Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hesitation and worries

So I'm laying this out here right now, as it's a worry we've had for awhile and I could use some prayer. Please only comment if you really have some encouraging words or good advice to give, as I cannot take much more hurt right now.

We have a domino effect of problems happening in our lives right now, all starting back at the point that we bought this house in May. Although we're settled (as in, our home is messy and lived in), it still doesn't feel like home. There's a few reasons why, but for tonight's purpose, I'll leave it at that. So, we don't ever feel at home. Layer that with some severe financial stress we're facing. We're always facing money troubles, as I am terrible with finances and Teddy won't touch them. It's all my responsibility, and I suck at it. Just when we get a plan and get a fresh start, we mess it up again. This time, it's so messed up, we're looking at desperate measures. So, at this point, past doubts and struggles with homeschooling enter in. While school's been going better and we've been a bit more consistent, I am deluged daily with the knowledge that my children are behind where they could be (not should be, but could be according to their skill and potential and where I want them); that the character building and closeness to God is not happening; that I am possibly doing more damage than good in keeping them home, as my present mood has not been nurturing or patient. Yes, I know these could be lies, but I've really examined myself and I don't think they are. My oldest wants to try a school so bad, but won't say that too loudly in order not too hurt my feelings, and my two youngest don't ever want to try a school. At this point, our money problems enter in again. I am possibly needing to go back to work in order to help dig us out of trouble. Most jobs that I am qualified for (basically none since I haven't truly worked in 11 years) are during the day, or at least need you to say you're available during the day. We've been talking with a private Christian school about financial aid and registration. I've been looking at public school, and if I put them in, where would it be and would I want to do a boundary exception. Enter in the final straw...our marriage is facing some difficulties. I will not give details, and implore those of you who are close to us to please not panic and think the end is near for us. That is not the case. But, our marriage is straining under these present difficulties, and I can no longer handle the silence or the harsh words between us. I thus far have not proven to be the kind of homeschooling mom that can school the kids, clean the house, make dinner, handle the money, do taxi and volunteer service, and be a wife and maybe find time for my interests once in a while. The fact that I cannot do all these things is creating a domino effect around here. I am failing at life and something has to go. My husband has made the comment that if the kids were in school, I might find more time to actually take care of him and the house, as well as maybe work part time. And I'm still dealing with small bouts of depression, which affect my motivation, and we all know the first thing to go when we lose motivation is our housework and meals! So, if any of my homeschooling momma friends are out there, you got any suggestions? What do you do when you feel like homeschooling is ruining your marriage, if you've ever felt that way? Is it ever a good time or okay reason to throw in the towel, even though you know homeschooling is the better choice for your kids? And I'm talking about next school year, not immediately. And I know all of my non-homeschooling friends are probably laughing at me lamenting over this, but for us right now, it's a very serious problem. These problems we've been facing have overshadowed our entire lives lately, and I'm finding myself being negative about everything and not feeling like myself. I know a lot of this cannot be placed on homeschooling, rather, it's a spiritual problem at the root. But when at your wit's end and feeling all alone, what is there to be done? If anything, please pray, as we are in dire straits in many different ways around here and this is not something I would normally just come out and share with people when asked, "How are you?"


meleea said...

stacie - stumbled upon your blog through facebook. thanks for sharing your heart. praying for you as you seek direction from God - He knows the desires of your heart!

Julie said...

Wow Stacie - I also found your blog through facebook after writing you about the CYT prayer. I am a homeschooling, financially-stretched, harried mom and actually felt encourage by how you shared so honestly. You are not alone!!! Many of the thoughts and struggles and fears and anxieties you shared, I have felt/thought myself over the years (and am experiencing now, too). I will pray for you. And I encourage you to get support - join a homeschool co-op or other group of hommeschooling moms. I know First Class has a Vancouver chapter (they meet Fridays). This year we joined a co-op after going it alone for 3 years and it has made all the difference for us. I also don't want to offer this as a simple solution or quick fix to all you're dealing with (there are easy answers).
Last year at this time, I was so burnt out that I couldn't even consider home schooling anymore. We prayed a lot, pursued several different educational paths, filled out some applications and then let God direct. If you had told me a year ago I'd be homeschooling all my kids this year I would have wanted to punch you, but it's been the best year ever. I believe this is because God directed us, I listened to my kids, and we got help and support from other like-minded families. There are still days that I question our choices and wonder if something different wouldn't be better. Every day is an adventure.
It could be that public school is the answer, or public for one, private for others of your kids - I'm glad to see you seeking out all your options - that just shows how much you care for your kids. Our kids have experienced public school and gained valuable things from it (good and bad, but still lessons learned from it all). Hope to meet you in person some time - us moms gotta stick together.

Stacie Townsend said...

Meleea--Thank you for your encouragement. I believe God is hearing the prayers said on our behalf and working through them. Things are getting better slowly, but the school issue is still up in the air for next year. The answers will come, and in the meantime, my marriage is over it's bump and working it's way back to healthy. Thanks so much for caring.

Julie, thank you also! The funny thing is, we are First Class members and even teach...there's been times where that's what's gotten me through the year! We go to Vancouver West...where do you go? I am still seeking answers...I wonder if even for a year or two, would a different school situation help my kids? Help us all gain some perspective? So I am still thinking on that. Thanks for your encouragement and I too hope to meet soon!

Denise said...

just checking out your blog for the first time...
maybe you've already been asked this, and i know that everyone has their own reasons; why do you homeschool?

Denise said...

just realized that you left this on january, so it my comment may not even be relevant!
thought i'd offer another perspective... i have a deep admiration for homeschool mom's because i don't feel i have what it takes! a homeschool mom is a special breed, and my hat goes off you to and your peers! i have several friends who homeschool, and i am CONSTANTLY impressed.

when our oldest approached school age we struggled with the decision to choose homeschool, private or public. we opted public. our reasons, besides the fact that i didn't feel i could give everything that a trained teach could, were because we felt that the education would be the same, but the environment would be different. (we have a decent public school district) of course there is the social aspect and different extracurricular activities that public offers. what it really came down to for us was, were we trying to protect them from the secular world or equip them with the tools to handle the challenges that the secular world brings? we still have them in public today and i don't regret it. our daughter is in high school and is already facing challenges that would not have arose had i chose to homeschool, but i welcome them. it isn't always easy, in fact sometimes its very hard. she is very plugged into in a youth group and we actively teach His word at home, and that helps when it is hard.

my youngest sister went to an acclaimed christian school all her life and yet she and her friends were still faced with drugs, drinking, sex, homosexuality, suicide and cutting.

i'm really not trying to convince you to quit. i think that homeschool has it's advantages, and for some families it is totally worth it. i just wanted you to know that i admire your perseverance, and that i don't think you should feel any pangs of guilt or failure - that is a very hard job!! i thought i'd offer our struggle and decision, which after asking ourselves the "why?", was right for us.

hang tough you warrior mom!!