24/7 and the SAHM Gripe

Is there something to be said about traditional family roles? A woman posted a rant on Facebook about how traditional family roles should be:

rant

Igniting a firestorm. Women angry at the very thought. Some asking if this woman is living in the wrong time. But that’s not the real question is it. When did it become popular to be lazy? Women demanded equality, and now they have equality they want more. They want men who will wait on them hand and foot, provide a full income and then do all the housework. I remember being shocked by one of my brothers girlfriends. When she said that she didn’t know how to hang up clothing, had no idea how to operate a clothespin. She was the first person I met who had the world handed to her and couldn’t understand why she would suddenly have to start doing for herself as an adult.

When I met my husband, his father remarked how incredible it was that I not only thanked my future mother in law for making dinner but I cleared my plate away from the table. He hadn’t seen that before in the girls that his sons brought home.

Now the internet is inundated with women who complain nonstop that their husbands or boyfriends don’t do enough around the house.

Perhaps I am coming at it from a different place. I spent some time in my younger years as a single mom. So perhaps having spent the time alone I have a special appreciation for having a husband. So let me say this. I like having my husband working full time outside the home so that I can care for them inside the home.

However, it is not a 24/7 job as some moms like to think. I think about my children, and worry about my children whenever I am awake. I have dreams and sometimes even nightmares about my children throughout the night. But I don’t work 24/7.

I am homeschooling and raising four children. I do 99% of the cooking and house cleaning. But it doesn’t take 24/7.

We have traditional homeschool hours. We school Monday-Friday from 9-3 and some days when we don’t get everything done we have “homework” that we do in the evenings and on weekends. I prepare three meals a day for my family. We eat hot breakfast and lunch nearly every day, and hot dinner every single night. But from about 8pm until I go to bed I am on my own. Saturdays I go grocery shopping and while yes that is a chore done for the family I also think of it as a time to get out of the house, clear my head, and relax. Sundays are a family day, we go to church, we go to the library. Its not a chore to take my children to church, I genuinely enjoy our family time.

Two to three hours a night I am not working. I am not grading school work. I am not cooking meals. I am not cleaning house. I watch television. Read books, play on Facebook. Sometimes I cuddle my youngest, she’s only six months old, but most of the time is my own. This is why I don’t buy into the argument that SAHM’s work 24/7 because I know with my own proper time management I have at least two hours before bed every night that I relax. What I find mildly amusing is a lot of women who complain that being a SAHM is a 24/7 nightmare where their husbands or boyfriends do not do enough to help out also send their children to public school. In fact I have yet to hear from a homeschool mom who complains about her husband helping out or complains that her job is 24/7.

What makes me different though, aside from homeschooling? It starts out by having set bedtimes for my children. By giving my children a bedtime of 7:30, I am able to have the evening free to relax. I also make my kids do chores. They have to pick up their own toys, put their dirty clothing in the hamper and their clean clothes in the closet. My oldest has to help make dinner at least once a week and they all help clean up after dinner. It’s nice. It gives them a boost of confidence knowing that they are capable of helping out.

What I don’t do is get mad at my husband for not cleaning the house. I don’t demand that he do the dishes, laundry, or any of the household chores. I don’t get upset with him if when he comes home from work he wants to veg out in front of the computer or television. I figure that he works hard all day, five days a week, he worries about his job when he is not there.

Since I don’t get angry at him for not doing the housework I have noticed all the things he does do. He works fifty hours a week. He also does the yard work, and household maintenance. He loves giving the kids baths. Reading to them. He loves putting them to bed. He doesn’t have to draw them a bath. He doesn’t have to read them a story after being at work all day. He certainly doesn’t have to be the one to put them to bed. But it makes him happy, there is a bigger point. The point is I recognize that he participates. All to often women are quick to complain, they don’t see the value in what their husbands or boyfriends do. It’s never enough. Its not enough for them if all he does is provide enough income to pay the bills they want more. They fall into this trap that society tells them their husbands or boyfriends don’t do enough, the trap that it’s not okay to be a homemaker and care for their families. One lady ranted that anyone who thinks their husband shouldn’t do housework was born in the wrong time. Why is that? I am perfectly happy with the arrangement my husband and I have. In fact I would rather clean, cook and care for my children than do anything else. I feel incredibly blessed to have a husband who is willing to work outside the home and allow me to stay home with my children, I am truly blessed. I don’t think that I was born in the wrong time. I do hope that my daughters are lucky enough to marry someone who works hard and provides a good home for them, and that they treat their husbands with respect by not demanding he do household chores.

I cannot imagine my Mom complaining about my father not doing enough around the house. Her generation was different though. I don’t know when things changed. I don’t know if it was the feminist movement that taught us to criticize our husbands and demand that he do more and more of the household chores while we glorify ourselves, saying that being a SAHM is a 24/7 job, ignoring any and all down time, and pretending that suddenly motherhood is more difficult than any other job out there. Maybe it’s more simple though. Years ago I was told that if you truly love your job then the time flies by and it doesn’t seem like you are working as much as you really are. Perhaps, I simply love being a SAHM so much that I don’t view it as a 24/7 job like the women who take to Facebook in droves and complain that their husbands simply don’t appreciate them.  enough, or do enough.

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Public School at Home

 

Anytime I have difficulty with my homeschooling and I turn to a friend for advice I invariably hear that I am making the age-old mistake of trying to public school at home. The funny thing is they don’t generally stop long enough to hear what my difficulty is before turning to this sage advice “don’t try to public school at home”. Honestly, I don’t even know what that means. See, what a lot of my homeschool friends do not understand is that before college I never stepped foot in a public school. None of my children have either, and other than Hollywood versions I honestly do not know what takes place in a public school. Somehow, I doubt it is anything like what is portrayed on the television, so I fail to see how I am duplicating something I know nothing about.

Yet the advice continues to come in. Friends assure me that the number one mistake parents make when homeschooling is trying to do public school at home. I cannot help but wonder if they even know what that means.

What does it mean to public school at home?

We sit at a desk, some of the times, is that public schooling at home?

This year we broke our subjects down by an hour per subject a day, is that public schooling at home?

We break for an hour at lunch time, if the kids eat fast they can spend the rest of their time playing, but if they don’t eat fast then we go back to work after that hour is up without any play time. Is that public schooling at home?

Before the next person tells me no matter what my difficulty for this week is that my problem is I public school at home, I would really like an explanation of what that is.

The beauty of homeschooling is that there is no right way or wrong way to do it. What works for me and my family might not work for you and your family. Doesn’t mean I am doing it wrong, obviously if it is working for us, and it doesn’t mean that your way is the right way, simply because it is working for you, again; there is no right way or wrong way to homeschool if it is working for you. So, for the people who say that the difficulty lies in trying to duplicate public school at home, perhaps they know what they mean and it didn’t work for them, but it certainly doesn’t mean that it won’t work for someone else.

My oldest struggled for so many years because part of me desperately wanted him to learn the way I did. It took me way longer than it should have to realize that while I need little to no structure to learn he needs a lot of structure.

So, the next time someone tells you not to Public School at Home. Ask them what exactly that means, and then remember just because it doesn’t work for everyone doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for anyone. If you find that what they are describing is the best learning environment for you, then go for it. If the children are learning something you have success.

 

Homeschool Mom Interview

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Recently I was invited to write a guest post on Faith and Good Works Blog. The series a virtual interview of a homeschool mom invited other homeschool moms to answer various questions that homeschool moms are asked almost on a daily basis. Each mom, of course, has a different answer, and that is partly what makes this series so fabulous, if you are considering homeschooling or if you have homeschool friends, and you want to understand better why they do it and how they do it then I recommend checking out this blog.
The Questions:
Some of the questions we answered were:
How long have you been homeschooling?
What is your motto or Bible verse that your family uses?
Are family members involved in the homeschooling?
What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of homeschooling?
All good questions right? Possibly things that you have wondered.
Curriculum
Probably one of the biggest issues that Homeschool Moms get asked has to do with curriculum. What types of curriculum do you use? Why do you choose this curriculum over that one? The best way I can explain it is that the joy of homeschooling is that it allows you to work your schedule, and curriculum to meet the needs of your family. Growing up my mom had five children. One of my brothers and one of my sisters were already in high school when Mom stumbled on homeschooling. There is a ten-year gap between my oldest brother and my older sister, so when Mom started homeschooling, she had an 18-year-old, a 17-year-old, a six-year-old, and five years old and a four-year-old (me). Part of the reason she started homeschooling had to do with how the public school system was set up, something that has not changed in all these years. For instance, my oldest sister had a great teacher in middle school. Just one of the all time best teachers ever. When her younger brother was old enough for that grade, the school informed my parents that there was no way for him to be put in that teacher’s class. He ended up with a subpar teacher, because as the school put it, it wouldn’t be fair to the subpar teacher if everyone was able to choose the great teacher for their class. Why would you want to send your children to a subpar teacher versus an excellent teacher? The same is true with curriculum; we now know that everyone learns differently. This concept makes a lot of sense because everyone is unique. In public schools twenty to thirty children are all given the same textbooks, the same teaching style from the teacher and all are expected to learn the same way. We as individuals struggle with this, and that is another way that homeschooling works, homeschooling embraces the individuality of each student.
The Point is This
I am going to sum this up, though, because really what I want is for you to go to Faith and Good Works blog and read my blog interview and check out some of the other interviews posted there. I could go on more details with this blog on different aspects of homeschooling, but instead I want you to go read that interview and look next week for my post on Public School versus Homeschool, my opinion might just surprise you. As well as my upcoming post, Myths about Homeschooling.

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