Do pictures tell a thousand words? These days, not so much. Spend any amount of time surfing mom blogs and checking social networking sites and you’ll see what I mean. (Checked Pinterest lately?)
When I see the perfect photo of a beautifully renovated kitchen, a lovely jar of bath salts, the perfect man’s bow-tie or a batch of freshly canned pickles, like you — I immediately swoon. After a split-second however, I often find myself chuckling as I wonder what the rest of the family was doing while the brave photographer snapped the photo. Sometimes, I imagine a chaotic, messy house, where the only clean area was the corner of the kitchen counter where the picture was taken. If I’m feeling especially irreverent, I allow myself to imagine what the kids were doing during the big photo shoot, too.
What about blogs depicting perfect family life? Are these accurate, either? As a homeschool mom myself, I tend to read into the stories I find, too. As respectfully as possible, I admit that I read these stories knowing darned well that for every great homeschool lesson/field trip/project/experience I read about, there were at least a couple of moments that weren’t so pretty, too.
How do I know? Because I’m a mom. I’ve had all of those moments, too! Remember, I have been at this for a long time. Chances are, my stories can top lots of those hands-down.
If the photos and stories I see are anything like our home, at any given time, one might find dogs running wild, kids arguing over the last donut, or a telephone ringing out of control. Knock on the front door at the right time and you just might see half-dressed children, a kitchen sink overflowing with dirty dishes and — not one – but sometimes two clogged toilets at once. As I speak to clients on the telephone or instant message with them on my computer, I sometimes cringe as I try not to become distracted by things going on the background…husband’s requests, childrens’ hand signals or rude body noises, dogs barking at the worst possible moments…well, you get the picture.
Despite what you see on my blog, it isn’t always pretty here.
So, today I’m confessing. I’m guilty, too.
Is homeschooling a great life? Absolutely. But, do we have our ups and downs like everybody else? Of course!
It’s a matter of perspective. It’s all about looking at the overall picture and the accumulation of experiences — not the details.
Most times, in our home, everything is rosy. Our children are obedient, their school work is completed with care and diligence, I work uninterrupted, and both the indoor and outdoor chores are completed on schedule. BUT…knock on the door at just the right time –say, during a spill/bruise/disagreement/tantrum/you-name-it – and you’ll see another picture altogether.
It’s just life.
So many examples come to mind of the things you don’t see when I meet with you, speak to audiences and type these blogs. Like the day I felt so bad I wanted to crawl in bed instead of meeting with a newspaper reporter. Or the time the dog pooped on the rug and I had to leave it there because I was in such a rush to get to a meeting. Or the day the laundry hadn’t been done so I wore an ill-fitting sports bra to speak at a state-wide homeschool convention! And don’t forget the day my kids behaved so badly I really didn’t want to bring them on a field trip but I had to, since I was in possession of the money for the entire group.
Should you ever find yourself wondering why your life isn’t as pretty as a picture or as peaceful as you read about, please remember this post. Remember that what you see and read online is nothing more than a little snapshot of a moment in time during one person’s day. It doesn’t represent all of the actual moments in the real life of homeschool (or any) family!
And if you need further proof, stop by my home any day unannounced. I’ll be more than happy to show you around. Just try not to step on that LEGO……….
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