I am the selfish, neglectful, worldly Concordian Sister who is sending her child to first grade this week (jk! I know not a soul thinks that ;) ). This has not really been a choice for us*. If we are still here in eight years when, DV, our oldest child finishes at this school (which I hope we will be), we will have no choice then but to homeschool.
Given this situation, I labor not to fret over a situation which offers me, for all practical purposes since none of our children appear at this time to be "hard cases," no choices. If the choice were ours, I honestly don't know what we would do, because there hasn't been any point in thinking about it. So this post is totally not about "deciding" about homeschooling--I know numerous others who are similarly bound, whether that means they must homeschool or they can't.
What this circuitous preface is leading up to is a post about being CSPP and a school mom. And what that is about is stinking it up. I was a terrible school mom last year. It was often impossible for me to get to school functions at which parental attendance was invited/requested. Why? Because I have three younger kids.
Dragging my entourage along on field trips would have made a disaster out of the trip for everyone else who is not used to our disastrous way of life (even if stage performances and such were baby-friendly venues). I couldn't fit any other kids in my car anyway because it's filled up with my own. If I helped on party day, I spent the whole time keeping the baby out of the rabbit cage and trying to prevent the [then] 2-yr-old from packing away a fifth cupcake instead of whatever Froot Loop stringing or Bozo Bucketeering I was supposed to be facilitating.
When yet another paper comes home requiring me to check "Yes, I'll be there" or "No, I don't care about this important reminiscible** event in my precious child's life so I'll be sitting on my can at home eating chips," I feel pretty worthless. Because, see, I would have a legit excuse for not being there if I were working. Or if I were a really good "working mom," I would take the afternoon off and go on the field trip. Since I'm an at-home mom, I'm supposed to show up for this stuff. But for some reason I keep having kids and providing all the evidence anyone needs to prove how this leads to the neglect of those already in existence.
Homeschoolers, I salute your toils, and I anticipate they will be my own some day. In the meantime, I've got this to make me doubt my maternal fitness.
And on the odd chance that anyone is reading this who is or hopes to be a homeschooler and is wondering what would become of her life if homeschooling became a great deal less do-able: I can tell you from both a parental and a post-teaching perspective that there is LOTS of work to be done just down the hall from your kids as a school mom, and always more work to be contrived ex nihilo in support of a school. Scrip! Book fairs! Getting rid of 30 years' worth of trophies in the basement! Pointless gimmicky sentimental events to plan! Teacher Appreciation Semester! Teams to coach! Terminally ill geckos to make comfortable! Buses to learn to drive! Elective courses to teach on a volunteer basis! And all of it with the help of your younger kids. The fun never ends. EVER.
*In some Lutheran parishes, it is not a big deal if the pastor's family homeschools, and in others it is. We are blessed to have a veritably Lutheran school in our backyard. I almost feel bad about how well the place has catechized our child--but then Dad has something to do with it too. :)
**Since when did the point of childrearing become packing a kid's hippocampus (thank you, Gauntlets) with phosphorescence? Remind me to rant about that sometime.