Monday, September 1, 2008

I Need At Least 24 Hours To Cry...Identity Crisis

I did not push my kids and have high enough expectation. I did not set dead-lines. I am sad for this reason and because I will miss them so much. So many of my friends (I know we are not supposed to compare), are excelling at home-schooling. Many of them have their children going to college at age 15 or 16; not me. Mine are average, and even needing extra help. Below is picture of me during one of my recent crying moments.
I am no longer a home-school mother. Tomorrow all four of my children will attend public school. My husband and I both agree on this decision. They need structure, deadlines, friends, and to be challenged. Our oldest son, Harrison, did attend high school last year, and did well. I missed him so much. This year all of them will be away from me for eight hours each day. Most of you mothers went through this when you put your little ones on the bus in first grade. I am going through it now.
Here is a page from my scrapbook of one of our first days of school years ago. I loved home-schooling my children. I loved being close to them all day. I did however have a few wrong motives; one being fear of the world. I wanted to shelter them. I even became prideful during the mid-years, and thought I could do much better than the public schools. God sets Himself against the proud man. Those were not glorifying-to-God years.
Me teaching an English lesson a few years back. After I bombed and the kids had less than favorable test scores, I began reaching burn out. I was not doing well in any area. My house was always messy, we were always behind, so found it difficult to enjoy summer; had to have summer school.
Memories of us going on a picnic and drawing the Trillium's out in "Shady Thicket." Even though these were fun times; they were hard for me. I began worrying and fretting; not trusting God. I began comparing myself to all other home-school mothers. I began getting defensive of H.S.
Even though it was hard, there were so many fun times. I will let myself cry for 24 hours. I think crying is good, (actually I have been crying for the past few days on and off). After all I am going through an identity crisis. I have been a home-school mother since the beginning. I even used to wear jumpers and only dresses for awhile, if you can believe that (who said it's a sin to be in style?). I have been through so many good and hard times, but I think I reached burn out three years ago, but I could not give it up.
On the flip side. I want to be honest. I have been a good mother. I pray for my children and taught them about God. I made sure they were tucked in and kissed goodnight. I made them good dinners and played with them. I have done many things right. God has blessed me with these children, and even though this has been a hard decision, I believe it is the right decision. God promises to always be with me and to give me wisdom. I can trust Him. There will be more tears tomorrow when I drop my children off at school. I used to think home-schooling was a moral issue. I used to think that if I didn't home-school, I was not being a really good Christian. I have learn much these past few years. My slogan is, "To each his own." God can use these grounded-in-God's-Word children in these public schools. They are lights in a dark place. God is faithful even when I have failed. He picks us up pieces and all and He makes ugly things beautiful. He takes a person with a humble heart and stands them on a ROCK. I am very blessed. Yes, tomorrow there will a lil more crying, but I will be fine after that. Thanks for listening and God bless all you ladies. Hugs, Kathi


Sharon said...

Wow Kathi. You have put your whole heart out there today on this post. I am sorry that you have been crying. I know this is really hard for you. You are a very good mother and you were a great home school teacher as well. I hope you are not being too hard on yourself. You laid such a great foundation for them and now they are ready for the world. I pray that you will feel God's love and peace tomorrow and an unexpected joy! I do, I pray that you have joy tomorrow.

I love you sister!

Love, Sharon

Rosemary said...

YOu silly woman, you have NOT FAILED!! You have created a bond with your children that not many people are lucky to have! Don't ever regret homeschooling your kids and don't regret putting them in public schools. They will blossom!!

Cottage Contessa said...

Oh sweetheart....I'm so sorry you are feeling sad. Kathi I am a homeschool mum too, our daughter is almost 15 now, and let me say that I know just how you are feeling because I am in the same boat right now. I have struggled this year, and the amount of times I have cried because I feel I have failed......but I continue because our daughter is so happy and doing well. I though am not coping as well. I doubt myself each day, and the sleepless nights I have,the stomach aches, the sweetie I just wanted you to know that you are not alone in your feelings. You are such an awesome mother, you are raising happy, healthy, Godly young people who adore you. You and Stacey have provided a wonderful life for your children, and this is just another path that you all need to walk right now. I don't know if what I've said has made a lot of sense because I am typing through tears here, but I just wanted to try to comfort you and to let you know that I am praying for both your family...and mine. Hugs for you dear friend, and if you ever want to talk then I am just an email away sweetie. Best wishes for tomorrow!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Michelle said...

Awww, Kathi - I'm sorry that you've been crying but it's OK, you go right ahead; tears are cleansing. Please don't be hard on yourself; I think you're such a wonderful mother! I agree with what your sister Sharon said about how you & your husband have laid a good foundation for your children...THAT is such an important thing and look, you've already done it! Please know I'll be praying for you as your household goes through this adjustment and I'm just an e-mail away, Kathi :)

Blessed Mama of 4 said...

thankfully, the bible didn't say "thou shall XXX school" (insert home/public/private)..

all we are called to is obedience. Good for you for doing what He is calling you to in this. That is success!

grey like snuffie said...

Sending a hug back your way. It is wonderful to have them home. We did it all with our two girls, private Christian school, home school and one went to public High School. Being a good Christian is about being obedient---it will look different for everyone. It's hard to miss the daily interaction and have to work at communication about their day away from you, but God will make a way. I imagine God will open a whole new world to you with them in school away from home. He has something wonderful for all of you. It will certainly increase your prayer life. :) Wherever He calls them He goes before them preparing the way. He is able to keep them. They will have a whole new world of experiences that will stretch their relationship with God while they can still run home to a place of refuge and peace.

Kelly said...

you have been such a great inspiration ( Titus 2 !! ) you have not failed!!! please do not be so hard on yourself, it breaks my heart to think you are sad, you have done amazing things with and for your children. I am sure you feel this is God's will this decision to send them back to school, so it will all work out. If you feel it is more your will then pray pray pray ....but if I know you then I know this has already been prayed about a ton!! I am thinking about you this morning and wish I was there to hang out til that bell rings and it brings them home....I will keep you in my thoughts and all my prayers!

Big ((HUGS))
love kelly

Connie said...

Oh Kathi, you really opened up your heart and exposed your soft underbelly today. Thanks for keepin' it real...although I'm so sorry for your pain. I can really relate despite the fact that I have never homeschooled. I have experienced the same kind of feelings toward public schools and have since been humbled to realize that God knows our hearts and our desires for our children in every situation. He knows we want the best for them and are doing our best by seeking His wisdom. I have sent my 5 kids to parochial school and despite the fact that it has drained us financially to sacrifice for their education...we are not sorry we did it. Do not be sorry for your sacrifice. You are NOT a failure. Your motives were pure of heart and God will bless that. Big cyber hugs for you today. You will feel better as time goes on.

CIELO said...

They will be fine... their Heavenly Father will be their constant companion....

ps: the House in the Roses is having a Window Party this Friday, and wish you could participate.... only thing you need to do is show us your favorite window of your home.... it promises to be fun! come see!


Elena said...

Oh Kathi thank you so much for sharing this and your honesty. I know the Lord will help us in all things and you want to do the best for your kids. I want to homeschool my daughter but I do it with fear and trembling and am very thankful for this post. God bless you! Love, Elena

Deb said...

Hi Kathi, I'm so sorry you're feeling sad about this. God gives each of us certain gifts. Home Schooling was not your gift. You had to try it to find this out. The Lord is in charge of everything, it will all turn out according to his plan and it's not your fault. I love you sister, and I hope you feel better soon! Deb

linda said...

Kathi, thank you for such a heart-felt post. You are probably being so hard on yourself...undoubtedly, with straight A's, no F's involved!!

I will be thinking about, and praying, for your WHOLE family today. I'm sure it will be hard at first but I truly think you will come to love it. Just think of how much more you are going to enjoy your time with your children now. Your going to have time to truly miss them more throughout the day. You will feel refreshed and energized.

You have done a wonderful wonderful thing by loving, protecting, and teaching your children so well all of these years and I'm sure you've been a great example to others. Now God has your family moving in another direction right now...and He will give you the peace about it as well.

Jan Parrish said...

Kathi, you are an inspiration to homemakers everywhere. So homeschooling was not your thing, we can't all be good at everything!

I feel certain that when your children are older, they will arise and call you blessed.

It is hard to let go. Harder still when they've been home for so long. Bethany graduated at 16 and the following year Tim went to high school and I started working full time. Let's just say, it was not a good year.

I'll be praying for you!

Rhondi said...

Hi Kathi
Your kids are going to do great at school. You are very good mom and have done an awesome job so far. Thanks for stopping by to visit me.
Hugs, Rhondi

Mrs. Fox said...

I am so sorry, but if nothing else you have learned TONS about how to be involved in your children's education and how to supplement the lessons that they will get in the classroom at home. I have no doubts that you and your children are better and closer for having had the experience. God bless.

Debbie said...

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! You did what you knew to be best for your kids at the time and now God is just shaking things up for you. Do you TRUST HIM?? Of course you do. Your kids have been trained up in a Godly home and will go out into those schools and be a Light to their classmates. I have never had the call to homeschool and I have tried to put my kids in private Christian schools several times. But you know what? The Lord ALWAYS shut the door. Always. The message I always got from the Lord was NO. This is where I want you. IN THIS PUBLIC school where your kids can be a light. If we took all the the Christians out of the school, there would be nothing but darkness. We can't allow that. The Lord won't allow that. I believe he strategically places Christian kids in public schools for that reason. YOU and your kids are part of that. What an honor! I hope all goes well this week!

Rue said...

Good morning Kathi :)

I commend you for home schooling in the first place. God did not grant me the patience to do the same for my children. I have a hard enough time dealing with the issues they have now and adding that kind of pressure would surely have put me over the edge LOL

Have a good cry and don't feel bad about it. You're a great mom!


jen said...

What a great example you are Kathi. You are willing to share your feelings and admit and give things up for your children best interest. You are strong and make decisions for them even when they are hard and test your strength and feelings. What more could children ask for. I think you are far from a failure. You are a super example and i appreciate your candor in this post and have gotten alot out of it. Thank you!
What fortunate kids you have!
They will have the best of both worlds now.

Take care-

A Romantic Porch said...

Bless your heart Kathi. I've been thinking about you ever since I read the post where you said you'd be having all of your children in public school this year. xo rachel

Anonymous said...

Oh, Kathi, I'm so sorry... wish I could be there to give you a hug, to talk with you and pray together. If you know God is in it, then you know you have no need of worry. Let him cradle you in His arms - He will reassure you. Your kids are HIS kids. He loves them more than you do. Pray. Give all of it to Him and He will be faithful to answer. You have given your children a very strong foundation which will be with them everywhere they go. And, if they know God as their Lord and Savior, HE will be with them! (He does a much better job than even a home school mom can do). Spend lots of time with Jesus as you make this transition. Read your bible faithfully. God wants to strengthen you and build your faith. He also just wants to hug you!

I love you,
I can't talk more right now- Mike is waiting for me.
I will email again.
I want to look at all your pictures but it will be tomorrow.

Your Bosom Friend,

christa jean said...

It's easy to look back and see our mistakes and they seem sooo BIG! But thankfully God was there in our weak moments bringing strength.

In my opinion, we would do well to raise children who are loving, respectful, obedient, full of faith, than for them to be geniuses. From what I've observed of you, you have succeeded in that excellently! The love between you all is evident.

This is what I desire with my whole heart, that love would permeate my home. And as I am just beginning on my homeschooling journey, my worries can be so overwhelming.

Thank you for always being so real and touchable.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog today. You are too harsh on yourself. You did a great job. I think you need to think of this now as a new day and go forward in it. There are lots of adventures for you and your family yet to come. You are a great wife, mother and niece and don't you ever forget that. I am here cheering for you and the children as you turn this corner in your lives. Don't look back, your path is laid out for you--in front of you. God bless you. Love, Helen

Anonymous said...

You didn’t FAIL Kathi. Remember that God wants us out in the world to do His work and be ambassadors for heaven. So I don’t think you received an “F” at all … but rather a lesson in fully TRUSTING in the Lord with your most precious possessions … your children. It’s what you teach at home that is most important and you have given them a solid foundation in God’s Word to build on … and now … they learn to apply His Word in the world they live in. So don’t be so hard on yourself. It just seems quite obvious to me that He wants to teach you how to fully trust in Him with ALL YOUR HEART and to know that there is ALWAYS change to adjust to … and God can do wonderful and wonderous things with our lives when we are willing to fall into His hands and just BE content and say “Whatever Lord!” I will lift you in prayer Kathi. You’ve been a loving and faithful Mama and now … God is going to put you to work in a different way. Perhaps there has been someone praying for a Christian friend and they are waiting for the Lord to introduce the two of you so you can mentor her. Perhaps there’s a mission He wants you to be involved in … but that means you’ll need the free time to accomplish His work. God is good … God is faithful … God is the solid rock on which we stand! So … no “F” for you … unless it stands for being FAITHFUL. J
Lifting you in prayer! Wipe the tears, put your boots on … because there is more work for you to do in the harvest field!
Xo Lori (Rockstad)


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