Saturday night, I got to go out with a group of homeschooling moms to The Melting Pot. It was gluten, dairy, chocolate, Big Gingers… total contraband evening. It was chatting about our kids, occasionally double-dipping by accident, and having the waiter catch me saying “When I’m out, I cheat” as I walked back from the bathroom and giggling with the mama I was saying it to–who caught his reaction.
It was a fun night.
Some of us work part-time (actually, I think the real estate agent among us works full time and one works full time out of the home) and compared notes on how we juggle it and manage the kids around it.
Some of us have kids who are fully homeschooled. One mama returned her kids to the public school this year. Some of us have kids who get therapy at the school. I don’t know if any of us have kids who are part-enrolled in the schools.
Some of us use curricula. Some of us don’t use any. Some of us use curricula for some things. Some of us believe in forcing it on the kids. Some of us totally don’t.
But we all believe in the miracle fondue and taking care of ourselves once in a while.
I often wonder if homeschool moms might occasionally be more likely to get out with other adults given the chance because we’re with our kids all day.
The Facebook posts looked like every other mom’s night out. The comments were similar, but with the added sarcastic question posed by one mama: “Does this count as socialization?”
It’s a diverse group doing very different things in a big way. Our differences are bigger than you might realize. Many of us can’t imagine life in some of the other people’s houses or how some of the other families operate day to day. I’m kind of proud of that. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I’ve occasionally been invited to gatherings of public schooled moms where I’m pretty much the odd woman out either because I homeschool or because I’m a health and wellness coach. There’s a lot of perceived judgment that just doesn’t exist; and that leads to discomfort in talking to me about anything. Clearly, I don’t “get it” because my life is different in some very obvious ways that cover up the countless things that are the same. People are polite (I guess out of respect for whomever brought me along) and I work extra hard to expose our commonalities so that they are more at ease; but that first hour is rough going. And then it’s like, I don’t mind talking about my life but I also don’t want to have the gathering get too heavy with that kind of conversation. It’s kind of no-win. There are probably moms out there that are better at making that whole thing mercifully short and light-hearted. I should work on that.
I have to wonder if homeschool moms are just so accustomed to being the odd person out that when we’re among other homeschool moms, we know we at least connect on SOMEthing that is not in question. Regardless of how we actually implement our kids education, we know that we agree it should be done at home.
Clearly the simple bond of loving our kids and knowing someone that brought us to the party isn’t enough everywhere else. Which kind of sucks. But I hope it changes. And I’m thankful for the few friends that will still bring me along to the gatherings at the risk of being “the one that brought the homeschooler/health nut”. ❤