+ serial baker,
I am Christine.
We’ve homeschooled all the years. Long before that we set the stage for this lifestyle with connected parenting choices and how we communicate with our kids – always a work in progress, btw.
Through joining all the communities new homeschoolers do, waiting for our people to surface, I conversed with many people. I quickly realized how closed off we are: the defensive homeschool crowd.
When I had kids, I grew a neighborhood mothers group. In three years, we had 150+ local moms. We regularly met new and familiar families close to us geographically, but moons away parenting-wise. Fast forward a few years and my neighborhood friends’ children are school-bound. All of them. What bothers me most is how giddy the mothers of these children are to be “free” of them – even if they’re now ALL bound to a concrete building for 12 years.
Homeschooler groups love time with their kiddos, but can feel emotionally charged, defensive, hackles raised. These mothers feel judged for the same choices that brought them to this particular group. So rather than understanding our similarities, we skim. We chatter superficially, held in tension because our kids might like these kids and… maybe these are our people? With such fear in the interactions, is it any wonder we don’t always stay to find out?
Narrow-eyed, prey feeling in our bones, we keep the drawbridge up and continue on in loneliness. I don’t want that for my kids.
I wish for – and work toward – the opening of hearts, the sleuthing together for common ground, knowing there’s plenty. A lovely expanse of openness, shared. We’re all doing our best, showing up every single day for our kids, for our families. Relax your shoulders, friend, and just show up. Be yourself here.
Graphic Designer, Freelance
I’m currently focused on magazine work – both the design and the writing fronts. I take on the occasional small business for startup work. Visit http://www.cemming.com for samples.
For three years, I’ve written a recurring column for Vibrant Life magazine. My work has also been printed in Secular Homeschooler, Rosemary Magazine, and Spoke+Blossom. I’ve been a blogger for 15 years.