Wednesday, February 26, 2014

7 Things Homeschool Moms Want Their Non-homeschool Friends To Know

Ever find yourself explaining yourself to a non-homeschooling friend, or family member? I know I do, often. Here are the seven things I most want them to know.

1. I respect you. I homeschool, you don't. Both of us have made the right choice for our families. I, in no way, think less of you for not homeschooling. I have never walked a day in your shoes, and therefore cannot have any clue as to what would be good for your family, nor do I wish to make such a judgement. You are a great parent, and I know your kids are getting the very best you have to offer.

2. I like what I do. This is the life I chose. I chose it for very specific reasons, and I enjoy the fruits of my labor. I'm not wishing my life was more exciting or interesting, because I find it fulfilling, as is.

3. It's not a mompetition. Life is not a competition, and neither is parenting. I am happy for every milestone your children reach, and every cake you bake from scratch. I actually love hearing about them. I also feel your pain when you struggle, because I struggle too. Parenting is hard, and we don't always get it right, but we're trying. Let us feel we can come to each other, and be free of judgement. 

4. I'm not perfect, and I know it. You may hear me go on about making our own cheese and using it to make lasagna, or you may hear how we spent the morning reading aloud, in the tree house, before building a diorama of the solar system. These are triumphs, and I love sharing them with you. This is NOT everyday life. My 4 year old still won't poop in the potty, I've had folded laundry on the coffee table for 2 days, and I can't make a crepe to save my life. We're all doing the best we can, but homeschool moms really are just regular people. 

5. I'm a whole person. Contrary to what this blog shows, I do more than cook, clean, and homeschool. I'm capable of holding a conversation with an adult, and some days REALLY long to! I have interests that go beyond this house, and what's inside it. I love hanging out with my girlfriends, and wish I could do it more often. I want to travel more, I'm very convicted in my political views and love discussing them, I paint a little, and I lived an entire life full of great stories, before I settled in this small town. Homeschooling is a very big part of my life, but it's still just a part.

6. Please, don't use the word "socialization" around me. My kids do have friends, lots of them, that they see often. They leave the house regularly, and partake in various activities with their peers. We "socialize" pets, not children. Please don't further the stereotype that homeschoolers are isolated. Thank you.

7. I need you. You are important to me, or I would not call you friend. I need friends, who don't homeschool. I need to talk to people about something other than homeschool! I really, really do. So tell me about your rough day at work, or about the half-marathon you're training for. I truly want to know!

Would you add anything to the list?