Parenting is a sacrifice.
Home schooling is a sacrifice.
If we take on either of these roles we know that there is going to be
something we put off to ensure we can fulfill this role.
Many of us gave up our professional careers.
It was this past November that I had my latest job offer. It’s nothing new. Health care professionals are in short supply out here in the country. ‘Just a few shifts’ ‘You can choose’ ‘We’d love to have you work with us’ . . . and I’m going to admit it is just a little bit tempting. Even as I tried to sort in my mind where I could fit in a single shift, I knew that it is just not possible. My profession is part of my past life, it may be part of my future life, but it just doesn’t fit into my present. As much as I loved my patients, I have more important people to tend to — my four precious children.
I do miss it at times though — the respect, the adult contact, the challenges, the teamwork, the pay — all these I traded for dirty nappies, muddy children, grading math papers into the wee hours of the morning and a very round figured pay check.
Many people don’t understand why you would make the decision to give up your profession after you worked so hard to attain the qualification. People don’t regard you with quite the same esteem when you tell them you are a stay-at-home home schooling mother. Why would you choose to take on the educating of your children when your qualification doesn’t include teaching of any sort? Why would you throw away your educational achievements? Why would you waste money and time on something that others could only wish they had the money and time to achieve?
However others inability to understand your family’s choices goes hand in hand with home schooling, with choosing to prioritize family in this money – driven society. As mothers our God given priority is our family. We know our children better than anyone else and if we feel that home education is beneficial to them and we fail to provide it, we fall short in our primary responsibility to nurture and care for these precious blessings bestowed upon us.
Today I wish to encourage you to continue in this important position even through the misunderstanding and criticism you may encounter. When we choose something that is not the norm, we expect to have to stand up for our choices, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Especially since often the most vocal are those who are closest to us who should be our support — family members & church friends. To make the choice to give up your profession is a difficult
decision. To take on the educating of your children is a difficult decision. We are never guaranteed an easy life, without hardships and difficulties, but I do know that sometimes it is these most difficult things that we choose that produce the most character in our lives.
After almost 4 years of home schooling I can honestly say that I am glad I made the choice to stay at home and educate my children instead of pursuing my career. As for those who were quite vocal at the start . . . some of them are the very people who are complimentary now as they see that this is not a ‘slap, dash, crazy scheme’, but we really care about our children and are happy to sacrifice for them.
OK, the pay check would be nice someday still. . . but I’d probably just buy home schooling curriculum with it anyway!
Renata is an ex-medical imaging technologist, Christian, wife of 13 years, mother to 4 precious children ( including identical twin boys), home schooling mama, chief cow milker, chicken wrangler and potty lamb feeder! She journals at Sunnyside Farm Fun where she has recorded their many adventures since moving from the city to the country 5 years ago.