Tonight there was an informational meeting for a school opening in our area for the coming year. There were aspects of the school that sounded interesting, enough for me to write in the details of the meeting into my planner.
And then I asked myself, WHY am I thinking about this???
Is there something that isn’t working in our homeschooling life right now? Are any of the kids unhappy or asking to go to school? Do they not have friends? Is it too hard for me to be around them, or for them to be around each other?
No, no, and no.
My kids have lots of time to explore and play. They have plenty of time for friendships and ‘extracurricular interests’. They get along (mostly!) with each other. They’re bright and interested in the world around them, calm and settled inside themselves.
So after sixteen years of successfully homeschooling and seeing the short and long term benefits to our children, why was I thinking for even a minute about school?
This happens to me periodically. This time it was because reading this lovely description of the school had me mentally comparing what I do and feeling that I was coming up short. I began to fixate on adult-led activities rather than the long term process of supporting the natural development of children and their inherent learning process. I felt the weight of the responsiblity of educating our children and it felt like an easy solution to send them to someone else who would take responsibility for their education.
No matter if that’s true or not! What matters is that it felt true in the moment. I was temporarily losing the comparison war and that triggered those pesky thoughts that periodically circle around – do I give my kids enough, do I do enough?
That’s what happens when I minimize the value of the things that are a natural part of our lives. In one fell swoop I manage to take all the positives about our lifestyle and our children’s development for granted and with a mental flick deflect it to the sidelines as if all those things are insignificant.
Have you noticed how easy it is to downplay your successes and overly value what you aren’t doing? We all do this! And the next thing you know, you’re feeling inadequate and looking to someone or something outside of you for different answers. Sometimes I think that feeling inadequate is a pervasive theme for mothers.
At times like these I’ve found it helpful to stand back and consciously validate yourself. You have to remind yourself of the value of what you do, to remind yourself about what your goals and vision are. I took some time to think about what my short and long term vision is for our family, which was really helpful in regrounding myself.
In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t end up attending the informational meeting about the school!