A homeschooling friend on Facebook recently posted that she was putting her son in an online public school this coming year. She said she no longer wanted to be his full-time teacher, just his mom. As I read her post and the sweet encouraging words in the comments that followed, I realized that thereʼs a bit of that pull in me too. Maybe thereʼs a bit in all of us.
With all that we do with our kids- facilitating, teaching, correcting, training, grading- in the name of homeschooling, is it true perhaps that we are in danger of losing “Mom”?
As we come upon a new school year after “summer light” learning, I feel the need to be very intentional about how I negotiate my many roles. In an ideal world, maybe there would be no defined roles and our homeschooling life would be seamless, learning happening round the clock in gentle and joyful ways. We as homeschooling moms would float between algebra and laundry and kissing boo-boos and setting up the sprinkler and making muffins and sight word practice with the greatest of ease, never feeling fatigued or snappish, and always speaking softly.
But in my house it doesnʼt always work that way. I find that extended read aloud time (something I love to do) only happens on school days because I covet those hours on weekends and off days. The sheer amount of time it takes to plan and implement a school day seems to put “Mom” on the back burner. As “Teacher”, the frustration I experience when a child has significant trouble with a certain subject canʼt be set aside by going home for the day, because I already am home.
I have no answers, nor do I think for every bit of wrestling in our lives there needs to be one. I simply want my eyes to be open for opportunities to love and give grace, open to the distance between Teacher and Mom on any given day, and reach a hand out in alliance to both of these, my main roles, as I navigate our school year.
Am I Mom and Teacher both? Yes, by my own blessed choice. Do these different-but- same women have the same goals, the same dreams for my children? Yes, because they both come from a heart turned toward both them and the Lord.
So this year, as I add a fourth child officially to my attendance roster as Teacher, I will continue to remind myself that I was Mom first. That maybe an occasional day off to just chill out together- play games, run errands while singing aloud to worship CDs in the car, eat cookies, and purposefully give ourselves milk moustaches- will keep a healthy balance, and allow Mom her rightful place in my childrenʼs hearts.
What can you do to make sure you donʼt lose Mom this year? Are you with me in giving it some intentional thought?
Special thanks to Christine, from Fruit in Season, for guest posting today. Christine homeschools her four children, is a musician, bibliophile, runner, and online encourager. I'm honored she agreed to participate in the Homeschool Guest series!