Dear frazzled, sick of the morning routine, overworked, busy parents of school aged children:
I recently read an article on Scary Mommy where this understandably tired out mama listed off the reasons why she didn’t want to homeschool, or be made to feel guilty about her decision not to. To her I say, I support you in whatever you need to do for your family… but just because your morning routine is a mess and your 3.5 yr old isn’t potty trained, doesn’t mean you can’t homeschool.
Homeschooling is not an option for every family. I 100% understand that; I am so thankful that there are kind and intelligent teachers who are willing to teach other people’s children. Even if it is a real, viable, option for your family and you choose not to homeschool… I respect that! I’m all for freedom of choice. I think it’s important to understand when making that decision, that homeschooling does not look like the crazy mornings, jam packed weekends, or even the summer breaks of schooling life. If it were that hard all the time, none of us would do it. Really.
Yesterday I was sitting at my dining table talking about motherhood with a friend I hadn’t seen in about 5 years, (the amazing writer, journalist, radio lady Kate Powell) and we were discussing how much harder parenting was before my baby could speak. One of the most important things I think I have ever helped my daughter to learn is to say what she is feeling. Once Miriam first began to learn how to express feelings and needs, she was happier, more comfortable, and had this “aha” moment where she understood that we cared what she was thinking and feeling, and that she could communicate those things to us.
Katie and I joked around that many 40 year olds don’t know how to express their feelings, and it’s much harder to learn at that point. Unfortunately, this is very true. Somehow in all the education we receive as young people, talking about what we feel and what we need can fall through the cracks.
I write today to implore teachers, educators, physicians, bloggers, women and men everywhere to come together in a common goal: educating ourselves about the time of a woman’s life known as the “postpartum period”; those days, weeks, and months following childbirth.
Why is it important that we ALL know about this period of life, that only happens to women, and only women who give birth? Several reasons. We need to educate everyone who is capable of providing support, even indirectly in the postpartum period including other women, spouses, friends, employers, and coworkers of women. It is also very important that we educate those who may someday influence company or government policies on maternity and postpartum care on the specific issues that need to be taken into consideration.
“But how will we socialize them?” , “I would homeschool, but I want them to have the socialization”, “Some of my fondest childhood memories are socializing at school”
How do we address socialization and homeschooling?
I must admit that the socialization question was one that I struggled with for a long time before I had children, and before I decided to homeschool. Now it is the most common question that I am asked by friends who don’t homeschool, or who are considering homeschooling.