jeapordized?

An interesting thing happened in the middle of this time I have been a SAH/homeschooling mom: my hubby was jealous! Not because he wanted to stay home and be a househubby, but because he recognized the unique opportunity I have to develop my passions and make a difference in the world in the way that I choose as important to me. He was SO right, and I am grateful for my unique place in our home that grants me this opportunity.

What have I been developing with the freedoms being a homeschooling mommy affords me? I have learned oodles about learning! Visual-spatial learners, structured learners, unschooling learning, therapeutic learning, teen learning, toddler learning . . . I have learned about learning challenges like autism, memory differences, attention differences, sleeping pattern impacts, hyperactivity, impulsivity, auditory processing differences . . . I have found talents within myself I didn’t know existed like writing, public speaking, facilitating, a natural behaviorist, patience . . . In my free time, I CHOOSE to read materials that will enhance my understanding in any of these areas, attend conferences to gather new advances, and collaborate with other parents in gaining new insights. My hubby shakes his head and feels I don’t know how to just relax. Well, I really LOVE learning!

Although I have this plethora of experience and knowledge, am I still lacking for not having a degree to back it up in today’s world? Maybe. I’ve certainly gone back and forth regarding pursuing a degree in order that I might gain credibility. But, since I’ve come this far, I’m trying really hard to discipline myself enough to write a book starting in the fall, and see if I can get it off the ground enough to see if that can take me anywhere in sharing my experiences to a broader segment of people.

I feel blessed to be a woman today. I feel blessed by the freedoms I enjoy in my life to explore and discover and development myself in areas I never thought would enter my life if I had tried to plan it out, or if I had to walk a path that had limits, like being the main breadwinner of a household of nine. Boy, do I appreciate my hubby and all he does for our family. And girl, does he slightly envy my opportunities, but fully supports and celebrates all that I bring to our family.

At this time, I feel like my life has been full to overflowing with extraordinary opportunities and I have taken them. I see my future full of hope and giving back and full of possibilities. I see it as more than what financial value I can bring, but what worth I can give. I’ll end with the motto my daughter has chosen to live by, that she put in her Build-a-Bear:

It’s what you give that makes you beautiful; it’s how you live that makes your dreams come true.

Yep, I think that’s what being a homeschooling mommy did for me. And my life is more than I ever dreamed of 🙂

4 responses to “Homeschooling Mommys: Freedoms and Development

  1. Moonshadows,

    First, I definitely want to emphasize that what I wrote in my post in no way was trying to minimize your concerns! It simply prompted a memory that was poignant to me and I felt others might be enlightened by it as I had been when I realized the “blessed” position I was in as a woman in this information age.

    Second, admittedly, I have not been a person of high political intelligence or savvy. I have left that arena to my hubby, who can keep up with the ramifications of social and political decisions. I admire and rely upon those women, like you, who have a strong bent and interest in the same to help speak for me, as I simply throw my hat in behind their activism.

    So, thank you for thinking deeply about the topic! Unfortunately, or fortunately, however it turns out, I tend to figure things will work out for me by my sheer “can do” attitude if something catastrophic, or not so, occurs in my life. I also have a deep trust in our generation of parents and women that each person of their own passion and skill will affect positive change for the benefit of all. My particular bent has always been toward educational information and change and I have a deep desire to desseminate good information in this regard as my contribution 🙂

    May we all work together in our singular gifts to benefit all mankind! Hurrah! (Oh goodness . . . my idealism is really showing . . . LOL!)

  2. Moonshadows,

    Okay, I’m working through some insomnia and a horrible sinus cold, and I’m not going to even begin to fall asleep until I write one more, possibly feeble, attempt at connecting my story with your points to ponder . . . LOL!

    Here was my hubby, who was living the successful “money earning” life that the world values, being jealous of the “lowly housewife/mother” for her life she was carving out within the home. He felt like he was just feeding the “machine”, and I was nurturing the world’s most valuable assets: our children. (Again, he isn’t interested in my role in the home, but would love the opportunity to be a cog in the “cause for good in the world” versus the corporate machine :-))

    This then feeds into the other idea you pulled out of the book:

    *”She goes on to say that this clouds the real issues that women (and men) face in regards to unpaid “care” work and paid “career” work. If we can work together to find better solutions, we will all have better lives.”

    as well as the idea that Susan put out there about women paying women to care for their children (care work) while they work (career work).

    So, in my opinion, instead of looking for solutions within the “career work” paradigm, I would love to see solutions created for the unpaid “care” work of raising our own children. I could really throw my hat into a paradigm shift toward laws that support our giving greater value to what should be our most treasured assets: our children!

    Thanks for the good opportunity for me to think about these things, Moonshadows!

  3. I think you’ll admit that some of the ideas I propose fall in that valuing carework paradigm. For example, splittling SS credits, benefits, etc between the “paid” worker and the “care” worker, if that’s how it is split for a family. Or if another family decides to have both parents “split” the two tasks, then make sure they can have the same benefits as the other type of family would.

    Personally, I don’t like the statement “women pay other women for care work”. I think it adds to that idea of “women’s work”. _Parents_ pay other people for carework. I truly see that what is spent on caregiving is done by both partners, not by the one who is “supposed to be” the caregiver.

    Another comment I have is that there are people who work not just because they feel they have to earn money to keep up with the Joneses (I am one of those). I (usually) really like my job and my coworkers. I do feel that if I had a full-time job I would miss much of what I enjoy in life, but that doesn’t mean I should give up my work. For me, I am trying to find a good balance. (And I’m alwys shifting the fulcrum of my balance!)

    I really appreciate the civility of this discussion. So many blogs out there, the people don’t try to see each other’s point of view and just end up in finger-pointing name-calling. That kind of discussion is NOT going to help me see another point of view and take it into consideration.

    So I hope that you understand that I am not attempting to minimize your point of view, I working to understand it and to see how and where mine might need to be altered.