Make sure you read Why We Decided to Homeschool Part 1
That was the day things began to change (and why I feel I can now speak in the first person). Once I accepted that I had played the largest part in my current state of unhappiness, I was able to move forward. Taking responsibility and accountability for my life was a HUGE step in the right direction. Acceptance is the first part to recovery, right?
I have often said that I am the laziest and most selfish person that I know. Now you know why. I was an addict. I was addicted to my own self satisfaction. Nothing mattered but what I thought, what I felt, and what I wanted… it had to stop. Let me tell ya, there is very little more humbling than knowing that you are the problem with what is going on in your life. I was not the mom I had always wanted to be and it was all my own doing.
Once I knew that I was the one that had to change I made a mental list of the kind of mom I wanted to be. I wanted to be the kind of mom who:
- read to her children
- danced with her children
- laughed with her children
- played with her children
- sang with her children
- enjoyed her children’s company
- loved every stage of life (not just the baby stage)
- made nutritious meals
- kept a beautiful home
- liked her own children more than anyone else’s
I had done all of those things at one time or another, but never on a regular basis. So, after much thought and prayer I came to a conclusion: Mine was not an impossible goal and my self-centeredness was the only thing standing in the way of me reaching it. If I wanted to not just love my children but ENJOY them, I needed to spend MORE time with them, not less: and that meant I needed to severely curtail “me time”.
“I think we need to homeschool,” I told Matt one day. His skepticism was quite understandable. I eagerly anticipated every single moment away from my kids, how could I stand having them home all day long for EVER? “If I am going to be the mom that I want to be I need to make some BIG changes around here… and I CAN’T have it derailed by the start of the school year. I can’t redo our routine every weekend and every time school starts and stops. If we are going to have the family that we want to have, then our routine has to be consistent… it has to be just LIFE.”
Matt has always been supportive of me and while he seriously doubted whether or not I could handle it, this time was no different. The timing of my declaration couldn’t have been more perfect. Lucy had just finished kindergarden at the local public school. Over the previous year she had turned from a sweet little girl to a surly brat. While I’m sure my less than ideal mood wasn’t helpful to the situation, I know it wasn’t what caused the decline of her behavior. Two weeks after summer vacation started (but before I had had my epiphany) she was becoming herself again. I knew that it was the influence of her peers that was the primary cause of her behavior issues. This proved to be another reason for me to try my hand at homeschool.
I decided to give it a “test run” during the summer vacation. My kids were home anyway and I needed to start being “Courtney 2.0” ASAP. I knew that by the time summer ended I would know whether or not my theory of “more time with kids + less time for me = happy family” panned out. If all went well I would be less selfish, less lazy, and less grumpy: while my children and husband would be happier, kinder, and more enjoyable to be around. If my theory turned out to be dreadfully wrong, then I could always send them to public school in the fall.
I announced my intentions here on my blog July of 2009 (please forgive my woefully inadequate writing ability. My composition skills have dramatically increased in the last four years). The first thing I said was:
I’m really hoping that homeschooling will help with the whole “kids driving me crazy thing”. I love them more than anything in the world (yes even chocolate and scrapbooking) but we’re not the best of friends. I’m kind of the Alpha Male as far as anyone in the house is concerned besides Matt (though he might say differently) and so I kind of have a real dictatorial way of doing things around here. Not the best for my nerves. Anyway, since “love” is spelled T-I-M-E to a child, I’m hoping this will help the relationship I have with mine.
The following days proved to be more than I ever could have hoped for.
To Be Continued…
If you promise not to judge me for my past writing skills I’ll let you read about my first few days of homeschooling. It was certainly a fun jot down memory lane :)