Posted on February 9th, 2015
You folks back East with the piles of snow and snow days? I feel for you, I do. I see your photos on Facebook and your comments about how miserable it is and how sick you are of being housebound and I want to give you all hugs.
Not because of the snow (it would be a novelty) but because my life is one big snow day. 24/7 with the kid. The homeschooling thing. We may be out and about but we are always together. Always.
It is TOO MUCH LOVE.*
There are lots of homeschool parents who talk about the wonderful togetherness of homeschooling. The sharing of values. How this is what they always wanted and how they are living a dream.
What the actual fuck?
Sure. It’s great for my kid to get individualized attention from someone who can finesse a bad day into a good day with a bribe of Jamba Juice. (Which I did today, and it resulted in record speed work as well as missed math problems without a screaming perfectionist tantrum–instead, she said, she frowned.) We have curriculum all over the map to deal with the asynchrony. She gets a FAPE (in our case, Free Appropriate Parental Education). Except it’s not free, it’s damned expensive.
The problem is I think I should be, you know, working. Writing. Practicing law. Managing the household and keeping everything together while my husband is stuck in a horrid employment situation and telecommuting a day or two a week which also chips away at my sanity bit by bit.
I perceive that my life, without work product, loses value. I tell people I think productivity is an emotion and they laugh at me, but I am not kidding. I really do feel good when I’m productive.
pH is my work product now, and I accept it, but when your work product is screaming that she doesn’t want to do the stupid boring assignment or is alternatively glommed onto you because of the inhumanity of the beetle you just killed to stop the screaming about said beetle or is whining that you are mean and bossy for making her do any work or that she’s hungry (she eats like a newborn) or that she WILL NOT clean up her room or make her bed and not even the removal of Xbox privileges stops that tantrum…
That must be what it feels like to be a shitty lawyer. It makes me feel like a shitty mom, that’s for sure. I can look at her workbooks and my notes and the stacks of books she goes through in a day and say, yeah, she wouldn’t be at this place if she were in the neighborhood school.** I get it.
But on your snow days, think of your great public schools and all the people I would cheerfully run over to get my kid enrolled in one. Think about how much I fantasize about quiet. The quiet of snow. The quiet of a temporarily empty house. Like the madness of my husband’s work and the resulting chaos it imposed on our lives, I have no way of knowing when this will end.
Your snow will melt, your kids will go back to school, and a little part of me hates you for it.
*This was a command friends taught their dogs. It meant “go away.” It worked!
**You know when I was a kid, our school had music lessons and choir and several recesses a day? PE? Can you even imagine? The money our community recently reallocated to return arts to the schools went, instead, to teacher “coaching” to improve test scores.