I’ve been thinking a lot this week about speaking our truth. Setting current events aside, I want to dive into this more general topic, but as it relates to homeschool moms like us. There seems to be an incredible amount of pressure and forces at work that want to keep people silent. I imagine all people experience this from time to time, but in my experience women seem to feel it the most, and I think homeschool moms have particular truths we hesitate to speak.
I recall a time about 16 years ago when I was absolutely drowning with the realities of my life, and I was so depleted I had almost no internal resources to try to help myself. When sharing about my situation in an online group I was in at the time, I was cautioned by a woman in the group that whatever I did, I must not tell my husband how I was struggling. If he knew, she told me, he might want us to not have any more babies. He might say that we should put the children in school. In short, knowing the reality of my suffering and despair might upset the ideological apple cart, and for some reason it was more important to uphold those ideals than to make sure I was healthy, whole, and happy.
(Thankfully, that poisonous advice was enough to wake me up. And I told my husband. And we did make some changes in our life. And know what? It was the right thing.)
Why do we do this? Why do we send messages that if others speak up about their truth that steps on someone else’s toes, they must be silenced? Why do we allow others to try to shame us into a box and stay there alone, unsupported, and afraid?
How often have you had thoughts like these?
I feel like I’m failing.
The pressure of homeschooling feels like too much.
There isn’t enough of me to go around.
My husband is not supportive.
My children are so far behind, I don’t think we will ever catch up.
I’m not happy with my life.
And how often have you felt you had nowhere to go, nowhere to turn, no right to voice these things, because there might be people that say things like, “HEY! If you didn’t want to deal with all this, why’d ya have so many kids in the first place? Why did you decide to be a stay at home mom? Why did you think you could homeschool in the first place? Weren’t YOU a dope to not pursue a career?”
Just like every other type of cold blame, we are often told we did this to ourselves. “So now sit there and suffer the fate that you picked.” No room for our truth. No room to voice our experience. No room to spare for empathy, or to honor the paths we’ve chosen, though every path comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties.
Sister, I want to tell you something. You have one beautiful, precious life to live. And believe it or not, you matter. Your well-being matters. Your happiness matters. Your health matters. It’s true.
You and I are not born to be upholders of ideologies. We are more than ambassadors for our beliefs and practices or educational philosophies. We are meant to travel through this life in the best ways we know how, and to love and be loved for who we truly are.
When we stay hidden, and when our truth stays hidden, we are not fully known, and we prevent people from fully loving us. If we are hidden, how can we be known or found?
If we push others into hiding and silence with our rejection and blame, we let them know that the biggest thing that matters about them is their compliance. We don’t want their humanity.
Instead of being agents of silence and shame, let’s work to each be a conduit for truth. Let’s be a safe place for friends to tell us what’s really going on. And let’s be willing to be vulnerable and take a chance on telling someone else what truths are going on within us. This is the path forward for ourselves, and for our children, and our children’s children.
I don’t know how to change the world, except to start with myself. You can, too. Even as a busy homeschool mom at home with her children.
What do you think?