Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

March 16, 2006

thoughts on getting somewhere

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I'm getting in my life. Meditating on: what is really important/desirable to be my life's work right now? Read an (as always) amazingly insightful magazine called "Brain, Child" where a study is sited showing that all the media hullabaloo about mothers opting out of careers to stay home with children is only focusing on middle-class mothers with advanced degrees which only represents like 1% of mothers or something like that. Kind of released the pressure behind the 'you should be out of your home working in the field you were trained in in order to be making a valuable contribution to society' button that gets pressed sometimes from internal or external sources. Lots of moms stay home. Lots of moms work outside the home. It's going to be alright. I don't need to take it all so personally. I can just make the decisions that are right for me and my family. And what do I really want to be doing right now? I want to do my part to serve my family. Service is noble and exalted. Work is worship. I can see the work I do caring for my kids and doing my part in running the household as important work that's definitely worth doing. The housework I could do without, but everyone that lives in a house has to do housework (at least in my house). That's just a part of life. Now here's the part that makes this whole meandering mostly just an academic question: My oldest daughter really seems to need to be homeschooled right now. And I'm pretty opposed to the way our public schools are set up and can't afford any private alternatives. So if I continue down this path, that puts me right here, at home with these kids, all the time for their whole childhood. Is that what I want? So far, that's what I want about three days out of the week. I start off charged up and ready to do school and do projects and make messes and try to make good choices all day. But then by about Thursday I'm ready for a change. Something completely different. Not necessarily a break, but just a real change of pace. Like focused work where I can accomplish something and then it's done- not the work that gets undone five times a day, every day. I think some part of me really misses teaching. (Not that I'm not teaching my kids all day, but a small group of adults is very different from a group of small children.) All the constructive contact with other adults. Using the parts of my self and my brain that don't get much use at my present day job. And I feel like even if I homeschool my kids and really get absorbed in taking on their education personally, I can't just live through them. I feel myself wanting more than just watching them learn. Because they don't want me to teach them. They want to learn next to me, (and here's the important bit) while I'm learning too. (Heck, Georgia wants to teach me. As soon as she learns something, she want to be the teacher and teach it right back to me (which is a great way for her to learn actively and retain information! Go Georgia!)) Right now I'm learning how to teach them, and I'm sure I always will be, but there's more that I'm talking about. I need to be doing my own work too. It's not that I need more work to do, it's just that there has to be just the right mix of different kinds of work for my life to be sustainable.

So that's as far as I've gotten. In thinking all this out. I'm not sure what happens next, but I have this overwhelming feeling that it's going to be ok.

Posted by Bahiyyih at March 16, 2006 11:15 PM

Hi, Bahiyyih! This post reminded me of my doula. She homeschools her kids and brought her nine year old to the post-partum doula check-up when Amia was about 2 months old. I don't know how interested her daughter was...I think she was reading a book the whole time, but I think that's pretty cool for her to be able to get an idea of what kind of work her mom does outside the home and to have real life experiences in the adult world be a part of her education. I can't wait to hear your thoughts as you continue to figure this all out!

Posted by: Suzanne at March 17, 2006 07:11 PM

That was really great to hear your whole process of thinking there. I can really relate to your feelings and I know a ton of moms would be able to too. Something that I really got from you this entry is your confidence that it is all going to be all right. That just seems like the key right there! I love you!

Posted by: Layli at March 23, 2006 11:55 AM


Posted by: Lucy at March 23, 2006 11:58 AM

Dear Bahiyyih, you are doing awesome work as a mother. Secondly, as a former home-schooling mom, I wanted to say that making that decision now doesn't necessarily mean that at some point you won't find a perfectly wonderful school for your kids that helps them learn in ways you hadn't thought of, and you can make a different decision then, if you want to. There are people out there doing school in many different ways, even in public school. Whatever the decision, it seems to me that you and Bill are thoughtful decision-makers that are not wedded to some ideology, but simply look for what is best for the kids at that time, whatever opportunities are available. What could be better than that?

Love, Sherri

Posted by: Sherri at March 27, 2006 04:29 PM