I won't even start the whole socialization debate about homeschooled children except to say that I don't think children in happy homes with siblings need much socialization. In the pioneer days, when family units were the strongest, children worked and played at home with their families. And, it was enough. And for our family, it mostly is. We do get together with pockets of friends from our Co-op. But, for the most part, my kids are happy just being together. And I honestly hope it always stays that way.
But what about you, mom? Do you need Socialization?
I know many women/moms who do. They crave "girl time". They go out for coffee, or to lunch, or shopping, or to weekend getaways regularly with their girlfriends. These women never go anywhere with their kids that they don't have another mom and her kids with them. I am not one of those women.
I have one child who has already left the home and it was just two days ago, it seems, that she was in braids going to her first day of kindergarten. I have a husband with whom I do not spend near enough time. I have parents in their 60's, a brother who lives too far away, and a sister with whom I did not get along with at all until we were in our 30's. These are the relationships in which I prefer to invest. And with limited time, there's not much time for anyone else.
A groups of our friends went to Mexico together a couple of weeks ago. We were invited and declined. For me, if I am going to go to Mexico, I am going to go with just my husband or on a family vacation.
I don't have many friends. And, I know that the common denominator in all of my failed friendships is me. I am aware of that. I just don't have the "need" for friends, or many of them. I have lost friends due to betrayal. And I have lost friends due to my decision to homeschool.
The reactions of other women to the fact that I homeschool vary:
- Some women give a pretty typical response of saying, "I could never homeschool my kids."
- Some women are slightly intrigued and want to know more. Mostly they want to know what requirements I have to follow. (And in Oklahoma, there are none, and that "worries" most women that my children may not be getting the education they need.)
- Recently the response I feel like I get is one of jealousy and even hatred. I feel like I have lost friends or acquaintances because they are mad at me because I get to homeschool my kids and they don't.
So, my socialization is limited. But that's okay for this introverted homebody. I have a couple of amazing friends who are also homeschooling moms. We spend time together sharing what we enjoy most. I am friends with my husband. I am friends with my mom. I am friends with my sister. I am friends with my kids.
I do feel pretty isolated and alone in my journey of life, at times. Ma Ingalls must have felt the same at times. But she had all she really needed right there in her home. She was fulfilled and busy and happy. And I have all I need in my home, as well.
So, if you are at the next local "big event" with your group of girlfriends, I won't be there. I'll probably be at Bass Pro Shop with my kids or out to dinner with my husband. I hope that you have a good time, I really do. I know that I will be having one, too.
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