Sunday, July 30, 2017

Topic Change: Homeschool Expectations

(Yes, I'm still a homeschool mom and homemaker with friends doing the same. That might slip in too every now and then.)

I've noticed that we as homeschool moms tend to be very hard on ourselves. When our children are babies and toddlers, we admire their cuteness, how they recite verses randomly, how they mimic us and want to do exactly what we are doing. They do these cute little things that make you smile.

Then they grow.

And they make friends.

Friends who aren't like us. Friends who don't do "cute, little things." Friends they prefer to talk like, dress like, act like. Friends who influence them in a different direction. And that direction is not one we prefer them to take, and the blame comes. "I am failing my children."

Short of locking our children up so they never go to the park, never venture outside their homes, never go to church, there is no way you can keep them 'safe.' Sometimes all you can do is realise that what you are doing is working on a process, you're on a journey and you aren't there yet. There will be challenges along the way but the growth process isn't over yet. Scraped knees, bumps, brusies don't mean you're a bad mom, they just mean the path is bumpy. It's not you, it's the path.

But at the end of the path, we will find growth. Our part will be done. And the question won't be, "When they were little and still growing, did they do everything you told them and modelled for them?" It will be, "When they were growing, did you do your best, by God's grace, to be what they needed?" It's heartbreaking when they do the opposite of what we expect, but it's not our fault. That would be like blaming God because we forget our principles. The very fact that they do certain rebellious things means they're using the minds God gave them.

But let's be honest. Isn't that like adults too? Doing things we know we shouldn't be doing? Should we then be surprised when our children act like naughty children, as hard as that sometimes is to accept?

And another thing, we need to be objective and not too hard on ourselves. They are still growing, still on the path. We can't expect them to act as if they've arrived when they're still plodding on. It just takes one stranger's compliment to remind you that you're not a bad mother. Just one person saying, "What a polite child you have" to remind you that you're not a failure. They are learning to be kind, responsible, respectful, loving people.

You are not a failure.

You are doing your best.

Please don't be discouraged. Please keep plodding on and praying on. That flower is blooming and when fully mature, will be even more beautiful than it already is. Please see the beauty while you work on pruning and feeding. See the beauty, and thank the Rainmaker for those blessings. It won't happen in a day. But it will happen. 

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