Over the last few days, since I started home educating both my children (having had my son at home for nine months already) I’ve been asked several times variations on the questions “How can you spend all day with your children?” and “What about time for you?” Which I appreciate, as they have helped me find the following answers for myself:
(1) Many women work full or part time outside the home, because they want to, or for financial reasons. They may have the “time away from the children” part of the equation (sometimes more than they would like), but combined with running a home, most probably don’t have a great deal of that “you time” people have been so concerned about on my account. I’m not saying I’d turn down the chance of an occasional hour with a book in Starbucks or an afternoon browsing the shops on my own, but on balance I consider myself incredibly priviledged to be able to spend so much of my time with the people I love most. (And there are always weekends!)
(2) Spending “all day” with both my children is so much easier than spending the stressed, grumpy time around the edges of school with them. Despite a wonderfully full schedule (which today included, for example, driving 40 minutes to a group guitar lesson, a trip to an adventure playground, and swimming lessons) we are all so much less tired and grumpy than we were when C was at school. I can’t really explain why yet, but it’s definitely true. Perhaps it’s that C and J are getting on so much better (like they used to at the end of the school holidays compared with at the start) or because, without the pressures of school, C is so much less stressed, or some other reason, but the answer to “how can you spend all day with them?” is easy – for most of the day I’m in “flow“, and when I’m in flow, there’s nowhere I’d rather be, nothing else I’d rather be doing, and no-one I’d rather be doing it with.