For some reason, my reflection time always seems to happen while I'm doing chores. Maybe since it's the only time I have a second to myself (you know, since my kids won't go anywhere near a chore). It got me thinking about a status update I posted about a week ago...simply put, it was about how homeschooling has become a career and how friends should respond when I have a bad day (with understanding, not questioning my choices...FYI). But, my reflection brought me back to when I first made that choice...and how fellow homeschool parents responded. I doubt they realize they did it, but some of the responses weren't very encouraging. Here is how the conversation would sometimes go...
Me- "Yes, this is my first year of homsechooling"
Other Homeschooler- "Oh, what grade is your child in?"
Me- "Children actually...I have 3. They are 1st, 3rd, and 8th grade."
Other Homeschooler- "Oh wow...and this is your 1st year? You're brave O_O"
Me- "Yea I know right? Thanks for that SUPER encouragement!"
That last part may have been in my head...but you get the idea. I know they didn't mean to make me feel like I was totally nuts...but that's kinda what they did. To me it was like "Oh hey...you're kinda stupid for not starting when they were all little...good luck with this completely impossible task". Not all of them did this...some were actually very helpful. But I don't think some really thought before speaking. Which brings me to the reason I decided to type this all out on the great big internets. Thinking before speaking....speaking life, encouragement, hope, happiness. I know I am guilty of speaking before thinking....I've had a friend call me out on it. I was very grateful that she did because I would have never known that I hurt her.
I could have taken those words and thought "You know...maybe I'm getting in over my head and should just quit before I start". But, that's not who I am...when people tell me I can't do something, it usually makes me try harder to prove them wrong. Not smart enough to take advanced classes....watch me ace them. Can't eat an entire hotdog in one bite....someone get the camera (no comments from any old high school friends reading this). You're crazy for trying to homeschool when your children are so old....HAHA, challenge accepted! But that's me....someone that isn't me could have very easily taken those words and quit before they started. I don't want to call people out (please don't think I'm doing that). I want people to realize what they are saying before they say it. If someone happens to feel called to do something, I'm sure they're already totally afraid of failing and maybe questioning if they were actually called in the first place. Let's encourage...no matter what it's for. The only correct response to my choice that I can think of is "Welcome to the homeschool club...it's hard sometimes but totally rewarding and fun. And we are here to help you"....if you can't think of something better to say, just smile and nod (like my husband sometimes does when I blab on and on and come up with crazy ideas).
So, encourage someone today...it might make a world of difference to them. (And btw, I finished that hotdog in one bit...BOOYAH!)