I settle into my seat at the restaurant. Then I notice her.
She's metaphorically juggling two little ones. Both regularly meltdown when they are not allowed to, say, spray the ketchup all over the table. I hear her say something about them not sleeping well of late. She hasn't either, I'm sure. But she keeps her cool through the tantrums and crocodile tears. She's on the edge; she's holding it together.
Being a mom is really hard work. You're "on the clock" potentially 24/7. You don't get lunch breaks. I'm reminded of the Why don't friends with kids have time? article that crops up now and again. You, indeed, are teaching "language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything."
And you've added homeschooling to that.
You're doing really hard work. You may be feeling like life is going from one emergency to another. You may be feeling really discouraged. It's also possible that you have older children who are starting to thrive apart from you; there's absolutely something bittersweet about that as well.
You may be feeling alone.
The work you are doing is important. It certainly isn't easy. It's hard. But it's worth it. The homeschool moms I talk with who are on the other end of homeschooling -- now watching their children make their way in the world -- tell me that homeschooling was amazing. Hard. But so worth it.
Keep your chin up. You're changing the world.
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian