For those of you who may not know, that stands for Stay At Home Mom...that's me. ; ) Michael works outside the home and is gone for work a lot. In fact there are many weeks when he’s gone M-F and only home on the weekend. Choosing to stay home with my kids and homeschool them has been one of the best choices I’ve ever made, and also one of the most difficult. I love my kids dearly and I’d do anything for them, but I have to admit, at times I think about putting them in school and going back to work. However, all the pros of my (our) decision outweigh all the cons and so I remain home with my kids.
I don’t consider myself a teacher. I like the term learning facilitator. That fits me much better I think. The kids are doing great, flourishing. Lest you think they’re somehow under socialized they have plenty of friends and are involved in activities and sports. My daughter, our older child, is very self motivated and is fairly independent these days. My son, our younger child, needs a bit more guidance from me at this point. Their standardized tests scores are very good and their education is well rounded. I think they’ll both do well with whatever further schooling (college, etc.) that they pursue. It’s rewarding to watch them learn and grow, day in and day out. It’s nice to have the time to spend with them, getting to know them on a deeper level, and it’s nice to see the relationship they have with each other too. It’s also great to have such a flexible schedule. We can go to museums or away on vacation when other families are working and their kids are in school. And if Michael is home during the week, we have the option of taking the day off and turning it into a family day. There really are a lot of perks to homeschooling, at least for our family.
There are some drawbacks however. I rarely get time to myself. At this point, usually at least one of the kids is home or we’re all out. And sometimes I miss working. Yes, there’s plenty I do at home, but domestic chores don’t excite me. Things like dishes and vacuuming, laundry and dusting…well, everyone has to do them (unless you’re fortunate enough to have someone else do it for you) and I don’t really draw any satisfaction from them. Well, I guess that’s not entirely true. I do feel better when the house is in order, but it never lasts long. My house is not a mess, but it’s not a model home either. You can certainly tell when you enter that people actually live here. All the things I do are never ending tasks. As soon as the dishes are all clean there are dirty ones to take their place, etc. I sometimes miss working on projects, completing them, getting that pat on the back for a job well done and then moving onto something new. And I miss the camaraderie of the workplace sometimes too...and the paycheck. I know that many people have jobs they don’t particularly enjoy and they’d rather be home, but I was fortunate to have jobs where I worked with people whose company I enjoyed and where my efforts were appreciated. Oh sure, there were days when things didn’t go well and I didn’t really want to be there, but there will always be days like that, no matter the circumstances.
I was thinking about this asking for help thing that I posted about yesterday. And I started to wonder if maybe I just need this to be kind of like a job. Perhaps, for whatever reason, I need someone to have expectations of me, and someone to be held accountable to…like a boss. If I fail to follow through on my obligations, then there will be consequences, discipline. And if I do follow through, well, perhaps I’ll get that pat on the back, some encouragement. Does this make any sense to anyone besides me?
I don’t know. I mean, I’ve been home with the kids, homeschooling, taking care of the house, etc. for years now. So, part of me wonders why suddenly I seem to need this validation. Does it have to do with the changes that Michael and I are making in our relationship? Have I been needing validation all along, but didn’t even realize it myself or maybe it just didn’t feel safe to ask for it before? And what about needing the structure, the oversight? Why would I feel the need for that now? Is it just because of all that’s been going on...the stressors in our lives right now? I’ve always thought of myself as pretty self sufficient. I mean, yes, I’ve relied on Michael as far as finances go because I haven’t been working, but beyond that I haven’t relied on him for much.
*sigh* Ok, that last sentence really hit me. I think it says a lot about the state our marriage was in. We had grown so far apart emotionally. It’s scary to think about. I don’t want to go back there and neither does Michael. We both want to move forward, but sometimes that’s scary too, and confusing. This is one of the reasons I’m so glad to have others to connect with. We have no model in our lives outside of blogland to observe and learn from, no one to check in with, to see if it’s just us or if others are having or have had the same struggles. So please know that I’m grateful for you (Michael is too)!
Yes, as you can tell, I’m trying to figure this out, figure myself out. I have this need to understand things…it can be a blessing or a curse I think, depending on the situation at hand. lol Anyway, Michael should be home anytime now and I’m sure we’ll get a chance to talk about this at some point today. I’m really looking forward to spending the day with him (and having him all to myself for awhile)! :)