Saturday, January 25, 2014

Who Are You? Really?

I came across a pretty good post on an introverted Mom homeschooling extroverts.
I’ve got one introvert for sure! One extrovert for sure! And one on the fence. Of course I always wonder if I’m doing it right. But lately I’ve been actively pushing away that thought.

One of my very favorite things about homeschool, is the lack of pressure. My kids aren't being pressured to dress a certain way, watch certain things, like specific toys, or really fit in. It’s taken a long while of letting go of my own issues in order to let my kids just be themselves. It’s okay and even necessary to have rules about stuff, but its also okay and even necessary to know when to relax. We are becoming experts at this. Want to go play in the treehouse instead of doing your math? Sure! As long as you know that you will be doing your math at some point today. Wake up to a beautiful day and decide to spend it outside? No problem. Learning will happen. It always happens. Homeschoolers are not stuck in a schedule, a box, or a clique.

Stella insists on spending some days in costume. This used to bother me. I have no idea, because isn’t that a trivial worry? Who cares if she dresses like a fairy for grammar, a princess for reading, and a sorceress for dinner. At one time I was very insistent on things being a certain way. Just so. I cared a lot about image. I am now extremely grateful for whatever it was that knocked some sense into me. I would have spent my children’s childhood stifling them. Killing their authentic self.

In the last year or so of letting go a bit at a time, I have come to realize that I spent a lot of time hiding my authentic self. A few days ago, a new friend whom I am already very fond of (yes, I’m writing about you!) mentioned something about me being crazy but in a good way. She said I was a bit of a role model because I didn’t seem to give a damn about what people though. To me this was a huge compliment because I spent so much of my life caring what people thought. I’ve never been a people pleaser, but as I said, image was very important.

I’m not cured of my issues. No where near in fact. But I am getting better. I’ve got my children here to lead the way and be the teachers. My small kids who aren’t yet jaded, who don’t know what fitting in means, who have their own style and are being allowed to think independently. They are allowed to be children. Their childhood is not being rushed by me or any politicians or school administrators that think they should be doing XYZ at a certain time. Their exposure to things that our family values don’t agree with is very limited. No one is calling them weird or stupid or ugly. All things one hears when visiting a public elementary school.

Right now they just get to be kids. And I get to be their mom. That’s all there is to it.

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