Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My lesson on perspective

This one's going back five years but I never forgot it.

When Logan was still at school, there were plenty of other class mothers who were the professional type. They were alway on the run, wearing fancy tailored suits or official looking uniforms. I often felt a bit in awe of them and part of me wished that I had some sort of career identity too. And I often imagined that they must be sort of scornful of me and the other SAHMs. There was nothing I'd rather do than be at home looking after my house and family, yet I still felt intimidated by the way I imagined the 'professional' mums must be looking at me.

One of Logan's friend's mothers was a dental technician who worked in the clinic which services all of the school children in our district. Whenever any us took our kids in, we were bound to see her there in her crisp white uniform, either using the drills or giving advice about teeth cleaning. She was one of the ones I just a little in awe of and envious of.

Anyway, in 2003, just when I'd decided to begin homeschooling, Logan had been invited around to play with her son for the first and only time. When I went to drop him off, I had a chat with his friend's mother. We both mentioned the shortcomings we perceived in the school system and I told her of the decision we'd made to homeschool Logan, let Emma finish her year at kindy which she enjoyed and homeschool her too. And what she said to me nearly bowled me over.

It went something like this. "I wish with all my heart that I had the nerve to do something like that, and I really admire you but I'd never take the plunge. I know that you write books so you could manage homeschooling in a snap but I don't feel that clever and confident. All I can do is mix a filling. Big deal. All I can do is watch and admire people like you, because I see several homeschooled kids in the clinic and I take my hat off to their parents."

Well, needless to say I drove off with my head in a whirl. And all this time later I think that's probably been one of the significant conversations of my life. Whenever it occurs to me that people must look down on me for being 'just' a stay-at-home-mum, I remember, "No, that's not necessarily true." And whenver I sum a person up as having absolutely everything going for them and plenty of confidence, I remember, "That's not necessarily true, either." You just never know, do you?


  1. What a neat think to find out!

    I find myself envious of the SAHM, too, but for different reasons ;-)
    I was one for a bit and wish I could afford to be one now.

    Oh well, at least I like my job. II didn't it would really be hard to leave the house in the mornings.

  2. So true, my friend, so very true.
    I love those perspective shifts that we can get if we allow. They can just make a complete change to your brain.

    Great post!!

  3. I feel for that mom. I'll bet she could have done it. Just needed more confidence.

    You are so right about perspectives. When I find myself feeling envious of other moms and their situations, I try to remember that every path has its share of obstacles. ;o)

    Peace and Laughter,

  4. Life is FULL of surprises, isn't it?

    I should think that a comment like that would carry you through your entire season of homeschool life!

    In my opinion, we homeschool moms never fully realize just how much it takes to do what we do. So many hats, so many things to think about, etc., the list goes on. We just do it. To someone who is unfamiliar to homeschooling, it might seem like an impossible task. How unfortunate.

    When I think of homeschooling as "my job", it takes on a different outlook. I sometimes miss having a job that requires only a certain amount of skills, not the multi-faceted life I lead right now. But I know that what I'm doing is the most important thing I could do, so I try to do my best.

    This post also reminds me of how much a well-chosen remark can make an impact on the listener. Consider this when you speak to your kids!

    I'm glad you are feeling a bit better. Have a nice weekend!

  5. Every time I have a mother tell me, "You must be a really special mom. I would love to do that, but I never could." I try to encourage them that YES you can do it. I don't feel like I am a special mom, but I do often (like you) find myself in awe at working moms who seem to "do it all!"

    We need to remember that being a mom is special no matter how you do it! And that we need to be an encouragement to one another.

  6. Another one I hear quite often. "I could never be around my children that much...I do not have the patience."

    Then why did you have children. Do not get me wrong, there are times I push my daughter out the door to get to a sleep over, so me and hubby can talk with no interruptions. But all in all we work wonderfully together.

    We clash, but doesn't everyone? I know I bicker with my husband, do not see eye to eye with my friend, but we resolve it and move on. Same with my children. We hash it out, find a middle ground(sometimes) and go from there.

    I love homeschooling and wish we had started earlier.(We began our journey in September 2004)