Homeschool Bloggers: We Don't Have Perfect Lives

May 9, 2013

Blogging about our lives is difficult for me.

Until recently, I only presented the facts: Information, resources and sharing activities. That's pretty much all I wrote about on this blog. 

That changed when I wrote a couple of posts like this one, this one and finally this big one.

Each time, I was hesitant to post.
Each time, I was anxious while it was "out there".
Each time, I contemplated deleting the post.

I was uncomfortable because of some posts I read a year ago.

Keep Your "Special Needs" Hush-Hush

Last year, I read a blog post that suggested that we should not reveal our children's "special needs" to others. Being the person I am, that post made me uncomfortable. I didn't want to write about our challenges lest it was the wrong thing to do.

I had never written about our special needs, but that article made me wonder what people who know me in real life think of me for mentioning that we have some challenges in my household.

"Am I saying too much?"
"Is that something I'm suppose to keep to myself?"
"Am I creating a hardship on my children by telling others?"

I worried that I may be doing the wrong thing. At the same time, I couldn't help but think, "Wait! I can't hide some of these things!" 

Hiding Type I Bipolar Disorder is like trying to hide that your child doesn't have a head. It's just not going to happen. 

Many times, I feel a need to explain that my daughter has bipolar disorder so the people around her can respond appropriately. It's easier for her if others see that she feels emotions more intensely than most people. It's easier if others understand the difference between mania and a brat.

But do I need to mention those challenges here on this blog? 

Perhaps I don't need to mention these challenges here. It has been easier to write since I opened up and let you guys know that we have periods of time when my girls sleep half the day - or all day. I've been able to tell you when we didn't get a lot accomplished, because now you understand why.

Before opening up to you, I would go months without writing. That wasn't fair to me or to you.

Put On Your Prettiest Homeschool Face

Another post I saw suggested that we should present only a positive image of our homeschool life. To do otherwise, she suggested, places homeschoolers in a negative light.

To an extent, I understand her point. I believe we are under a microscope of sorts with some people. They're waiting for us to prove we're incompetent and have made a bad decision to homeschool. 

I don't, however, agree that we need to present only a pretty, made-up face like some 1950s show in which the women wake up looking absolutely gorgeous, do the dishes in their Sunday best, and have kids who pout, "Gee Golly!" after they've had a stern talking-to from Dad.

Come on. We're real people.

Keep It Real Homeschool Bloggers

I don't believe we, as homeschool bloggers, need to hide who we truly are. I believe it's unfair to those who read our blogs. We're imperfect humans. Our readers are imperfect, too. They're not coming to us to see a portrayal of a perfect life. 

  • It may irritate them. 
  • They may think we're fake. 
  • It may discourage some.
  • We may even cause some who are insecure to give up homeschooling.

Why would we do that to other homeschool parents?

Each of us plays a role.

We may be a resource like Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations or Stephanie at Harrington Harmonies

Perhaps we're a source of encouragement like Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler or Heather at Cultivated Lives

We may be a source of information for a particular method or style like Mary at Homegrown Learners or Cindy at Our Journey Westward.

Whatever it is we offer the homeschool community, it's important that we're "keepin' it real".

It's about balance.
We don't need to post each problem we have. We don't necessarily need to post any problems. Some of us like to share and others don't. That's fine. But certainly we don't want to drift to the opposite end of the spectrum where we post each and every problem we have in our lives.

We may not be June Cleaver, but we don't want to be the Jerry Springer show of the homeschool world either.

We need to be ourselves. We need to be authentic. We need to be balanced.

Homeschool Bloggers Are Real People

I happen to be a single, working mom supporting two college students, two minor children and my grandchild at the moment (that's 6 of us if you're keeping count). Between all of us, there exists Asperger Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, and Dyslexia (I won't mention the co-morbid anxieties that exist!). 

Name one thing in this situation that strikes you as "perfect".

Homeschool parents, like other parents, have toys all over the living room at times (maybe all the time). We have laundry that piles up or gets left in the washer or dryer for 2 days. We plan a wonderfully nutritious dinner and end up ordering pizza. We plan our wonderful homeschool days only to get called in to work that day. Maybe we never found a minute to plan anything and we wing our way through the homeschool day.

It happens. We're imperfect. For those of us blogging for a living, these things may or may not happen more often than we would care to admit. Embrace it.

Some of the best memories with our children and some of the best lessons they'll learn come from those crazy days that didn't go as planned. 

This post was written as a part of the iHomeschool Network's 
"Imperfect Homeschool" link-up. 
Visit the other great bloggers in this link-up to see what they are sharing today.

Happy Homeschooling!

Post a Comment

Join the conversation!