I didn't think I would be a mother of 4. Never. A mother of four girls. Absolutely not. A homeschooling mother of four girls. Are you crazy? Yet here I am.
When David and I got married and started discussing having children and our "five year plan" we thought about having four kids. You know, two boys and two girls. Lovely. Well, our five year plan turned into a three year (not so) plan and our first daughter was born. Once we hit that five year plan date we already had two children and wanted more.
We had always talked about me staying home when we had children. We knew there would be sacrifices that would have to be made, but of course at the time we were thinking just financial. I can say those are the smaller sacrifices a stay-at-home mom makes. There are unknown sacrifices to who you are and the risk of even losing the 'you' before kids. Sacrifices to your social life and being limited to talking about poop, drool, and lack of sleep. I know I can close to completely losing myself in motherhood, but with the encouragement of great friends, an amazingly supportive husband, and a couple mentors I not only did not lose myself, but rather rediscovered who I was and want to be.
With all that being said, we had been playing around with the idea of homeschooling when our first was born. I cannot recall conversations about it. I never felt pressure from "the church" or friends, but I did feel led to consider homeschooling. When I tell people there are many reasons we homeschool there really are. From not wanting my children gone 8 plus hours a day to being able to teach how, when, and what I want. I spent a few years teaching in the public school system and even though I loved my job I knew I would not want to send my children to that experience. I am grateful and consider myself blessed for the choice and the means to homeschool.
I can't count how many people I hear say, "I could never do that!" Do what? Teach? Spend entire days with your children? Be responsible for them learning to read, add, think independently? Balance housework, school work, marriage, and your own needs? I know those words are meant as a compliment and trust me I take the acknowledgement of all I do as one, but why do you think you can't? I am not a good homeschooler because I was a teacher. In fact, in the four years I have been homeschooling I have rarely used the knowledge I learned to teach the masses. It just doesn't work that way. My children are not those quiet, passive children sitting reading all day....far from it. My house is not pristine, but with greats amount of purging it stays orderly.
I believe this works for us because I believe I can do it. I also believe it works because I have my priorities in line. My life is not all about my children. Sure, it is A LOT about them, but not all about them. Big difference. My life is (take a deep breath hear reader!) not all about my husband either. He is amazing...supportive, gorgeous, funny, loving, so much more! My life is about....ummmm, me. My journey. My God. When that is out of balance I find everything gets out of balance. HE first made me Jennifer, then wife, mother, homeschooler.
I believe anyone really could do what I do every day....if, it is what they desired. I am not better equipped than anyone else out there. I am just living my heart's desires. Not supermom. Nothing out of the ordinary. "Just Jen" to quote that gorgeous husband of mine.
If you are reading this, I hope you living your heart's desires and being "Just You" too!