Are you more teacher than mom?

“She says you only do workbooks with her but never play.”

Those words caused a mix of tangled emotions that fought in me. My pride was hurt.  I was angry my mother felt she had to share that with me.  A five year old says a lot of things and many come from a kaleidoscope perspective.  There is a reason young children do not make good witnesses.  I was sad my child had those words in her heart.  I was frustrated because I put every ounce of my being, of my identity, of my heart, into homeschooling.

After defending myself and taking a moment to breath in and breath out slowly, I realized something.  My mother spoke out of love.  Love for her granddaughter who needed to be heard.  Love for me because she knew I wanted to be a good mom.  She was a mother and she knew what a mother needed to hear.

I put so much of myself into homeschooling that it consumed every interaction with my child.  When did she become my project?  When did my identity get wrapped into how this individual performed?  When did I stop being fun?  I remember a mom who spent thirty minutes giggling putting her children to bed.  Now she was tired and needed to use the last drops of energy to plan the next school day.

My mother gave me a gift that day.  She gave me back a sense of fun.  A sense that learning is life and not a book.  Kids need mommy as well as, if not more, than a teacher.  Mom and teacher roles are beautifully intertwined when perspective is in place.  Homeschooling does not make you a teacher.  Teaching is an extension of being a mom.  It is not about giving up giggles for practicing ABCs before bed.  Homeschooling is providing a world open to education, creativity, laughter, and imagination.  It is more than teaching a student;  it is teaching a future adult how to be productive and how to one day parent.

Homeschool mom, you have the toughest and greatest job on earth.  You not only get to teach your child where China is on a map, you get to have a tickle fight while doing it.  If you accomplish nothing but laughing with your children today…well…you accomplished much.  Don’t bury fun under the textbooks.