Monday, September 1, 2014

Education Choices in the Mompetition

From the moment a woman becomes pregnant she becomes part of the Mompetition.  There is no way to opt out of it as strangers express their opinions on every aspect of childcare, no matter how personal.  If you choose to use disposable diapers expect to be challenged by mom’s who use cloth.  If you mention being exhausted because your little one was awake 3 times be prepared to hear another mom tell you about the 6 times she was up with her baby.  Its probably best if you just don’t discuss circumcision, breast-feeding or co-sleeping while out in public. It seems that no matter what choices you make those who have made different choices will feel challenged or threatened by your choice.

As our children grow, so does the Mompetition.  I personally find myself questioning everything I do and comparing myself to all the amazing mothers around me. Are we doing enough extra curricular? Do we do the right ones? What if we are doing too many? Are my kids getting enough time with their friends? Do they have enough chores without being asked to do too many?  I literally lay awake at night thinking about these things.  Without the ever present, unavoidable Mompetition, I’m fairly certain all of us mom’s would sleep better.

I chose to home school my children.  That has not always been my choice as we began home schooling mid year in 2011.  Like any choice a mom makes I encounter those who seem to feel challenged by my choices.  Sadly, many of my friends assume that I judge them negatively for their choice to send their kids to public or private schools. This is not at all the case.  I very much support public schools.  The majority of our children attend public school. These young men and women are our future so I absolutely want them to get the best possible education.  If you can send your child to a private school that better suits your child’s interest or your family’s values then I believe you should absolutely do that.  There is no one right way to educate our children.

The new school year starts for us tomorrow. This time of year feels much more like the ‘New Year’ than January 1st, as we start fresh with new books, new lessons plans and brand new enthusiasm.  Home schooling is what is best for my family, for lots of reason’s I’ve already discussed here on this blog, but it is not the best choice for everyone.  If you happily anticipate this time of year when the big yellow bus comes to take your children off to school please know that I can appreciate that feeling and I do not judge you.  I am similarly anticipating the new discussions we will have, the subjects we can explore and the brand new box of crayons we will share.  I hope you do not judge me. 

No matter how you feed your baby, no matter what parenting theories you chose to practice and no matter how your family chooses to educate your children I know that your doing the best you know how for your children.  I am doing my best to withdraw from the Mompetition.  I know that you love your children more than life itself, that you agonize over every choice you make for them and believe with all your heart its what is the right thing for your family. We’re all different but in this way we are all the same. I hope we can still share our joys and our struggles.

Whether you are involved in year round schooling, have been at it for weeks, are just getting started or are well past formal education, I wish you the best in your adventures in learning.  

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