The following is a blog post that I originally published in January of 2016 on my Homeschooling for Lawyers Blog. One of the hardest things about current times is the inability to spend meaningful time, in person or otherwise, with friends. This post was originally published in a time of gratitude, but is being re-published in a time of longing and hopefulness. I have edited the post to reflect the number of years we have been homeschooling, but otherwise made no changes to the original text. These truths hold to this day.
I hope you enjoy this tribute to homeschool moms!
I have been wanting for some time to write some blog posts about some positive aspects of homeschooling that are less well known or anticipated when you are first starting out and feeling overwhelmed. I was intending to write one such post on the joy and beauty that comes with really knowing your children. However, this morning I had the opportunity to give a talk at a Statewide Homeschooling Conference about how to homeschool legally in California, and I ran into all sorts of homeschool mom friends, and so I felt inspired to write this post instead. I have some pretty amazing mom friends that are not homeschool moms, and I love them too, however this post is dedicated to the special friends I have encountered over the past 10 years, directly as a result of homeschooling.
I have previously written here and here, and probably elsewhere about the amazing friendship that exists with other homeschool moms. Yet, it is something that is so unlike any other friendship in life, that it is hard to quantify or describe.
A homeschool mom is a friend unlike any other, because she is truly your friend. Sometimes she is your friend even if your kids do not typically play together, because perhaps they are different ages or simply have different interests. Sometimes she is your friend and your kids absolutely love each other and cannot get enough of one another.
In either event, she is truly your friend, and is there to hug you and love you and greet you in person, and ask how YOU are doing, and how you have been, and what you have been up to you. Or she is there to receive your text messages about anything from complaining that the grocery store doesn’t have the right flour to getting just as excited about you for all the fieldtrips you hope to take in the coming year, most likely together.
A homeschool mom friend who you haven’t seen at a park day in months, and yet when she sees you at conference, or on a special fieldtrip, it is as though no time has passed at all, and she tells you how much you are missed from whatever particular group or activity you know each other from.
A homeschool mom friend knows your kids as well. She will email you class listings or activities or even articles about things she thinks your or your kids might be interested in. Or, if you’re really lucky, she might even pick up a little something from one of her family’s adventures or even a trip to the thrift store because she thought you might get a kick out of it.
A homeschool mom friend helps try to ease a tantrum that your 2 or 5 or 8 year old might be having, or help them get through an anxious time during a new experience or on a group fieldtrip. A homeschool mom friend offers to and does chaperone your older or younger children on a fieldtrip or at a park day so that you can attend to the others. She offers to help you in or out of your car when she sees that you are carrying lots of things or your kids are wanting to run in the opposite direction. A homeschool mom always has a bandaid, and a topical cream, and a homeopathic medicine, and kind words to meet a child who has a bee sting or a skinned knee.
A homeschool mom friend will help you find a sitter so you can go out on your wedding anniversary with your husband.
A homeschool mom friend appreciates that you have strong opinions and convictions, because she does too, even if you don’t share the same ones.
A homeschool mom friend will offer to come watch your kids when you go into labor if you can’t get ahold of your parents and it’s time to head to the hospital.
A homeschool mom friend won’t get mad when you text her 500 times in the middle of the day– just don’t try to actually call her on the phone. LOL.
A homeschool mom friend will offer to help proofread your blog posts, articles or drafts of legislation.
A homeschool mom friend will watch your kids so that you can speak at the state Capitol or hold a press conference, and she’ll help plan it too.
A homeschool mom friend is generous and gracious with her snacks, and says she doesn’t mind when your toddler eats all of her organic heirloom cherry tomatoes. She knows your kids like her snacks better than whatever you have packed, so she brings extra to the next park day.
A homeschool mom friend will ask if you want her to pick you up a coffee or tea too.
A homeschool mom’s child always offers to let your child ride their bike or scooter when she sees that your child is really wanting to. And her child rarely has difficulty sharing because he or she has a well developed sense of abundance and empathy, and understands the joy that this thing could bring your child. For this reason her child will likely always offer to share his snack or lunch with your child as well. And if her child is feeling uncomfortable or hesitant, you will reassure her that it is her child’s prerogative to not share, and you will explain to your child how this is perfectly ok too.
A homeschool mom always intervenes when she sees that her child is treating another unkindly or in an unacceptable way, and she expects you to do the same (which you do). Your child feels comfortable approaching a homeschool mom when he or she is having a difficult time getting along with her child, and the issue is always addressed.
A homeschool mom friend asks whether you would like her children’s hand me down toys or clothes, because she knows what sizes and developmental stages your kids are going through.
A homeschool mom helps you decide where to look for activities, family vacations, pediatricians, or even OBs (and doulas or midwives), and gives you an honest account of what her experiences have been there.
A homeschool mom pushes your child on the swing, eventhough she is also pushing her own, or she pushes them both on the tire swing. A homeschool mom always shares her chalk, or bubbles, or sand toys with your child if they ask or show interest.
A homeschool mom will post an article or fieldtrip idea or museum groupon on your facebook wall, if not by email or text. A homeschool mom will write on your facebook wall or message you to ask you to hang out or join them at a cool event, or just to tell you that they miss you, or how awesome you are, even if you just saw them that day, or even if you haven’t seen them for a year, or several.
A homeschool mom always remembers something you told them, even if it was while your kids were asking you something or needing you both for some reason and she couldn’t pay full attention to you.
A homeschool mom always has something meaningful to say about homeschooling and about her children.
A homeschool mom will bring you a casserole after you had a baby, even if you aren’t the closest of friends. A homeschool mom friend will bring a birthday present or new baby gift, even months after the event has passed. Sometimes a homeschool mom may even knit, crochet, or sew something for you. Sometimes even a whole quilt. The kind with the hashtag shapes in raimbow colors.
A homeschool mom friend won’t judge you for not being able to bring anything to her because she understands your chaos, and she loves you still.
A homeschool mom will share her experiences and advice, and keep it real when you share struggles you are going through. A homeschool mom will know someone else who has been through a similar experience and offer to put you
A homeschool mom remembers when her child was going through a particular developmental phase, or was being particularly limited in food choices or similar phases that have been challenging. She will let you know what she tried and what worked for her, or didn’t. A homeschool mom will recommend different groups on facebook or books she has read that discuss the issues you are working through.
A homeschool mom will always leverage her contacts to set up a once in a lifetime opportunity for your children.
There is really nothing quite like a homeschool mom, and I am so grateful to have the absolute honor and privilege of calling so many of them my friends.