This chapter deals with a concept that is rather anathema to modern sensibilities, though maybe not so much in homeschooling circles–that dedicating oneself wholly only to mothering is worthwhile or even necessary. I can’t speak for anyone else, and thankfully I don’t have to. What I’ve found in my own life, though, is that while part-time work may come may way for a season, I am never quite able to give any part time work I have my whole heart and mind. I end up feeling quite conflicted. I’ve gone into every part-time position I’ve taken since becoming a mother knowing that it’s only for a season, so that helps, but my most recent conclusion is that the time for me to be full-time at home and part-time somewhere else is over, at least while I have young children. Being a homeschooling mother is the job I feel the most suited for, honestly, even on the days I feel like I can’t do it one more minute. 😉 Sally goes one step further and discusses not just working outside the home, but doing anything that distracts a mother from her primary job:
Within the homeschooling movement, some mothers might reach for something “good”–publishing a newsletter, starting a home business, taking on a position of leadership or community involvement, or committing to church activities. But if what they are reaching for breaks the firm grip God wants them to have on their children, then they are reaching for the wrong things. (48)
I get this (as is obvious by my employment record 😉 ), but where I have a hard time finding balance is sacrificing myself for my children (which, when it comes to choosing home over employment outside the home, doesn’t usually feel like much of a sacrifice) and merely making and taking time for myself. I’m a person with 1,001 interests (as the eclectic nature of my blog surely indicates), and I can very easily get all caught up in my latest hobby or passion. I think it’s okay–good, even–for our children to see us have interests and things we enjoy and are passionate about. It’s tough for me, though, to find the balance between making time for these things and just having enough time to do what I need to do to keep the household and homeschool running, plus find time for my marriage and my children.
Sally has more to say about this in chapter three, though I can’t say that this issue is really raised, much less satisfactorily answered. Maybe it’s a case of living with the tension between the ideal and the real, like Sally says in chapter one.
I am blogging through Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson this summer for my second annual Homeschooling Mothers’ Bookclub. You can read more about it here. Won’t you consider joining us? Here’s the link-up schedule:
- Monday, July 8–Spring, chapters 1-3
- Monday, July 22–Summer, chapter 4-6
- Monday, August 5–Fall, chapters 7-9
- Monday, August 19–Winter, chapters 10-12
- Monday, August 26–final thoughts (Notice this is one week after the last post, not two.)