Thursday, May 30, 2013
Being a stay-at-home/homeschooling parent is an incredibly difficult undertaking. Especially with one or three kids. They say that having four kids is even easier than having three kids. Somehow four kids can pair up and create a sort of working balance because they better self-organize and can leave the care-giver out of their business for extended periods of time.
Whatever the number if kids one has, honestly, it's a huge privilege and sacrifice to be a home-caring parent. But it's an even more herculean effort to do this without a fully supportive partner. And I am truly truly blessed in that department.
One thing discovered when I decided to leave my career to start my 'family business,' was that being a one-income family is easily doable. Even without my good contribution and benefits, and with my husband still supporting his two children from his first marriage in custody payments, we still did it. We're keeping things simple for the next few years. We didn't move to a new house, didn't buy new cars or splurge on needless luxuries. I can honestly say that our most important luxuries are expensive but clean, healthy, organic foods/products, and travel. Not much else.
I find it a sad myth that many people think giving up one income is out-of the-question for couples. Most people could actually live on much less than they do, if their priorities were straight. I can fairly say that our personal experience convinced me that my new career as household manager in charge of my family is the most important and best paying job in the world. Serving and enriching my own family's quality of life rather than serving an employer for a salary is truly priceless. The rewards can never be found listed in any benefits package from any employer. Of course, the one who is getting the most benefit is my kid, but we all benefit greatly, as well. We eat better, we manage our own time, at our own pace, and make things for ourselves. It's enough the harmony that is created in the home. Yes, it helped that I'm a teacher by profession, which naturally makes me a creative and organized time manager, but really, many couples can do it without starving in poverty.
Full time home-management is a great adjustment. It's a constant tuning into the immediate beat of the moment, constantly improvising, detouring, inventing and reinventing. That's what I call a natural home-- uncontrolled by outside forces, time-constraints, schedule rigidity, rules, and pre-packaged foods and ideas.
But some days, it can really be hectic being with the kid. Even though my son regularly gives me a break by going to yoga classes, nanny-share, play-dates and getting ample playground and hiking time with friends, on the rare days when he's with me all day, I can easily lose my mind by the end of the day. Especially when we have a no tv policy enforced, there's just no break. Except maybe for the things that do break, and then you also have to clean up the mess...again...and again...and again. On such days, I need to do the "relay race" with my husband-- when he gets home from the office, we pass the kid at the door, and I walk out.
And THAT, my friends, is why I must have yoga in my life!
So on days like yesterday when no blog post appeared from me, it's likely I'm having a "homeschooling hecticity" day. However, I did find a couple of scattered moments at the end of the evening to jot down some preview topics for blogging-- among them the topics of getting to middle-age, an experimental recipe, and yoga on a sheep skin.