Friday, January 21, 2011

Reflection and Confessions


May I tell you something, my dear readers? I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about my last post. Being very honest with you, it was hard to put all of that out there to you. I am still processing the decisions we have made regarding the children's schooling this year. I haven't yet fully moved passed the guilt.

Yes, I am feeling guilty about putting them in school, and William in day care 2 days a week. For the past 10 years (even before our first baby was born) we have fully believed in and advocated homeschooling and full time mothering. I now know from personal experience that all of these choices can and do change as you monitor the progress of your family, and the development of each child. For us, this year, we firmly believe it to be the best decision for our family. And yet I still struggle with feelings of guilt. Like I'm not being the best Mama to them that I ought to be.

Why is this?

Another question for you.......... If all our children end up in school for the next several years, or all the way through to senior, what do I do? Stuart says he is happy for me to stay home, part-time music teaching and homemaking, being there for our children after school, keeping our home peaceful and running smoothly.

I am so thankful for this. My only concern is "what will people think of me?" What if they think I ought to be working outside the home? And there is the consideration of being able to contribute financially to the household etc. I know it doesn't matter what people think. And really, a decision about this doesn't need to be made at this time. :) I guess I'm just thinking ahead of myself, wondering, pondering thoughts and searching for answers.

I do so love being with my children. I am afraid if I start to search for a new career, pursue new studies, etc. that my attentions will transfer too far out of the home and it will be difficult to care properly for my family while the children are small. Can anyone relate to this? When they are older, perhaps it will feel more right to do these things.

The other day we watched the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and then sat and did some drawing together. I am soaking up these last days of all of us being home together, all the time.

Saraya's beautiful work - the flying Chitty Bang Bang and the house and invention room below.

I did a little sketching which Saraya coloured in.

William drew this one! I was amazed by his form here. :)

Elijah's "Funny hand men with ears". ;) He deviated from the topic a little!

This little man has fully embraced the idea of going to Prep. He will be almost a year older than many of the children in his class - but I don't mind that one bit. :) Look what he did yesterday:

I told him the letters a few at a time from the kitchen, and he wrote out "Welcome Saminda" on the verandah in chalk. Wow!

And this big girl? Well, as long as she has books in her hands she is happy. :)

We visited the library yesterday. She has gobbled up two of these stories already.

I know there won't be as much time for this once school starts. But I have to believe that the months and months of time reading she had last year will help her in her studies at school - and in life in general.

And I will do everything I can to make sure she still gets plenty of free time to keep exploring stories and adventures.

Please friends, I would appreciate any of your ideas / thoughts / opinions on all of the above. I guess I'm after some encouragement. I feel a bit lost "leaving" the beautiful homeschooling community I have been part of the past few years (both real life and online) - despite the fact that we are doing school, I will still parent with very much a homeschool mentality. I'm sure some of you understand what I mean.

Thanks, once again, for listening to my rambles. :)

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Saminda,

I will pray for you.

I think in the realm of parenting, one of the things I've learned is that no decision is really permanent. You can send them to school now based on what you feel the Lord leading you to do. The Lord can just as easily lead you to bring them home :) He is our Leader, our Director, or Provider.

As long as you continue to seek His will, He will let you know where He wants your children.

Of course, this also applies to how you fill your days. He will direct your path.

Blessings,
Elizabeth

Saminda said...

Thank you Elizabeth, you are always so kind and gentle. :)

Yes, I am seeking His will and will continue to do so. Sometimes it's hard for me to get my head around this - that God is supporting and encouraging this decision for them to go to school. But I have an incredible peace about it. So I must trust that. :)

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

Huge virtual hugs, first. You know I understand the push and pull and worry and guilt that come with schooling decisions. (I have updates to share on this but cannot bring myself to do it until our school year is over in June, because of who in our immediate lives read my blog.)

Perhaps you feel the way you do because change is hard and this change is an uknown. Only you can release yourself from the guilt. You don't need to feel it. Let it go. You are an amazing mamma whose children sound strong enough to handle the change and excited about it, too.
About what you DO? With your youngest in child care only 2 days a week, this is just enough to give you time to breath, heal, and have a moment to yourself. Truly. I know. You won't believe how you can and will fill your time. You will maybe complete tasks left undone, learn some new skills, and accomplish tasks that contribute to your home by saving money.
What do you tell people? Whatever feels right to you, but whatever it is (and I am going to listen to myself say this, ok?) you do NOT have to justify yourself. Whatever works for your family is just fine. I can tell you from my own experience as a full time working mother turned full time at-home mother (NOT homeschooling), that being home is harder in many ways.
Please, please don't think you must leave homeschool communities online or off. Communities are there once established. You don't lose friends because you make personal changes.
hugs to you. I understand that this decision has been hard and think it is wonderful you know it is right. And remember...for now. Reassess as you go.
Warmly, Nicola

Saminda said...

Nicola, thanks so much for your thoughts on this. I knew you would relate and understand. :) I will work through the "what will people think" issue I'm sure. My husband just reminded me that what we do as a family are private choices between us. And, as usual, he is right. ;)

Karen said...

I too am a SAHM. We send our kids to a private school. Right now I am at home with the preschoolers. And I do think about the time when they are all in school. I do not think that I will have as much time as I imagine...food will still need to be prepared and that can be quite time consuming. The house will still need cleaned and the laundry done. These things take time, although less without little interruptions.

I do anticipate being able to volunteer in the children's school classrooms from time to time. But I expect that I will still be busy at home...perhaps busier so that I can have most of the work done by the time they get home from school.

I do think it is rather countercultural to choose to be a "homemaker"...but that's okay. As long as you & your husband & God are all in agreement. :-) I see my neighbor kids whose parents are not at home when they come home from school and I really hope I am always able to be here for ours.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I have no desire at all to homeschool...but we have made the decision of what is best for our family right now. And most of the time are very pleased with our decision...and I think the guilty thoughts are mostly from the enemy of our souls....

Anyway, I'd encourage you to embrace Proverbs 3:5-6 as you adjust to this change...

momto9 said...

You poor thing....I can hear the mixed emotions through your post. Our kids go to public school...sometimes I have mixed emotions about that too but overall everyone is thriving. The mixed emotions come on bad days.....but dont homeschoolers have bad days? Sometimes from blogs it seems they dont and so the guilt comes. Try not to read those blogs for a while.

I think what your husband suggests is beautiful and shows his care for you. I think you'll find that while the children are in school is a good time to get everything in the home done and go even further on days you feel well (like bake etc) and then when they arrive home you can devote your time to them! Dont take on a job....too many changes all at once! You can always consider that later once things settle down...or you might just stay home.
thanks for your honesty!!! I REALLY appreciate it!

Vicki said...

Hi Mama! Tereza Momof9 linked me to your blog and I thought I would say that we are going through similar circumstances at the moment. I will pray for you as we experience a whole new world together. :) Blessings
Vicki

Vic said...

Oh Min, I think we are thinking and feeling very similar things at the moment. Me moving on from this stage of my life is hard enough, I can't imagine how difficult it is for you. I think once the big kids are at school/kindy we'll have to get the littlies together for a play and have a cuppa and a big chat. I too have no desire to return to work in the forseeable future, in fact, I just handed in my resignation on Thursday! As these wise ladies have already said, you're making decisions that are right for you and your family and that is all that matters. Massive hugs for you all, I'm thinking of you over the coming week. Vic xx

Saminda said...

Thank you so much ladies! It's so encouraging to know there are other Mum's feeling similarly, and making similar decisions for your families. Thank you for taking the time to share life with me. :) xx

Smilie girl said...

What wonderful friends and advice you have received.
I believe your children will always think you are the best mama ever, because you are their mama and you care for them.
And with what other people think? Well, people think crazy stuff. People often ask what I do with my time, even working part-time. Surely I must just sit around twiddling my thumbs? Parenting and house work still takes time, whether children are home or not. So don't worry about other people. Do what's best for your family now. Love to you and wishing you a year full of blessings.

Jen's Busy Days said...

Saminda, I always remember how great it felt to know that Mum was there, home in case I needed her. It was like knowing there was a safety net if my day at school was bad. Just knowing that I could go home if I wanted/needed to was enough to make me feel brave and try more to cope with whatever school was dealing me.

She started work full time when we moved to the big smoke, had to, to be able to cover living expenses. I hated it, knowing I had to "share" her with her job. It was rough as a teenager in a new town.

Don't ever think that just being mum at home is an insignificant thing. We are our kid's safety net, their safe place, at the end of the day. Take care of you, take this time out from homeschooling to work on your health. You will be able to be a so much better Mama when you are healthier.

Breathe, deeply, calmly. Remember God knows us and our lives. His hand is in it all and you can trust Him.

(((Hugs)))
Jen in NSW

Renata said...

Hi Saminda
Even though I'm reading your posts back the front & haven't read your earlier post yet, I just want to add here that my Mum was an at home Mum during all of our school years & I am so thankful for this. She was always available to help out with school things, she was always there for us when we arrived home from school & she was always fully involved in our lives. Now I know mothers who work can still do these things, but I do think it's a whole heap easier for those who don't work outside the home.
Certainly we appreciated her being there for us!
Renata:)

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