Young adulthood is a time of great progression. There is always the next big challenge, the next adventure, the next big step toward “arriving”. It is very rewarding seeing that kind of growth in ourselves. I know some incredible women who have sought education, experienced careers, been to the temple, found that special someone and made lovely babies, an LDS happily ever after. But now as exhausted parents with too many kids, demanding callings or the dream career that is now just a job that they have to return to day after day after day… they feel stuck in an “endure to the end” rodent wheel. Some even feel duped, “‘Motherhood will bring you joy!’ They said. ‘No success is greater than in the home.’ They said. Well, where is the joy? Where is the success? Why don’t I feel fulfilled!?”
If you find yourself giving a big, “Amen, Sister!” to the above, may I let you in on a crazy little secret that will turn your world around? I have discovered a hidden treasure trove of personal fulfillment, intellectual stimulation, challenges and fun galore, and you can find it without leaving your family or religion behind. (And, no, its NOT a multi-level marketing, home-based business or antidepressant.) It’s called… Homeschool.
“What?! You mean dedicate MORE time to the people who have left me exhausted, physically sagging, career less and void of free time. No way!” I know it sounds upside-down-crazy, but I tell you what, homeschooling has made motherhood fun again and I can give you thousands of references of women (including me) who have discovered that the joy once missing from motherhood can be found in educating our own families.
It seems just when our kids are gaining independence we panic. We worry they need more than we could possibly offer, socially, academically, and maybe discipline-wise as well. “Perhaps they have outgrown us?” we think. “Best to send them to “experts” who are trained to deal with children.” Well meaning as we are, we sell ourselves short thinking that we are unable to grow with our children to meet these needs. We have divine stewardship over our families and God will help us become all they need. Growing pains will be natural as we learn to parent through each new phase and child. We can’t shy away from these opportunities to grow. God knows we learn best when we are challenged at our unique levels. Professionals call this learning at the Zone of Proximal Development. God calls it learning line upon line by faith. I call it trial by children. ;)
Do you secretly believe you are too normal for homeschool? (We all know that “one weird homeschool family”). No worries, homeschool is not just for “weirdos” or “extremists”. In fact the homeschool trend is spreading like wildfire and becoming more mainstream everyday. Scared you aren’t “qualified” to teach your kids? No problem there either. You can learn how to do it, and it’s way more fun than helping kids do homework. I promise. Certain you don’t have the patience for being with your kids day in and day out? Well, you don’t. No one does, but God will give you more patience as you need it. Being together a lot is less intense than it sounds, though, and you’d be surprised how much less annoying the kids are when you get to know them on a homeschool level.
So, if you have found that producing offspring to populate the local schools and soccer team leaves you feeling a little empty, it is a sign you have turned over too much control of your family and are feeling the loss of growth and agency. Take back your kids and unleash motherhood! You make the schedule. You choose what and when to learn. You choose what your family will be. You grow together, not apart. You decide.
Motherhood IS fun. Motherhood IS fulfilling. Motherhood can help you become who God wants you to be. Try motherhood the homeschool way. You won’t regret a minute of it.