Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stay at Home Mom

No major drama, just not feeling creative or particularly good about the choices I've made in my life. I don't have a degree and I don't make a paycheck. I know a lot of basically useless information.  Nothing that can help kids with homework. If I can't do it, I shouldn't require it of them. It doesn't really matter if I've been out of high school for nearly 25 years.  I should remember algebraic equations  and what the parts of speech are. Other people retained that information, why haven't I?
My choices in life have required that I take care of the minutia of each day.  That's what I've been doing with my brain for the last 20 years (not counting the 4 years I spent working and getting a 2-year degree)---changing diapers, ferrying children, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, choosing my battles, and volunteering way too much of my time for others.  My knowledge base has atrophied---use it or lose it.  I lost it a long time ago. I haven't been in an atmosphere where quadratic equations and important dates in history have come up.  I thought my job was to keep the wheels greased on the lives around me. 



  1. OH CeeCee,

    I know just how you feel, my friend. And I appreciate that you don't fret about discussing tough stuff on your blog. But I do hope you realize that you are far from alone.

    As a homeschool Mama, I think many people believe that I have to know everything about everything. But I'm the first to admit, I don't.
    I didn't even take algebra in school.
    But I do know where to find any information I have to know or teach. And I can hire tutors for the really tough stuff, if needed.

    I hated school with a passion. It was just a way to get from point A (childhood and all that heavy control of my life) to Point B (adulthood and independance).

    I even went to my prom, and found it to be fake and boring. I left halfway through and went out to dinner with friends. Even then, I knew that public school was not real life.

    People seem to think early school is so important, but it's not. Learning is what is important.

    Learning is done throughout our entire lives, if we have any passions and interests, which all humans do.

    In early childhood we are force-fed tons of useless information, that are often very specialized.
    And unless you intend to go into those specialized fields, it's rather pointless.
    That's what college should be for: to forge deeper into your chosen interest. But many people use college as a way to try and figure out what they want to do with their lives instead.

    My sons' Homeschool Band Instructor, is an ex-public school teacher. He quit a number of years ago because he found public schools to be too rigid and unrealistic. He didn't think it was important to teach students how to write their own music, if they had no interests in becoming composers. His students were frustrated and bored. They just wanted to learn how play music and get good at it. But his hands were tied.
    So he quit.

    Now he is a much appreciated Band Instructor of over 200 homeschoolers here in New Mexico, and he teaches what he knows to be important, and his students love music.

    CeeCee, if you want to help your children with their schoolwork, just learn along with them. Kids don't care if you don't know or remember everything.

    I've learned right along with my own kids, stuff that I wasn't one bit interested in in public school. They think it's fun that wer'e learning together. And I'm not just lecturing and force-feeding information, but actually discovering new and interesting things, too.

    You are a super Mom and a wonderful lady. I always learn new and interesting nuggets of information when I visit your blog and sometimes I share them with my kids and we do further research via the internet or library.

    Just remember: You don't have to know everything about everything. You just have to know where to look to find the information.


  2. It's never too late to learn, or re-learn the things that interest you. I'm sure if you tried you could remember algebra. 10 minutes looking at your kid's textbook would probably do it. And who cares about history dates? It is just something they make you learn in school, it has no relevance to life.

    But I do understand, I have a PhD and am a stay at home, homeschooling mom. At times I feel like my brain is stagnant. At those times I find something new to learn, it usually helps.

  3. Lisa and Christy said it best. You have an enviable job, in my humble opinion.

  4. I understand. I made the choice to leave the working world when T as born. Sometimes my brain is nothing but mush. A degree doesn't equal intelligence and usefulness. Outside of college, which I dropped out of, I've needed algebra once in my adult life.

    My youngest is a 15 year old sophomore. I'm getting a sense of myself back as she grows older and prepares to leave the nest. I've spent the last 24 years mothering. I work around my kids' needs. When T has gone off to college I'll have a different lifestyle. For now, me and my mush brain do well to remember how to get to where she needs to be.

    Have you thought of picking up something new for yourself? A book club, a class or such?

    I volunteered too much for a long time too. Learning to say no was a huge relief. Don't forget to grease your own wheels!

  5. I only took a few classes here and there when I could afford it. I really didn't have a drive to do any thing in particular.
    Then I became a Mom and I instantly knew what I wanted to do with my life. I have learned many things along the way, gardening, canning, thrift. The things I hope to teach my children.
    Oh yea, my last college class I took was 2 summers ago, I took welding and have found it a useful skill on my mini farm.
    I think once our children hit a certain age, we stay at home moms are undervalued. Lucky for us we know our families would be lost without us.

  6. Thank you so much for all your really kind thoughts.
    I know what I'm doing is the right thing. I hope my kids appreciate the time I spend taking care of the little bits of their day. Some days I want to go on strike so everyone will know just what I do around here.
    Part of my drama was that someone implied that if I can't do my kids homework, then I really can't expect a certain grade from them. It was only then that I began to question the jello that has taken the place of my brain.
    I know, know, know, that being a good and stable mom is worth far more than algebra ever will be. Still, if someone suggests otherwise, the demons round up the troops and go to battle with my better judgement.

  7. CeeCee, you do come up with some interesting thoughts. I must say, I don't see the logic of saying YOU have to be able to do anything your kids are learning or you don't have the right to expect certain grades. They're the ones taking the class. But you're their mom and know what they're capable of doing. Example: My kids are computer geeks. I would expect them to make good grades if they took a computer class. But me? I would be lost in a hurry! Just my thoughts.

    Glad you realize you are doing a very important job. & funny you talking about going on strike. I actually did that once. Didn't do anything for a while. No cooking, no cleaning, no shopping. :-)

    Hang in there! All too soon they'll be all grown up, and I believe they WILL appreciate all you've done when they're older. (My mom's favorite line was, "Just wait until YOU have kids...")

  8. Don't ever regret being the one your children adore, know and depend on as well as your husband. It will be in the end that you see that it is all worth it a million times over. Life is short and you are doing the most important thing in this life. Loving and taking care of your family.