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Submitted by aditi on 6 May, 2018 - 12:04
Someone asked, "any working parents homeschooling their kids?" For all practical purposes, I have always been working mother! and our kids have "working parents". Here is about me as working mom!
People can label me "workaholic" but working or the need of my time was never an issue to homeschool my kids. I was never not working or available for my kids 24hrs. When my kids were small I took a break from my work but soon was back to work with them. After we started homeschooling our 10yrs old daughter, I took six months break but was back to work with the creation of Aarohi. That means more work.
I am a visual person, I visualize my day, my time, my work, my needs. I plan my time with my kids as well as all other kids at the campus. This helps in feeling satisfied and achieved. This helps me in realizing that there is enough time for everything I want to do. And I am able to do that. Self-discipline helps. My clarity on my day/ routine helps me in making enough time for my kids and all other at the campus. Accepting "I can't do this now" helps in peace for myself. My work allows me to be flexible in my routine but it demands a lot from or rather I am willing to dedicate a lot to this work because I love it! So the choices of my profession, the success, the money, and results allow me to be what I am.
I know my weaknesses and I accept them and embrace them. I hate traveling but I have traveled around 40 outstation learning trips with kids. I prepare myself, I do a lot of background work to travel as well set my limits during travel. I am selfish and like to take care of my needs, I am not always available to my kids or other kids on the campus. This helps me in not overdoing and taking care of myself. I spent a good amount of time in reading, doing on developing my own interests and do what I like as well as with my kids and other kids at the campus. I have been super lucky to have a very supportive family. They never objected to our so radical parenting and choices of unschooling our kids and choosing our paths for our lives.
Few beliefs which have helped me are
Everything is fine
Whatever is happening is good
Things will happen at their own pace, my anxiety will not help.
I can't is fine
It's okay to make mistakes
Things are happening
It's my perspective but others also have a point of view.
There is enough time for everything.
Honest expressions help - I often go back to my kids asking for help " I want this but not able to do? How can you help? What do I expect from them and do on...". When things don't work out, I look for various solutions and this helps me in not giving up. For example, when my son was 4yrs old, he would want my attention at 12 pm. But that was the time for me to be in a workshop with other parents. I tried many things, this video is one of them. Not to say all of them worked, but that created increased understanding with myself and my kids. Now my daughter 19 yrs and son 13 yrs old are no less than my friends. They know my needs, but don't fulfill them all the time and vice versa. For example, my son takes bath once in three days, and I take twice a day. But we are at peace with each other. Accepting each other helps in not spending time in things which are not important. And then there is enough time to argue on which book to read together.
I could never spend time in waiting and feeding my kids but I spend a lot of time in creating new recipes. This helps in peace as well as cooking and experimenting together! I like to find information and new resources. My son and even other kids at the campus keep rejecting what they don't want. But this does not stop me, and also stop them from rejecting. They come to me when they need me, but don't mind rejecting when they don't. Accepting each other helps me in not wasting my time in unwanted conflicts. I do get into conflicts with my kids and other kids but I choose the conflicts I want to get into. And find joy in those conflicts with new discoveries about each other. I and my daughter have a very different scale of organizing our cupboards, I leave that to her personal choice but do put in efforts to bring fitness routine for all of us. I do push yoga mat with her wherever she travels but at peace when she wears the same old dresses :).
I start my day at 6 in the morning and retire by 10 in the night, but still get time to read aloud with kids. My son does not join as we have different taste of books. But I keep looking for books where we can find a balance. I spend more time in looking for books than ensuring that he gets enough knowledge. He acquires knowledge whenever he needs, so I don't have to spend my time. I spend time with books because I like it for myself. I suggest to my son because I like irritating him with my choices. Once in a while, he likes what I like and we have Eureka moments!
I spend a good amount of time in reflecting, this helps is cleaning up the mess in my mind. And that helps in spending required time with my kids. I have done enough mistakes in my life to my credit but learning from them has helped me to grow. My growth has helped me in continuing this journey of learning.
Life has not been very easy, perhaps not meant to be. I have a crazy husband to deal with but his craziness helped me to deal with my depression and all the low times of my life. I have my own share of health issues, but that helps me to spend more time with myself. We are not responsible for our kids future, as they themselves are equally concerned for their lives. UnSschooling or open-learning is not about educating our kids or ensuring their future but it's all about the inner growth of each one in the family. And this growth does not depend on my availability of 24 hrs to my kids, but it depends on the journey we travel together.