Saturday, May 23, 2015

It's been a bit of a rough transition.

I never did really like summer vacation. I needed school. In school, I knew I was intelligent and it was validated on a daily basis. At home, I often felt like I wasn't good enough, no matter what I did. When I was in the early elementary grades, summers weren't too bad. We had a ten acre farm and I would run around and play or read. The summer after our house burned down kind of sucked because there was four of us in a ten foot pop up camper but we spent a lot of time at the lake (just our luck that our house burned down just prior to one of the hottest summers on record) and when my mom really got sick of the heat, we stayed in a hotel. Having a really good imagination back then, I kept myself pretty well occupied. As I got older though and after my dad moved back in with us, summers kind of sucked. Eventually I did get better at signing myself up for things and keeping busy but I was always happy when the school year rolled around again and I could get away.

That hasn't changed much. I really enjoyed being in school this year. For the first time in a really long time, I was able to use my intelligence again and really succeed. I made friends, had things to talk about that didn't involve the bathroom habits of my children, and learned new things. I was happy and felt I had a purpose again. I've been out of school for almost a month now and I'm about to go insane. I'm trying to get Natalie ready for school next fall so I'm really pushing the homeschooling with her. It's still a fight a lot of days. Granted, it's not quite so bad as it's been in the past but she'll still try to delay and she will take forever to do anything. I constantly feel like I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I need to work with her on her writing. I'm REALLY concerned about her writing but I don't even know where to start.

John is the one who wanted them homeschooled. John is the one who has had SOME experience in teaching. But he won't help. It's MY JOB. I'm the MOM. I'm the one who is supposed to be staying at home and doing all the things a stay at home mom is expected to do. He points out constantly how I'm failing that and I am. I SUCK at housekeeping. I never was that great at it because no one in my family was good at it. I try; I really do try but I can't do it all and I don't get any help.

And so that old depression is coming back and my need to escape is returning. John and I are constantly fighting and yesterday, I just gave up and tuned out. I took two Xanax and basically called it a day. I just wanted to be numb. I felt so overwhelmed by the feelings of unhappiness and failure that I had trouble breathing. And I felt so alone.

I still have three months before I go back to school. School ended early this spring but starts late this fall. The girls will start school before I do. But in the meantime, I get to hear how much of a failure I am as a mother because I'm not doing my motherly duty staying home and homeschooling my kids.

Friday, May 01, 2015

My first school year is over and done; just two more to go.

I'm happy to say that both this semester and last, I have done rather well on the grade front. Last semester ended with grades of A,A,AB, and B. This semester I didn't do as well but still good grades: A,AB,AB, and B. I'll say it was because I had four classes specific to my major instead of two of them being general education classes like I had the first semester. So, that being all done and signed up for classes this fall, I now wait. It's going to be a long four months. I'm actually thinking of looking for a job to give myself something to do because I'm already feeling restless and a little depressed having to be home all the time.

John is back in school which means next to no sleep for him as he spends hours up hours writing papers for his online classes. He usually ends up with a paper to do a week and they can take up quite a bit of his time. He started up again before I finished the semester so things have kind of gone to heck in the last few weeks household wise. It's frustrating because there never really is any communication, just sort of this situation where things aren't done and haven't been done and now that I'm finished with school, I'm expected to suddenly have everything clean and put away. Uh, ok. Along with that, I'm still expected to do all of the homeschooling. Actually, these expectations didn't end while I was in school and due to that, I'm accused of failing my duties as a mother on a fairly regular basis.

One thing that has really had to change was the homeschooling situation. My oldest does not want to do schoolwork at all. And from the beginning, she has fought me and that hasn't changed. Along with that, it was expected that I would be the one to homeschool even though I'm not the one who is gung ho on it in the first place. I see the benefits. I see where it may even be necessary. However, for all of the responsibility to be dropped on me when I have little to no experience (compared to my husband who has subbed and has taught overseas) with very little to no help at all in research, curriculum selection, etc just has not been fair. Yes, he works. And yes now he's back in school (for a Master's degree in education of all things!). But he should still bear some responsibility for it when he's the one who wanted it to begin with. When I went back to school, my time and ability to deal with a child who did not want to do her schoolwork dropped. Her father has not taken over the homeschool. She has been taught very little this year so far. Her sister turns five in July and the thought of trying to homeschool two children and go to school myself was not something that seemed possible to do anymore. And so both girls will be going to school next fall. They are going to a charter school, a school for technology and arts. I've heard good things about it and I think it will be a good transition for my oldest. In the meantime, I'll have the summer to get her ready now that I'm done with classes for the next four months.

Naturally my husband is not happy about this. This is one of the reasons these days why he will throw my whole failing as a mother thing at me. I'm giving up. I'm not trying harder. What I don't get is how he's pushing for me to be the one to school them when we do not whatsoever agree on religion or on subjects such as evolution. There is no way I would ever teach them from a religious framework. And anything scientific I would teach with no connection to religion at all. And it may not seem like much when you first think about it but questions come up pretty quick if you try to look much beyond the first writing civilizations. Not to mention, I am an atheist. He is not. He believes that the Bible is word for word true. I definitely do not. I see Christianity in all its flavors as nothing more than a myth, no different than Greek mythology. So to even have ME be the one to homeschool them would potentially expose both of my children to ideas that are outside of the belief system he wants them to learn. And he's worried about them going to public school?!

There will be more of this to come, I'm sure and I'll just have to keep on keeping on and not let it get to me or derail me. I have every intention of finishing school and getting a career. Being back in school has given me a purpose for each day I hadn't had in a long time. And each family is different but I know for me, I really do not enjoy depending on my husband financially. I need more; I need something to challenge me mentally and being a stay at home just wasn't doing it. If that makes me a failure as a mother, so be it. But I'd like to think that being a happy mother rather than a miserable one is important too.

My husband may not see the changes (or if he does, he sees them as a negative thing), but others do and have been impressed with how far I've come. That at least makes it a little easier for me when the "failure as a mom" comments get thrown my way.