As a parent, have you ever woken up and looked blankly at your reflection in the mirror and wondered, “What am I doing?” As a homeschooling parent, I feel like I ask myself this question possibly 9,352 times a day. I usually think it at least once during the first groan after, “let’s finish your chapter book today.” Another creeps in somewhere around the time I am frantically searching for someone’s misplaced shoe so that I can sprint out the door (late….it’s never not late) to the activity I have planned for us to attend.
Later in the afternoon as the littlest guy is yelling from the bathroom, “mom, wipe my butt!” and I stand up for the 157th interruption, the self-doubt becomes overwhelming and a sort of rhythmic chant takes over in my brain. “What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?” Sometimes, I swear I can also hear a faint “you idiot” in the background too.
And then, it happens. You are driving down the street and you hear a little voice. This time it’s not the one that likes to gnaw at your confidence as a parent and educator. This voice sounds younger, more filled with optimism and self-assurance. It is your child. They are reading the signs that you are passing. They are chattering about the weather and condensation (yes, they ACTUALLY said condensation!) on the windows of the car.
Then it happens again. You come upon them in their room with a book quietly reading to themselves and laughing at the humorous predicament that Amelia Bedelia or Clifford got themselves into this time.
Then it happens again. You witness them on the playground introducing themselves to other children and showing compassion and caring for their newly found friend should they stumble and fall.
And again. And again. Until eventually, you realize that in these moments, this is what you are doing. And more importantly, this is WHY you are doing what you are doing. You realize that slowly you are raising intelligent children, inquisitive children, compassionate children, conscientious children, curious children.
It might not always feel that way. In fact, I PROMISE it will not always be that way. There will be days when you look around the table and wonder, “am I screwing this all up? What if I’m doing it the wrong way? What if?”
Don’t allow your “what ifs” to determine your “I wills.” Be stronger than your self-doubt. Everyone needs support and encouragement. Especially homeschoolers. I believe in you. Your child believes in you. Now, it’s time to believe in yourself.