Since I can remember, I’ve always validated my career choice by saying, “If I can’t be a stay-at-home mom – Then, I guess teaching is the next best thing.”
I would get all the holidays off with my children. Summers. Weekends. I would be in the same school system as them. It would be a close 2nd to my first choice.
And, simply, the reality of our modern day world is that women work. Women are hard, productive workers in our society (woohoo for women!). We don’t live in a society any more where the woman’s job is to stay home and wake up pretty, serving a nice, warm, homemade breakfast, kissing our husbands off to work and children off to school, spending all day cleaning and ironing, making sure the house is in tip top shape for when they return.
I mean, really, who thought women were okay with that robotic lifestyle?!
But, deep down, I do wish I could do that…
Okay, not all of that and not to that level of idealistic perfection – but I would love to not feel like I need a 9 to 5 to make me valuable, not only to my family but to society as well.
When I was little, for as long as I can remember, I just wanted to be a mom. That was it. I didn’t have dreams of reaching Mars or curing cancer. I didn’t have a passion to sing on Broadway. There was no yearning to pack up and travel the world (even though, I do think that would be awesome).
Whenever I was asked what I wanted to be my answer was simple, “A Mommy.”
However, as I got older and reality hit, I realized that being “a mommy” doesn’t pay the bills (; So, then came my new mantra of “teaching is the next best thing.”
And, don’t get me wrong – I love teaching!
I do. I remember thinking, I get paid to do this?! This is GREAT!
But, deep down, there was always a part of me that wasn’t satisfied.
It felt good to teach and to impact those children’s lives – but, to put it simply, I missed my babies.
However, I knew financially that staying home wouldn’t be an option. J works HARD for everything we have- but, what can I say, we like nice things (;
So, I knew in order to maintain a “lifestyle” that we were happy with, I would need to maintain this second income.
Yet, as life always does, it sent us a curve ball. With a turn of events, I ended up being a SAHM. Not because I stood up for myself and chose to be, because LB needs me to be.
And, I love staying at home with her. My heart is so happy knowing that I am here witnessing all her milestones, not a paid babysitter.
However, recently, an idea and thought has been on my mind/heart a lot.
Something I just can’t quite shake.
And, today I was thinking about my validation phrase.
A phrase I have been playing over and over in my head for the past 10 years. And then it hit me, why can’t I have both?
I went to school and earned my degree in elementary education. It was hard. Probably top 5 hardest things in my life: being a full-time mom and full-time student.
But, by the Grace of God, and many long years later – I did it!
And, I kept pushing on because I wanted to do this for myself. I wanted to earn my degree to prove everyone wrong. I wanted to earn my degree to be proud of myself.
But- what if I really wasn’t doing it for myself?
What if God had a different plan all along?
What if this degree wasn’t meant to be used on other people’s kids?
What if, all along, I was gaining this knowledge to better understand how to teach my kids?
She can’t really be thinking that can she? Doesn’t she know that her kids will turn out WEIRD? Isn’t she just being selfish, so she can stay home longer? Homeschooling is the worst decision she could make- her poor kids!
Please, take this as my official stated dramatic eye-roll.
I know, trust me- I KNOW what you are thinking.
How do I know? Because I used to think the same thing. I honestly did.
But, for the last few months I have had this yearning – this itch – to know more; to learn more; to understand more about the concept of homeschooling.
And, man is it overwhelming.
I spent the first few weeks talking myself out of the idea. It was like that pesky fly that, no matter how many times you swat at it, it just doesn’t go away.
I told myself those exact phrases (and more) over and over again. J would never agree with me. My family would never agree with me. Heck, I don’t even agree with me.
But, little by little – day by day, the idea started to take hold of my heart. It had already consumed my mind, it was all I could think about; but, finally it hit me: I do want to do this!
I honestly think, and I have never had a moment where I thought God had placed something on my heart, but I truly feel like this was Him speaking to me. I’ll have to leave that experience for another blog post, because it was amazing… and scary.
It was just something I undoubtedly couldn’t shake.
So, I started researching and looking into the idea of homeschooling – and you know what I learned?
It’s not that I am afraid that if my kids go to school they are going to turn out “bad” or be exposed to something that I could shelter them from. Because, honestly, sheltering them from the world is the last thing on my mind.
I want to home school for much more than that:
For, initiating the appreciation of quality family time.
Building up our relationships, not weighing them down with a hectic push-them-out-the-door lifestyle.
Create a true love of learning, which unfortunately is not obtained my most children in school systems.
Establish a discipleship, a love for God and a love for connecting with God.
I want so much more for my family than this lifestyle we have created. This chaotic, stressful drop off/pick up/repeat life that we live.
And, you know what?
It might not work.
Maybe the kids wont like it. Maybe it won’t change the way we live. Maybe I am giving myself too much credit.
But, isn’t it worth a shot?
Is it worth having the judgmental comments? Is it worth defying the world and our social “norms”? Will it be worth the extra time and effort I will have to put into it?
I think so.
Plus, I am not supposed to be raising my kids by the way of the world anyway. I am supposed to be raising them by the way of The Word.