When I first became a mother, I began to read a lot about parenting. I read about the terrible two's and I read about the teen years being bad. Nobody warned me about the 3's being worse than the two's. As a matter of fact, it seemed that what I read either made parenting sound all bad or all good. I knew it wasn't all bad, but it wasn't all good either so I figured I was doing something wrong.
When we first chose to homeschool, everything I read was all roses. Well, there were those who thought it was all bad, but I could see that was wrong. Otherwise it was all about how supersmart and supergood your kids will be. And your family will be happy all the time. Well, don't get me wrong, my kids are all supersmart, but not always with "school stuff." And I consider them to be very good kids, but certainly not perfect. And we're certainly not always happy. It's a lot harder than I originally thought it would be. So I spend a lot of time figuring I'm doing something wrong.
I knew it would be harder work to move here. I didn't really read anything about it before we did it. I was not disillusioned into thinking this was going to make everything perfect. I was simply following what I believed our LORD was asking us to do. He has His reasons and my job is to trust and obey. But I don't want to be guilty of leading others to believe that it's all perfect and so when/if they try this, they won't assume they are doing something wrong. I hope that makes sense. Either that, or I'm looking for a good excuse to gripe tonight. So be forewarned. If you don't want to "hear" me complain, go away right now.
This morning the ladies at church had a brunch/antique shopping get-together. It was announced almost 2 mos ago and I've been looking forward to it ever since. In Grapevine, I was part of a homeschool group that had a monthly Mom's Night Out and I LOVED that chance to get together and chat with other moms. This was my first opportunity to really just socialize since we left Grapevine. I was excited. Then yesterday Roger found out he had something he had to do at the same time the brunch started. Normally that would be no big deal because we have 3 children old enough to babysit. But Sam and Grace weren't feeling too well and I wasn't sure they should be without a parent. I felt bad, but not bad enough to skip it. I went to the brunch. I had a great time!
Here comes the griping part. And maybe this was true as a suburban housewife, too, and I just didn't notice it quite as much. If I take "time off" from my duties at home, I'm really just postponing when I will do my work. I guess that really was always true. It's just that now there is so much more work to do. I'm not sure how worth it it is to ever leave the house when it means doing dishes until 10pm. I came home to find stinky laundry where someone had wet their pants. The towel used to clean it up was left in the sun and had managed to spread the smell throughout the entire house. The dishes from breakfast were left unrinsed for me to wash when I returned home. NO ONE had done their chores. I had butter to churn. We just shake it up in jars. That usually means we share the work. Not today. Stephen was helping Roger outside with the fence. I thought Mitchell was too, but it turns out he spent the day working on the book he's writing. So I never asked him for help. Faith was helping with laundry. Out of 10 jars of cream, I shook 6 of them before Faith and Stephen came and finished up for me. My arms were still shaking! Meanwhile, Samuel cried almost the entire day. He didn't even want to watch Signing Time which is really weird for him! I never managed to bake bread which means at lunchtime tomorrow someone will complain about not having any. The vacuuming didn't get done and that's a major thing here with all the dirt that gets dragged in the house. So I'm at least 4 hours behind where I should be because I was gone for 4 hours. I guess in Grapevine I didn't work so hard. I had some down time. I really don't anymore and sometimes I feel so exhausted I wonder what we were thinking.
You know what always pulls me back to knowing I can make it? I know that this is what God called us to do. Somehow our being here is right. Maybe our kids really needed this. Maybe Roger did. Maybe I did. Maybe we'll do some good for someone by being here. I don't know. I just know that for whatever reason, God has a purpose for us to be here. And if it's good for Him, it's good. I will trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
On that note, I think I'll go sneak some late night homemade ice cream from milk my dear husband got up early to get from our cow. Just like parenting and homeschooling, it's not always easy to do things, but anything worth having is worth the work.