My husband arrives home from work. Tired and exhausted. I am dressed, fresh hair, makeup, and the kids are quietly in the other room. Dinner’s ready, and he sits down to a hot meal and a quiet home. I ask how his day is, and make the time to listen. The environment is a relaxing one and one he is happy to come home to.
At least that’s the vision I imagined when we first had kids…however, that is FAR from reality. When I first began homeschooling I had NO clue how much our life will change. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice and it will change every aspect of your life including your marriage.
The reality when my husband gets home is this:
- All three kids piling on him the minute he gets in the door.
- They are pushing as they each struggle to get his attention.
- Dinner is cold because I couldn’t hold them off any longer, and after all, he was 15 minutes late…
- I’m in sweat pants. With a messy bun. The evidence of lunch is on my shirt. And what’s makeup?
Now, this isn’t the reality every day, but it is pretty darn close. Some days are better than others, and some days, I RUN when he pulls on. Most days I am slightly resentful of the fact that he gets to leave the house. Childless.
Where was the warning?
But, here’s the thing, no one warned me. When I discussed homeschooling with veteran homeschoolers, I was told how it would be hard. I was told that choosing a curriculum would be difficult, and I was told that breaks were needed to avoid burnt out.
- No one told me that after the kids go to bed our evenings would consist of grading papers.
- No one told me that my husband would blame me when our kids didn’t know how to do something.
- No one told me that every day my kids would look at me as “teacher” and dad as “fun”.
- No one told me that I would resent him for just that.
- No one told me that a weekend to the homeschool convention would count as a date…
- No one told me, homeschooling will change your marriage.
Why does no one talk about this?
And maybe the reason no one talks about it is because they don’t want to share their marriage with others. But, I think it is important to discuss it. Homeschooling will change your marriage, it is up to you whether you let that be a bad thing….or a good thing. It’s an attitude choice. You can roll with the changes, or let resentment settle in. If I had known would I have still homeschooled? Absolutely! Homeschooling is worth the good, bad and ugly. But, if I had known that it was normal, I would have been a lot less stressed out when the changes happened.
So….if homeschooling has changed your marriage, please know that you are NOT alone. It is natural for things to change when homeschooling happens. And, here’s a tip… when the rare date night does happen, be sure not to discuss school (unless you’re at a convention 😉 )
For more about marriage and homeschooling, check out Heidi St. John’s Book, The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance Todd Wilson’s Book Help, I’m Married to a Homeschool Mom and Marriage and the Homeschool Mom on the End in Mind.