Saturday, August 22, 2009

Job Hazard

Homeschooling moms sometimes have a hard time figuring out what to do when they've worked themselves out of a job. Their kids grow up and go to college or high school, and then what does Mom do? I used to have so many many many things I wanted to get to, thinking that I'd do them later, when I was done homeschooling the kids. I wasn't worried about being bored.

But I've discovered a different problem with the kids growing up: loss of friends.

So much of a mom's life is spent with the other homeschool moms, getting the kids together for field-trips or play-days or book discussions. And then the kids go on with their lives, their jobs, moving away. And then who does Mom hang out with?

A friend mentioned about a year ago that she felt like she didn't fit in anymore with the homeschool moms on our email list. Most of her kids were grown; she was a grandma; she was down to homeschooling only one child, a child who can be responsible for much of her own schoolwork. When we get to be older middle-aged, with nearly-grown kids, we don't have much in common with the mommies who are teaching reading and addition and are potty-training the younger siblings.

And yet, in a way, those are the people we have the most in common with. Even though we're at a different stage of life.

Tomorrow is an event that I would love to attend: a potluck and playtime at the beach and a presentation on telescopes and the night-sky. But my children have other plans with some kids from church. And it's a good activity they're going to enjoy. I'm so glad they have these friends! But it interferes with my play-time with my friends. This is going to take some adjustment.


  1. In this stage of life, I really hope that you and Laura and some of the others find the time to stay on the e-mail lists and blog about some of these topics. It is very helpful to us "new" Mamas.
    You WI Mamas are so blessed to be where you are at. The closest Loopers for me are at least 2 hours away. Plus they are in all different directions so we are doing well to get together with one other Looper family at a time and their children are usually not close in age to our children. We try to get our kids together a few times a year, but it's not the same as what you WI Mamas do. If we stay here, somehow I don't see myself mourning the loss of friends like you do at this point. I will be thrilled that the kids are responsible enough for me to take more often overnight road trips to visit my friends! But I can understand your loss at this point too.

  2. I'll play with you at APT! Will that work?

  3. I thought about going is nice to know that I can attend these things and people will be happy to have me join the group! There is great comfort just in knowing that...however, my girls are starting school tomorrow and the carefree lifestyle of home schooling is no more. (Meaning, we can't adjust our schedules as easily to do what we want when we would like to do it.) I so hear ya and understand completely!

  4. I'm sorry you can't be there today, but I really, really pray you and Laura and other veterans don't disappear on those of us just starting out (or who feel like we are anyway). I hope you all know how much we all value your advice and input!

    And thanks for loaning us your husband today-- it's so nice to feel comfortable w/who's in the pulpit when our own pastor is away. :)

  5. Have you considered arranging a mom's night out with your homeschool mom friends? That might do for your friend fix :)

    I think it's important that we veteran homeschool moms stay in touch with each other; no one else can really understand what our lives were like and are like now. When one of my dear fellow veterans calls on the phone, we usually talk for a couple of hours. It's like therapy!

  6. Ewe and Cate, there's a deep desire within me to stay connected to the younger crew of homeschool moms, just because I get so much pleasure from being with you and watching your kids play and interact. But then there's also the reality that maybe I need to go on to something else and shouldn't be hanging on so hard to what I've done for so many years. I don't know how to balance those conflicting wishes.

    Barbara, I know what you mean about connecting with old homeschool friends! On the rare occasions when I see my friend Annetta, a couple of hours just isn't enough. But now you live much closer to her than I do.

  7. I'm right there with you, Susan. I really started feeling it last year, when all of my local friends had kids in the same activities, but mine are too old. And all too often when they all get together there's something else going on with my kids.