Did you know when you homeschool, stay at home with your kids or have a large family you are giving up all rights to have a bad day? It’s true! How many times have you started expressing frustration or that you are feeling overwhelmed only to have someone cut you off with, “Well you CHOSE this!” Um, ya, I did! But did I somehow unknowingly waive all venting rights????
Venting about a bad day.
As wives, mothers, homeschoolers, women, humans in general, we WILL have bad days! It happens! We all struggle at different seasons of our lives, go through difficult and challenging situations that we have to work through, it’s just part of life. I have at many times in my walk as a mother and again as a homeschooler, felt that my voice of struggle has been diminished under the damper of my choices.
How many times have you started talking about the struggles of laundry or getting the kids to bed at a decent time or the cost of a family vacation only to be told “well you CHOSE to have that many kids!” in an offhanded manner that completely dismisses your frustrations? Or maybe it is when you start talking about homeschooling little Jenny and how expensive this new curriculum is that she needs and how some days are a real flop, ever been looked at with the blank gaze of indifference? Or perhaps you’ve been brushed off with a casual “You didn’t HAVE to homeschool!”
Giving ourselves permission to have a bad day.
If your friends and family are not supportive of your decision to homeschool or have a large family, you may get these kind of comments a lot. It can be hard to let yourself vent or have a bad day when no one close to you wants to hear about it and you feel dismissed, that your struggles don’t matter. But they DO! You, dear mother are ALLOWED to have bad days, hard days, frustrating days, overwhelming days! It does not mean you are not cut out for this, it means you are human!
It is so important to find some people who are similar to you in some of these ways. Maybe that means finding some larger families that just “get it” and you are free to be real and authentic with. Maybe it means plugging into the homeschool community more and finding out that you are not alone! If you live in an isolated area or there just aren’t people like you where you live, get online! There are communities and groups ALL OVER the web! It may not be as good as getting together for coffee, but it is still freeing to vent your frustrations on a forum or Facebook group and feel heard, validated, and even have some constructive advice along the way!
If you don’t know where to begin, start with my Facebook support group, Hip Homeschoolers. It is a collection of women (and homeschool dads too!) from all over in all different ages and stages of homeschooling. It is a fantastic place to meet other homeschool parents and ask questions. You can also search on Facebook for homeschool and your town or area and see what shows up. If there isn’t a group, start one! It is easy to do and you might be surprised!
Letting go of judgement.
In the end, we are going to face judgement. We will be judged for having more than the typical 2 children and “overpopulating the world.” We will be judged for staying home with our kids and not having a “career.” We will be judged for homeschooling instead of “supporting our public school system.” It WILL happen and we have to brace ourselves and let it roll off our backs. We can’t let other people’s opinions and negativity impact what we have chosen or been called to do!
If your friends and family are not supporting your decisions, stop talking to them about it. Find a different avenue of supportive people who understand to vent to. Don’t give the people who brush you off or judge your choices any more fuel for the fire. Be STRONG and give yourself permission to have a bad day or not have it all together. Our struggles do not define us, what we DO with them does!