Dedication is the word of the day today. (It strikes me as a mite bit odd that the first syllable of that word is strikingly like “dead”. That may simply be due to how I’m feeling on my feet today. . .)
Dedication is a word that so many are willing to throw out there, but how many of us are actually dedicated? I mean, when was the last time you actually accomplished your New Year’s Resolutions? (For the record, mine was the year prior to my starting homeschool; since then it’s been hit or miss.)
I didn’t start out homeschooling. In fact, I have 4 “blissful” years of public school under my belt. I hadn’t even heard of homeschooling until about 1 month before I started, so I was totally unprepared for the amount of “overtime” I would be accumulating.
“Overtime?” you say. Yes, overtime! And the wearing of hats.
When my older guys were wee lads, the big yellow bus picked them up at the end of the our driveway. We would have been up for about an hour, with me wearing my “mom hat”, and them prepping for the day. The bus picked them up and my “mom hat” would go off and flying, as I had the next 6 or so hours FREE. I would put on my “housekeeping hat” and work for a couple of hours, or put on my “work cap” and do all my required business (I worked at home). There were even many, many days wherein I would do my own personal hobbies / crafts. *sigh*
A couple of times a week I would volunteer at the school helping kids with reading, or teachers with getting their grading done, or creating learning tools / manipulatives. When my kids were back home from school, I would wear a “teacher’s hat” until they finished their homework and then the “mom hat” came back out and on.
Remember the whole introvert / extrovert conversation earlier wherein I declared the whole introvert mantle? Well, because I did have so much time to recharge, my kids had it good! I totally had it in me to put them into after school activities, such as cub scouts, baseball, soccer, tae kwon do, gymnastics, etc. I even volunteered to be “den mother”, and “team mom”. Man, and holidays? I even decorated for them! St. Patrick’s Day the children would awaken to find the house a wreck, and little pots of gold (chocolate candy) scattered around. (Course, you had to clean the havoc created by the little leprechauns in order to find the pots of gold.)
But, now I’m a homeschooler. . .
First thing in the morning, the “mom hat” is placed on and NEVER taken off till my head hits the pillow at night. The housekeeping hat is soon placed atop that, because with all that needs doing in a day, it seems to take all day to tackle all the small jobs. Around 9 a.m. I stack on the teacher hat which stays there until about 3. (If I’m lucky.) Anything else that happens, means that yet another hat has to be stacked. And my internal batteries, are draining, even though I count my kids as an extension of myself. (Trust me when I say, it is a daily miracle that I can end the day sounding pleasant.)
Egads! Heaven forbid my husband comes home and wants to see the wife hat! (Poor, poor man. . .)
I decorate for only Christmas, I don’t volunteer for anything, and my kids are no longer involved in anything that may drain the minute amount of “battery juice” I have left.
(For the record, my next post is going to be about support, as it so directly ties in here.)
Mine is just an example of the overtime. Every family varies, and each person has their own tolerance level. There are family dynamics too, that can’t be ignored; and I am ever so grateful that, for the most part, I have really good kids.
PS If I ever get any amount of energy built up, I’m going to write lyrics for “big yellow bus” (which would be a spoof of “red solo cup”), just because I think SO many homeschool moms can relate. Or maybe someone else can volunteer. . .