Now, I don’t want to make this into a soppy post.
Like Dimsie, in the Dimsie books of my childhood, I don’t do soppy.
However, going through many hoops of late, trying to translate homeschooling into traditional terms, trying to find a way to support the family and looking at my patchwork of part time jobs and businesses and work here and there that I have undertaken on putting family first and career second, realising that it is harder for the older me to return to full time work and earn enough while having career satisfaction, realising that had I worked more or full time or planned my career better, I wouldn’t be in this position, being told that unfortunately my years of homeschooling and working part time don’t easily translate into traditional formats, being told that I am” too old and will never get full time work and support myself and sons”…well, then, I have been forced to look, really look, at my choices.
If my kids had been in school, if I hadn’t done less paid work and less study during my child rearing years, things would be a little bit easier now.
Singing out loud with four teen and young adult sons, belting out “Total Eclipse of the Heart’ in the car when the song comes on rotation on the iPod, makes me smile.
Having sons give me money upon my meeting friends for dinner, with strict instructions to “eat something decent and don’t look at the cheapest item on the menu”, as I would usually, makes me feel wanted. Cared for, even.
Talking and talking with the kids about gun laws and Dr Who and education and philosophy and wine and memories makes me see our connections.
Yes, they grow and leave. But they do so with my happy blessing, the older sons lead their lives and I lead mine; they also leave, however, with my quiet inner assurance that homeschooling was the right choice, perhaps not for you or for everyone. But for us.
I may have to jump through more hoops now, I may have to settle for second best in my career, I may never own my own home, but I know, deep down, that the boys and their education and their sphere of influence, who they are and what they do, is a direct result of the effort of building family, of quality and quantity time, of homeschooling.
And I wouldn’t trade that for the world or for acclaim.
Maybe I will never reach my full career potential…but I would still, without a moment of doubt or without a glimmer of hesitation, recommend this act of love for family to a young mother.
It is a career in and of itself.