Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Large Families

Has anybody noticed how many homeschooling moms of large families struggle with depression?

I think that those who homeschool are prone to depression, in part because they want something so good for their children and their family, and then they find they cannot measure up to the high standards they so greatly desire to meet. And I think that moms of large families are prone to depression because there is so much they yearn to do in service to their families. When you put those two situations together, it seems more normal to face depression than seeing both mom & dad safe from it over the course of their child-raising years.

This is not to say that people should avoid having large families. And it is not to say that those with large families shouldn't homeschool. It's just odd to see those who have faced serious mental-health issues stumping for others to follow in their footsteps.


  1. My mother home schooled four of us and certainly suffered from depression. I think you may be on to something there. I will have to think about it a bit more, though.


  2. I do want to make clear that it's not the homeschooling or the large family that causes the depression. It's just that homeschooling moms need to find a way to not beat themselves up over all the things we can't accomplish. We need to find a way to cope with the [perceived] massive failings. When school teachers fail to reach a child or help the child excel in a gazillion different areas, it doesn't rip her guts out.

    So many people homeschool because they want the best for their kids, and then really feel it when they can give their kids "only" a good education instead of a super-stupendous one. We set ourselves up for failure from the get-go.

  3. I guess I find it more depressing to let go, and to admit that the day-to-day job of raising and homeschooling my older kids is over. And while my homeschooling friends with special needs kids tend to be depressed by what's involved in taking care of a high needs child, I feel blessed that at least one of my kids still needs me for many things. Guess I'm weird that way....

    On a more upbeat note, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family, especially since it's Baby's First Christmas for you all.

    We have two up from St. Louis right now, which is great, and we'll be seeing our Chicago daughter soon. Merry Christmas!

  4. Being younger and without a family, I have noticed that depression in general is becoming more noticed with women. I have had a few friends that have been treated for depression, and some that haven't but should. Perhaps there's something to being a woman and beating yourself up about stuff you really shouldn't be agonizing so much over.