Confession: I don’t have it all together. I want to believe I do, but I know I don’t. I have always been the type to take on too much, to spread myself too thin.
It never really smacked me in the face until I became a parent, though. Why? Because if you spread yourself too thin with your kids, you really will get smacked the face with the chaos that ensues.
Let me list the main things I have on my plate:
- My sweet girls
- My husband
- Our family
- Our house and all of the related chores/duties
- Our chickens
- Happy Mothering
- Green Moms Media
- Green Moms Network
- Consulting in the healthcare technology industry
- Me? I know there should be room for me in there somewhere, right?
I was about to add homeschooling to this list that is already causing me to tread water (and not well) each day.
I was sitting and thinking to myself one day very recently, “If I’m not giving everything on my current list my fullest attention now, how am I ever going to give Zoë what she deserves when it comes to education – without dropping a few things off my list?”
It hit me. I can’t.
That was a tough pill for me to swallow. I have always planned on homeschooling, but I didn’t expect to build a successful business from home either. I didn’t expect to be spending the amount of time on work that I do. But, guess what? I enjoy working now. More than I have ever enjoyed a “job.”
So, I sat back and realized I had to choose to either give up the business I love so I can homeschool, or to find a good place to send my daughter for her education and continue my business. We live in a small town without a lot of options, so I wasn’t sure how things would play out.
It’s funny how things happen. We were at a messy art class at the local Mom and Dad Project and I was talking with the instructor that my girls love. She mentioned the local private school (where one of her daughters goes) was having a Kindergarten preview that month and we should come.
At first I wasn’t sure that I was open to the idea, but we went just to check it out so we would have options. Zoë fell in love. She didn’t want to leave. And I felt like she was going to get a better education there than I can give her right now.
It’s a small class, capped at 15 students, and the main goals they have are to teach your kids to be confident in themselves and to love learning. Every kid I saw at that school was smiling and happy to be there. And parents are allowed to come help out in class whenever they want (in fact, it’s required at least 2 days per month for all parents). What else can you really ask for?
So, we put in her application. And even though I know in my heart it’s the right decision, I have still been beating myself up about it. I have shed more than a few tears because part of me feels like I have failed (by choosing not to homeschool) even though I know this is the best decision for us right now. How silly is that?
So right now, I am working on letting go of what I thought was going to happen in the fall (homeschooling) and embrace what is going to happen (Zoë is going to go to an awesome school). She’s excited, so I need to be too. I’ll get there. Just watching her excitement leads me down that path.
I am also thinking of putting Kaylee in pre-school 3 days a week since I know she’s going to miss her sister so much. She keeps telling me she wants to go to school with Zoë (with her, not on her own).
Having both girls in school will give me more time to focus on myself and my business. If I’m happier and more at ease, then it will be better for my whole family. I’ll be able to be more present with my children and my husband, and we’ll all win because of that.
As moms, I think we will always question our decisions because we want the best for our kids. And I guess the fact that I keep questioning it and I keep coming up with the same answer shows me that I’m making the best decision I can.
So, that’s where I am. If you’re in the same boat – torn between homeschooling and sending your child off to school – know that you’re not alone.
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / freedigitalphotos.net