Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dear Fellow Homeschooling Mom....heck..every mom,

Sometimes life just SUCKS. I just wanted to get that out there. To let you know you're not alone. To let you know you are NOT a horrible mother when your child does something embarrassing/mean/hateful/hurtful/illegal/immoral/rude/awful/etc. Their actions do not define you. Their words do not stack up against you in some giant book of homeschooling judgement. I promise, they don't. The other moms may act like they do, but lucky for us, they don't get the final say, right?

Our children are their own beings. We can do everything we THINK is best, say what we think we should, do what we think we ought to, and be who we believe we should be....and our kids can still turn out to do awful things that make us ashamed to call them our own.

But guess what...you're still human. You're still YOU. Only YOU are responsible for YOUR actions. Not your child's. Sure, we have a God given, legally bound obligation to care for our children, seemingly 24/7 in the baby years, but soon, they are still responsible for their actions. We need to hold them responsible TO that, but we are not ultimately responsible FOR their behaviors, because in the end, they have free will. We can teach them to the best of our abilities, but they must choose the right course of action.

Now, before you start yelling at me that this is a reckless idea, calm yourself down. Grab some wine and chill. Listen to the words. This does not give you a free pass to say, "oh well, that's just Bobby, he loves to just smack people in the face." Um, no, that is NOT okay. Trust me, I know, I've got a little Godfather here in our house who could very well leave a moose head in your bed if you tick him off. But I am not in his brain, I don't control his words or actions.

What I do control is MY reaction, my interpretation of his behavior and I control, with my husband, the lifestyle and morals we wish to impart on our children. Will they follow them all? I'm almost certain not...but all we can truly do is do as God does to us and be the trunk of their tree to which they can cling tight to when life gets windy and nasty. Our branches may break, we may have a family of pesky squirrels who inhabit our trunk from time to time, but overall, we must simply stay STRONG. That's it. Strong.

So, fellow homeschool mom...(and moms in general...and dads, and fellow human beings of Earth..) walk slowly down this path with me....trust me, I am in no way sitting in judgement. I'm sitting here with a child in behavior therapy and writing this with all my own past demons and monsters behind me. Scary Mommy comes out FAR too often at my house and I'm doing my very best to control her. But what I'm learning on this little journey into life with your children 24/7 is this....there is always tomorrow. But just in case there isn't, give them a kiss and hug before bed and tell them we can all have a do over tomorrow...end the day on love.

Homeschooling is not necessarily a great life calling for everyone. Not all of us do it from the beginning on and are determined to do it forever. Not all of us LOVE it. Not all of us wake up ready and refreshed to start the day. Quite honestly, some of us freaking dread it. Some of us long for bedtime. Some of us buy copious amounts of wine. Some of us homeschool one child and not the others. And ALL of us, whether you admit it or not, have thought or threatened to send their ungrateful butts back to school. It's okay, you can admit it, we don't judge here.

Parenting is hard. Homeschooling is even harder. But when your children do something you think is totally awful and makes you look horrible...don't sweat it. Love them anyway. That doesn't mean don't discipline, or let them get away with murder, but love them anyway, consistently and forever. Because you will anyways, so you might as well not do it with mountains of guilt and angst, right?

So let it go, as the cliche' says, let go and let God. Do your best, love your babies, talk to a friend, and try again tomorrow. Come have some wine with me, because I promise, I have horror stories too.


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