There's a cheesy line that find its way into 99/100 Romance movies:
"Does he make you a better person?"
I was thinking about this in relation to homeschooling the other day. We've been doing great with our 20 minute lessons, and we enjoy our family time together, but sometimes I still get this crazy mad feeling inside that says:
"What in the heck are you doing!!!!????!!!!"
It would be nice if our school sucked, or our kids had psycho friends, or there was some outside reason that made homeschooling imperative (not really). It would release the constant pressure to be sure we're making the right decision, to keep weighing and evaluating. Instead we have a good school, good friends, and good situation that we've traded in for a different experience. It doesn't always sit smoothly on the right or wrong scale. So there I was, having an existential crisis over lunch, and I thought this thought:
"Does it make you a better mother?"
Because maybe it's that simple. The short answer is that, yes, homeschooling makes me a better mother. I spend more time with my children, I work through difficulties with them, we investigate things together. There are more opportunities for the good moments to crowd out the bad moments. When we are always rushing to and from school and shoving activities into short spaces there was a lot of frustration and anger. I have more time to build relationships. I have more ways to build relationships. We connect at many more angles than we did before.
I'm not sure that answers all my questions, but it's an important thought that I need to remember.