All about choices…

I am grumbling today about some comments that have been made recently.  Not comments made here, I mean, come on, no one is reading this and as a result no one is commenting.  Honestly, I am ok with that,  I started writing this, and continue writing in an attempt to aid my fiction writing.  My fiction writing reads like a TV script, all dialogue and little to no introspection by the main character.  I want to work on that here but I digress…

These recent comments have been made by people who are neither friends nor family.  So right there I should just brush my hands off and be done with it but I can’t.  One of the people is someone I have to deal with weekly as she is involved in one of Boo’s activities.  It’s the second time she’s made a comment and I’ve been nice both times.  At this point if it comes up again, I will have to tell her to mind her own business and then decide at that point whether to cease our activities at that location.

Ok, so I guess I should get to the comments themselves.  The two that have me grumbling today have been swirling for years and only bug me on occasion.  The first one is about me being a stay at home mom and the second is about the fact that we homeschool Boo.

When Sully and I got married we discussed having a family and immediately agreed that if we had children that we wanted a parent to stay at home with them.  It was assumed it was me, mostly because Sully’s job made twice the money mine did and I wanted to work on a career in writing, being at home would facilitate both.  In the early years it was a struggle financially but we thought and still think, that it was worth it to actually raise our own child.  Even now, life would be easier with another paycheck coming in but we are confident our choice is the right one for us.

It’s surprising in this day and age to get hassled about staying home but I hear it all of the time.  Here are some of the comments I’ve heard, 

“If you had a job Boo wouldn’t have to go without (insert unneeded toy here).”

“I never saw you as the subservient type.”

“You’re too smart to give up on a career.”  (backhanded compliment?)

“I would be so bored just sitting at home all day.”  

Sitting at home all day?  Seriously?  Completely ridiculous.  I am busy most of the day and there’s always a never ending list of things to do left over at the end of the day.  I take care of the house, the yard, the garage and everything in between.  Bored and sitting aren’t issues I suffer from during a normal day.

And homeschooling…

The big question I get asked about is Boo’s socialization.  

“What about friends?”

“What about learning to interact in a school setting?”

I also get people asking how long we are going to homeschool, like we have a big countdown clock in our kitchen.

Sully and I talked about homeschooling about two months after we started dating.  I had already helped my sister homeschool her kids when he made a comment about wanting to homeschool his kids, when he had them.  It was one of those moments when you think, ‘yep, he’s a keeper.”  

We’ve homeschooled Boo since Kindergarten.  I spend hours and hours researching curriculum, reading programs and supplementary resources.  Then I spend hours and hours on lesson plans, teaching aides, activities and schedules.  Once the school year starts I spend hours teaching, correcting classwork and homework, and prepping for the next day or week.  It’s not the easy choice, it’s a lot of work.  To me it’s worth it to know that Boo is learning what is being taught.  I know whether she is grasping the content or not.  If she needs more work on that subject then we slow down and spend more time there until she gets it.

We also don’t have to worry about her being bullied or offered drugs by other students.  We don’t have to worry that a teacher will do something inappropriate, whether it be criminal or ignorance.  (See these links… criminal and ignorant)  We don’t have to worry about school violence, whether it be one on one physical confrontations or a school shooting.  

I’ve been told we are overprotective.  Maybe, sure, but we don’t want to play the odds on this.  Boo is ten, eleven in mid October, we understand that over time she is going to want and need to be more independent.  When it’s all said and done I don’t think I am going to look back and think, ‘oh we should’ve sent her to school.”  I think I am going to be happy that she is safe, sound, smart and sassy.

Boo has friends, from dance class, from swim and my friends’ kids.  People that talk to her don’t ask about her socialization.  Adults that talk to her are amazed at her vocabulary and speech.  We will homeschool as long as it is working for us and for Boo.  So far it is working and Boo is enjoying it.  As for high school, we’ve talked about the possibility of taking her up to the high school around the corner for classes like yearbook or choir, or something else that we can’t really teach at home.    

Honestly, I have to say that more recently I get more comments like, “I wish I had the patience to homeschool my kids.”  or “If I didn’t have to work full time I would homeschool mine.”  I’ve really only heard a few bad comments in the past couple of years, of course, half of them have been from the same person that I can’t just exclude from our life.  

I don’t claim to be right all of the time.  I do the best I can with what is presented to me.  I am not shoving my beliefs and decisions down your throat and asking you to make the same choices.  All I ask is that you at least respect my right to make my own choices.


How about now…


It took me a week or so to figure it out but I’ve been a bit down.  Yesterday I went into some detail about the things that were on my mind.  I hadn’t actually planned on getting so detailed but I suppose those were things that I needed to say.  

Today, I am realizing that I am suffering from the side effects of all of that stress.  I feel overwhelmed with the amount of things that need to be done and the fact that my motivation is at an all time low.  

I saw this and it seems appropriate for how I have been feeling.  My depression is over things that have happened in the past.  I know I am not going to just be able to move on without looking back.  I should, however, be able to remember what has happened while doing what I need to today.  

A few years ago we had some issues with our mortgage company.  Through no fault of our own we got caught up in the whole mortgage crisis kerfluffle.  Our mortgage company got sold to another company and in the ensuing confusion our account was seriously messed up.  It took about two years to get it all straightened out even though we had all of the paperwork that was needed to prove our account standing.  In those two years, I hardly slept and I worried constantly.  I still have anxiety about things.  I cringe when our home phone rings, no one but telemarketers and stuff like utilities have that number.  All of our friends and family call our cell phones, it got started after all that time waiting at the hospital and doctor’s appointments.  Going to the mailbox also causes me anxiety, it’s ridiculous really.  I am spending so much energy worrying about things that have not happened or may not happen.  

So, how about now?  Why don’t I just deal with now and let the rest fall away?

 Hmmm, good idea, I will have to work on that.  


In a funk…

I’ve been in a funk most of this week.  It kind of comes and goes but talking to Faith about her recovery from back surgery seemed to make it all a bit clearer.   I spent the morning thinking about how seriously messed up last year was and messed up is putting it lightly and a lot more politely than what really comes to mind.
When I say year, I mean the school year, last year from August to May things were all over the place.  If I were being honest I would say things went bad at the end of April 2011.  Papa was in the hospital or rehab from the first weekend in May through mid July.  The end of that school year was messed up and I really didn’t have anytime to regroup for school to start last year.  I am grateful that we are on the other side of things now but I can’t help but feel the weight of everything that has gone on.


It’s understandable that I would be down, it’s only been a few months since we lost Papa, and this month is the six year anniversary of my own mother’s death.  Six years seems like a long time and although I don’t have emotional outbursts on a daily basis I do miss her everyday.  I was 35 years old when my mother passed, clearly I was well into adulthood.  Adult or not, I was devastated.  I spoke with her everyday, sometimes just to ask her about the weather report on the news, or to get a dinner idea.  In the first weeks after she had passed I would go to pick up the phone to ask her about something, only to realize our long distance plan didn’t quite make it to the other side.  It actually took months for me to stop doing that.  


Of course, during those same months we were dealing with my father being diagnosed with lung cancer.  In fact, his diagnosis is what may have precipitated my mother’s collapse and subsequent decline.  I honestly believe that the thought of losing my father was too much for her to bear.  He started chemo the day that she was transferred to hospice.  In that same vein, I think my father gave up in his battle with the lung cancer because he couldn’t bear to live without her.


I was mad at both of them for a while, although somewhat indirectly, in a mostly head shaking sort of way.  I was not happy with how things happened, obviously, but they did things their own way.  My dad used to always tell me, “you’re making things harder than they need to be.”   When I get really bogged down with all of the ‘what ifs’ I try to remember what he said.   This is hard enough I don’t need to add to it. 


I have these moments of sadness and depression but at the end of the day I know there is only so much I can control.  I count my blessings, mainly Sully and Boo.  I hug and kiss them as often as possible and try not to make things harder than they need to be.


Seriously relieved…

I had to take Sully’s car into the Honda dealer today.  About two weeks ago, the A/C in his Civic stopped cooling down.  It was still blowing air but not cool air.  We’ve put off getting it looked at for the sheer reason that it might cost way more than we want to spend to fix it.  And oddly enough hanging out at the Honda dealership isn’t my idea of a great day.  Luckily, Sully’s mom was nice enough to pick Boo and me up so that we didn’t have to wait.

Good news!  It just needed a flush and recharge of freon.  It cost less than $200 and now it is cooling down really quick.  I just wish I had brought it in the week before last rather than waiting but it’s done and I am grateful for that.  I am also really grateful that I will get my Odyssey back.  I let Sully drive it since he had to go into the office this week since it has awesome A/C.  I miss driving it though and I will be glad to have it back.

When I found out that Sully would be going into the office everyday I decided to make a list of things to do.  Unfortunately, my plans for getting a lot done while he was gone didn’t really pan out.  That’s a bummer but I am glad that the week is over and that he will be home with us tomorrow and most of next week.

Have a great weekend!


Always prepared…

Well, not always, but I do try really hard to be prepared, and I wasn’t even a Girl Scout.

Today, I am preparing lesson plans for this next homeschool year.  I can’t believe that Boo is going to be in 5th grade.  It seems like yesterday that we were singing the alphabet song and dancing around while we learned everything else.

Boo is a great student, she picks up things very quickly.  She can read something, write it down and will be able to recall it later that week.  I am like that, I remember in college being able to see my notes in my head.  I could turn the pages (in my head) to find what I needed for a test or paper.  It’s very helpful for spelling and grammar.

The schedule for this year is…

Foreign language – Italian
Home Ec

Most of what I am doing today is determining how the lessons will be set out over the school year.  Our school year is 32 weeks long, split up into two, 16 week semesters, one before Christmas and one after.  The sixteen week semesters are separated into two, 8 week sessions.  I can further break down the sessions into 4 week blocks for some of the subjects.  

Homeschooling can be a lot of work but I really love it.  It gives me piece of mind that she is learning what is being taught.  If we need to spend more time on something we just stop and go back until we are comfortable.  Everyday isn’t perfect, we have good days and bad days.  Most weeks start with moaning and groaning, and then Boo gets up and she’s all mopey.  Some Mondays it can take us a good half hour or so for us to get into the groove.   Beyond that though, it’s all good and I really enjoy our school time.