September 30, 2005

This Is Going To Be Hard To Type

I really don't know how else to say this, so I am just going to say it, we are putting the boys in school next week. (dramatic pause, writer waits for readers mouths to close.)

When I first began homeschooling the kids, I thought it would be forever and I jumped right in and hit the pavement running. My run has gone from easy and fun to hard. Really hard. I no longer find joy in the job of homeschooling my boys, it has become an evil taskmaster that laughs in my face daily. I am always on the edge, I yell and then feel guilty for it. I see the faces of my children, they know I am not enjoying being their teacher. I am doing more harm than good and we all need a break.

Yesterday was bad. Very bad, too bad to even talk about. I called Kevin and said, I can't do this anymore, I just can't. He said, fine, we'll take care of it when I get home. When he came home, he had already called Calvary, the school that our church runs, and the administrator said both boys could start next week. I felt relieved for a moment and then, overwhelming guilt. Guilt because I wanted them to go and guilt because I don't want them to go. I began to cry, I cried for a long time, I'm crying now.

This is so hard for me, I rarely let anyone outside of my family know that I am not alright. I'm the girl who has it all together, who can do it all, who makes it look easy, except for, I'm not that girl. She does not exist. She was a figment of my imagination. I place unreal expectations on myself. I have standards for myself that I cannot live up to and that makes me feel like a miserable failure.

I was so afraid that Kevin was going to be angry with me. When I told my mother that, she said, Kevin? Mad at you? Never. He wasn't mad, he isn't mad. He is relieved that we are taking a break.

I don't know what will happen in the future. Maybe they will go to school for this year and come home next year. I am not saying I will never homeschool again, I just need a break for now.

Everyday I get up and get on my knees before God. I ask Him for strength and wisdom. I commit my children to Him, daily. I believed that God wanted us to homeschool and I was obedient to what He called me to do. This was not an easy decision, but I feel peace right now. When I think about them attending Calvary Christian School, I feel at rest.

I don't know what else to say. If you have questions, I will answer them. I will still blog and visit all of you, I love hearing about your homeschooling adventures.

I should add that this morning I had a totally new outlook and the mood of the house felt lighter. The boys helped me make eggs for breakfast and we baked some muffins. We sang to some Audio Adrenaline and recited bible verses. We had fun. We laughed and enjoyed each other. I am loving being a mother again, without the pressure of school.

I'm gonna go kiss my babies!

12 comments:

Mrs. Mac said...

Dear One,
Don't despair and feel guilty. I've homeschooled off and on for 15 years and have enjoyed the "breaks" very much. You will enjoy your children more when they come home from school and you're not all stressed out! If you feel led to homeschool in the future, you can always be in prayer about that decision. Besides, you, as a mother, are homeschooling your children by teaching them about everyday life by just being there for them when they need you. Go enjoy yourself, rest and relax.

Carrie said...

Laney,
My prayers are with you this day and next week as you adjust to your boys being gone for part of the day. I can relate -- there have been many days I've thought that if we could only afford Christian school I would enroll the kids in a heartbeat. Get rid of the guilt -- "There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!" Taking care of yourself is part of how you love your boys. And I don't read your blog because you're a homeschooler, I read it because you're YOU!

sleeplessinoklahoma said...

Amen!!, Mrs Mac & Carrie!!! I could not have expressed this any better.
Homeschooling is wonderful, educationally speaking, but when it is not a joy for you or the boys then you all need different stimuli. Being a mother is the MOST important job-sharing the boys day with them, listening to their stories from school, their adventures without you. Those are the things memories are made of. And we always hope that we can make positive memories. Unfortunately, it sounds as if homeschooling was beginning not to meet that criteria for any of you. The "school experience" will certainly help the little men grow, become independant, & give them a new basis for experiences, growth, & becoming who they wish to be. You can, of course, continue to mold this in the home experience by being just a parent & not a Mom/teacher. It sounds as though you have found a school that upholds your values & standards--that is wonderful.
STOP BEING GUILTY!!!! There is no reason for this. You followed God's plan when you began the journey, now He is sending you down another road. It is time for you to be just MOM--God's original & continuing plan for you. You are a fabulous, fantastic, loving, involved Mother. But, you cannot do everything!! You need to take some time for yourself, just enjoy those wonderful little men, nurture yourself & them, get rid of the schedule!! Have fun again, play, explore, just be...
There is a lesson God wants you & the boys to learn in this new experience. Be open to it, as I know you are. Enjoy the ride on the new road--it will led to a wonderful destination.
Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. For trusting all of us to be there for YOU!!
You are PHENOMENAL...& don't forget it.
Shalom...

Jersey Girl said...

You are awesome, dear daughter. I admire your willingness to be transparent.
Well, the early bird gets the worm in this scenario. I signed on too late to give you all the wisdom I could *big sigh* - but wait, that's not the truth. You need to hear the wise words of your friends and be blessed by them. As certain as I am about my eternal home, I am certain that this is going to be the biggest "knot" in your relationship with those awesome, loving, little gentlemen you are raising. It will be a good time for you and them.

RANDI said...

Hi Laney,

I am glad that you and your hubby are in agreement and that you feel God's leading-those are the important things! Not everyone is meant to follow the same path, but we are meant to support one another on the paths God has for us! God will bless you and continue to lead your family!

Jules said...

Oh Laney! I am crying as I read this post- because it hits so close to home!
I know what you are feeling, I really do. Just this week I was thinking how I could blog about the feelings I have had since putting my kids in school. It hasn't been all as bad as I thought!
I have actually enjoyed my quieter days, my one-on-one with Joshua, my increased patience and gentleness with the kids. I realized that I had been secretly enjoying the time away from my children and then cried over the guilt that I felt.
I didn't realize it at the time but I was high-strung and stressed while trying to do school last year. It took me stepping out of that situation to see it.
I still believe firmly in the value of homeschooling and want to try it again at some point in the future. I think it helps when I know I have not closed the door on it altogether.
I know this isn't all about me so I will stop now, but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I think we are being the best moms we can be by openly admitting that right now, homeschooling is not working out quite like we expected. And that's okay! It doesn't have to mean it will never work, just not right now.
Please don't be too hard on yourself. I've already BTDT and it isn't any fun! Enjoy your little guys and cry on my shoulder any time you want.
((((hugs))))
Jules

Laney said...

Ms.Mac, Thank-you for the insight from someone who has been down the road.

Carrie, You're the best! What a wonderful compliment you gave me.

Sleepless, I think I need you to be my personal cheerleader.

Randi, I appreciate your comments about everyone being on different paths, youare such an encouragement.

Jules, I was so afraid that you would be upset, after all you went throught wanting to keep your children home. I am so glad you have come to peace with your decision. I am really looking forward to being alone to get to know Joe.

Mommy, I love you! You know it all, I don't need to elaborate.

Dy said...

Laney,

Right here is a very important thing to remember: I'm the girl who has it all together, who can do it all, who makes it look easy, except for, I'm not that girl. She does not exist. She was a figment of my imagination. I think we'd all like to think we're some superhuman conglomeration of Ma Ingalls, Anne of Green Gables, and Hatshepsut and Elasti-Girl. But we aren't. We are the wives and mothers God has ordained us to be. We are the stewards of the time and the home we have been given while we are on earth. And that, Laney, is so very much more important that being the all-inclusive everything to everyone, everywhere. I hope that makes sense.

Kiss those boys. Love on them. Reconnect with them. Kiss that wonderful husband of yours. And then, take a deep breath and know that God hasn't entrusted all of them to your keeping so that you an feel guilty, ok? It'll be alright, and you don't have to answer to or explain to anyone else.

Love you,
Dy

Jess said...

Laney, I have felt like you did. Completely overwhelmed and like my kid s would be better off. I've fasted and prayed about it. So far, God has still answered me to keep them home. But that doesn't mean that is His answer to everyone. And it doesn't mean you are a failure. It just means He has something different in mind for you and the boys right now. Something with unexplored rewards ahead. It's exciting, a new endeavor!

This may turn out to be wonderful, it may turn out to be a learning experience. Either way, God will use it to His good, you know that. :-)

I read and Elizabeth George book once (I can't remember if it was "A woman after Gods Own Heart" or "A Woman's High Calling" but I remember after reading one part of it thinking, "Even if I had to send my kids to school, it would be OK". There was a story about how she would set the table and make things special for when her kids got home from school. So they knew the china and candles and "good snacks" weren't reserved for company. That they were the special ones in her home and she was happy to see them. I always thought, "If my kids were in school" that's how I'd welcome them home, refreshed and joyful. It *is* hard to be like that when they are with you all day long.

Keep us updated, we all love you and no one who genuinely enjoys who you are would judge you for this. Relax and enjoy the ride...

Hugs,
Jess

mamabear said...

Oh sweetie-I can tell how tough a decision this was for you and your husband to make. And my heart goes out to you.
I can't come up with any words that haven't already been spoken by others. But know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
None of us are here to condemn the decision you made. You know what's best for your boys, and your own peace of mind. And if that is putting them back in school then that's what needs to happen. I'm very pragmatic when it comes to things; if something's not workin' for ya then it needs to change.
My mom was never there for my sister and I when we came home from school every day. Fortunately for your boys, they have a mama that WILL be there, and not only in body but in heart with a mind refreshed and ready to spend good quality time with them. No more stress of having to get lessons ready for the day, now you have that time to spend with Little Joe.
Have a peaceful weekend, my dear friend. Rest in the thought: "Be Still and know that I am God". He knows your heart and He has prepared a place for your beautiful sons.

Love, Dawn

Writing and Living said...

(((Laney)))

Your boys are so blessed to have a mother who loves them so much she makes the hard decisions like this for them. I'm sure everything will work out wonderfully for you all.

mindy said...

promise you'll still come WTM boards, promise you'll still come to WTM board (she said close to hyperventelating!) I know you are doing the right thing for your family and God will bless you for it. But....promise you'll still come to the WTM boards?