It's Ok to Need Community
Dear Worn-out Homeschool Mom,
It’s Ok to Need a Community.
There are many brave and amazing homeschool parents out there. But some talk as if it is shameful to need help in homeschooling. This is to those do-it-all, be-it-all, homeschool Moms who feel that having someone else teach your child was akin to homeschool failure.
First, I'd like to say that Moms, in general, are amazing and should be told so constantly. I don't know of another class of people who give more and get less. Homeschool Moms get even less, if that's possible. Why? Because they have most likely given up any chance of positive affirmation in a career to stay home and do a lonely job, the job of raising children and supervising their education. Not only is this job oftentimes thankless, but it is wide open for criticism.
Most of these moms are not trained teachers but they are doing what Moms do best: rising to the call of duty for their children. And who is there, day in and day out, to advise and encourage these Moms? Other than the internet, I doubt much of anyone. This is why connecting with other Moms who are on the same battlefield at home are invaluable. This does not diminish the role of the father or other supporters. But in Mom's effort to stay home with her little ones, she can get discouraged more easily than many think. That's when having a community comes in.
What is a community? A community is a group of people who live together. Mom needs another adult living her lifestyle. Her lifestyle is not going to work every day outside the home. So Mom, it's ok to need a community outside your immediate family, who you dearly love and work hard to support. You need to be with other Moms who are living this lifestyle, who can understand and even help you with your own daily grind. And most importantly, it is ok to turn over some of your teaching responsibilities to others. Let your community of friends, family and other homeschoolers help you.
Where to find this community? Other than friends and family, a local homeschool group is a good place to start. Join a Mom's group in your community and find some other homeschooling families. Look for nearby co-ops to relieve you teaching subjects you don't enjoy. Read blogs from other Mom's in your shoes and correspond with them. You will find comradery and understanding. You will stop looking for affirmation from those who can't understand your lifestyle and be at peace in the place you are choosing.
We are born social with a desire to be with others and to want their approval. Don't deny yourself this simple pleasure. You are doing enough, so give yourself a break. Doing more may not make you feel better.
It's ok to need a friend. It's ok to need a community.