Monday, March 17, 2014


They told me it was coming.

I didn't believe them.  No.  I have plenty of hobbies.  Plenty of friends.  A great marriage. It's not my struggle.

But then it happened.

I woke up one day and noticed the homeschooling journey was at its tail end.  At first, there really is relief.  Wow.  I did it.  I really did it.

I don't know about the rest of you, but it was a journey and a half.  I never regret a minute of it.  I'll never say it was easy.  And I could probably have what they would say was a "successful experience" in that my children are finding their post-high school academic journeys rather naturally.  They are forming friendships and pursuing things that are valuable.  I have no regrets.  I also have no regrets about our youngest child being in a private school.  It was God's path for her.

At this time of reflection, it's not about the kids.  No, it's about mommy.

For those who haven't homeschooled, let me describe to you what is going on in the lives of mothers everywhere who are homeschooling.

First of all, a decision to hand over your home, your schedule, your desires, your free time and your ambitions needs to be made.  At first, it is a jolt to your system, but eventually the difficult becomes routine.

The all-encompassing nature of this lifestyle can be overwhelming at times.  The sheer drive, energy, and ambition it takes to pull this off is all-consuming.  It makes you physically, mentally, and spiritually attuned to the very pulse of the child and the home.  It takes every ounce of energy to keep it together, and yet.. it happens every. single. day.   Now multiply that by weeks, months.. years.

If you count preschool as our first year and this as our last year, it looks like 19 years total.  (And Nathanael will continue to be homeschooled for his last two years of high school, but he will be taking classes at a local college)

O.K. Call it 20 years.  That's a serious chunk of my life.   Yes, I think I am ready to retire.

Which brings up a heartfelt question that I have been praying about all year.


You guys know me.  I am not the "curl up on the couch with a good book" for the rest of my life kind of gal.  But reading books is helping me figure things out.

For those of you who can just kick back and relax, I envy you.  I don't enjoy relaxing. I have to be doing something.  And not just nonsense.    But what??  WHAT?

So, admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it.

In this case, I'm naming the problem.  I have PHMS.  not PMS, cuz I'm too old for that.  No.  It is "Post-homeschooling-mommy-syndrome"

If you've had it, survived it and are now doing something you love, tell me about it in the comments!


Kathy Bloom said...

Let my comment be first please....I am WITH YOU, with a capital "WY"!!! This transition has been huge, even to the degree that I'd compare it with potty training or teaching kids to read - maybe even bigger because this stage is intensely personal, as you said. It's about MOMMY.

Walking with you as you navigate, friend. Praying with you for clarity, energy, joy, and ideas that come from nowhere, so that we can glorify God and enjoy Him forever, including mid-life and the golden years ahead!


Kathy Bloom said...
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Herding Grasshoppers said...

First... can you hear the applause?! I know that's not what you're asking for, but I'm "sending" it anyway! May your children rise up and call you blessed :D

Second... I'm NOT there yet (still in the throes of homeschooling) but I'll tell you what I'd like to do someday...

We have a local Crisis Pregnancy Center that always needs volunteers, and that's a possibility. But what draws me even more is the "Great Expectations" home. "We" have a home in our community for girls that choose life and have nowhere to go. They can live at the GE house (which is staffed and supervised) up until delivery and for a certain amount of time after (a year, maybe? I'm not sure how long.)

And those girls need mentors. Big sisters. Aunties. Someone to come alongside them. Maybe go to childbirth classes and be there for the birth. Someone to walk with them through pregnancy and childbirth and parenting. Someone to help them navigate their new life. Someone to help them know Jesus.

The other thing I'd like to do is teach reading. To adults. Well, to anyone that needs help. But I can't imagine the difficulty of trying to navigate the world as an adult and not knowing how to read.

Most likely the reality is that as soon as the boys are launched I'll be working 8-5 at a job, but those are my dreams.


Bernadette Veenstra said...

Oh man! Sigh...
I still have another 15-16 years ahead of me-if we home school all the way through. That will make for 23 years total.
I'll bookmark this post for then.=)
Praying for direction for you.

Laura Santos said...

My aunt, who always has to be busy, recently had a stroke. She recovered better than expected but could no longer teach public school. She was one of those over the top teachers forced into early retirement (in her fifties). She started theology classes online and is also teaching a one-on-one Bible study with inmates at a women's prison.

Nita Brainard said...

I'd love to kick back and relax -- but I am enjoying my full time job. Still miss my kids, but I don't have time to stew over it.

Ruby said...

Jena, my time is coming. Right now it feels as though I will just sleep for a few weeks first and then get on with life!
Julie, Herding Grasshoppers, I love this concept the "Great Expectations" home. Friends and I have been talking about a place like that in our own community. We especially have a heart for girls who have rejecting abortion even knowing that their child has a deformity or handcap. It seems there is little follow up for such woman. It is one thing to campaign against abortion but another to see it through with mentorship from loving people who will support the mums through the inevitable rough times.