A Mother’s Tale

In the September – October 2009 issue of Home Education Magazine L. Hartman wrote an article I think most homeschooling moms (or stay-at-home moms) can relate to. Titled “Defining Ourselves: A Mother’s Tale,” she tells of feeling less than valued. I really wish there was a link to this article on their website, but sadly there isn’t. So, I will leave you with this excerpt:

Homeschooling has been many things – difficult, delightful, exhausting, enlightening, boring, brilliant, and constant – but it has not always provided me with the cultural validation that I seem to crave. Intellectually, I know that my choice to stay home with these people was the right one – worthy, fulfilling, and successful. Emotionally, however, I react to a culture that doesn’t really value mothering – a culture that asks “What do you do?”

Hartman goes on to describe how she was jealous of a friend of hers who was so successful – who worked and had a family and did both well (I know I have been there), but then she comes to find out that this friend is actually envious of her life.

I laughed and told her of my own envy. It seems almost petty now, a decade later, but that was all that I needed. To have her – or anyone outside my family – see the value of my work, the beauty in it, re-energized me and reminded me why I was where I was . . . Both [my friend] and I came away from that night seeing the value and the beauty in our own choices, and we were both better for it

Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her thirteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Power of Forgiveness". She blogs at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com