Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Emotional roller coaster

Why is it so easy to focus on the negative?

Most of the people in my life have been very supportive about homeschooling. My mom and broher had questions, but the more we chatted about it, the more excited they were. My dad was on board from the get-go. His sister homeschooled her kids, and he always admired that, so he thinks it's great. When I posted an announcement of sorts on my Facebook page, I got a lot of great responses. A few questions, but mostly support and enthusiasm.

There are a few people, however, who clearly don't approve. Our best friends are the biggest example. We've been friends with them since college, back when my husband and I were just dating and they were engaged. We're very close - we even live next door to each other now.

When I told my friend L that we had decided to give homeschooling a try, all she said was, "Hmm, interesting." Nothing else. No questions, no discussion, nothing. I think it would have been less awkward if she had said, "Why? That's crazy! What are you thinking!" At least then I would have had the chance to explain - especially to explain that our decision to homeschool is not a judgment on their decision to use public schools (I think that's at the root of her disapproval - she's taking it personally as if I'm saying public schools aren't good enough, so she must be a bad mother for sending her kids to one).

Why, out of all the positive feedback, personal stories that have been shared with me, and enthusiasm from my friends and family, am I fixated on the (assumed) disapproval of just a few of my friends?

Emotionally, I'm worn out. I know I need to put away my fears of what people will think. Some people simply won't agree with our decision, and I'm going to have to live with that. I just have a hard time putting that into practice.

I think my emotional state is being further charged by the fact that tomorrow is our local school district's first day of school. Tomorrow I was supposed to be bringing my son to start first grade, and I'm not. All these feelings of doubt keep trying to wiggle to the surface - can I really do this? Am I doing the right thing?

This is real. I really sent the school my withdrawl notice (for which they're giving me a hard time, something that is adding to my stress level). I really ordered the curriculum, I really set up a school area. I really did all the things that only a couple of weeks ago I was only contemplating.

I am a person with a strong logical side. I see problems and solutions; I work out ways of doing things that make sense to me. When I decide to take a course of action, I act (yes, I research and overthink the heck out of things, but I act). I also have a strong emotional side, and those two pieces of me don't always get along. Sometimes the logical side takes the reigns and pushes forward. Then the emotional side catches up and shouts, "Hey! What are you doing!"

On the eve of my son not starting first grade, I am on an emotional roller coaster and extremely tempted to go out and eat my weight in ice cream.


Mandi said...

If I get only one negative comment about something (and it need not be a "real" negative comment, I just need to overanalyze it and perceive it that way), I am a wreck. I always fixate on the negative, so I can't really give any advice, but it sounds like you've thought it out and made the decision that is best for your family, so you shouldn't worry about what other people think!

Anonymous said...

Be strong. You are doing what is best for your child and you will do a good job, if not, a great one. Several of my friends have started homeschooling this year and it is natural to be tentative about it.

Claire said...

Thank you :). I don't think it helps that I'm hormonal right now....

I'm really glad I have a playdate/mommy get together with a fellow (and more experienced) homeschooling friend this morning. I think that will help make this day less emotional. :)