Our first year of homeschooling, I had a seven-year-old, a five-year-old, and a three-year-old, plus a constant struggle with depression partly rooted in a lack of spiritual growth. At this time, I found another Christian mom, with children my children’s ages, in whom I saw wonderful spiritual maturity. This other mom agreed to spiritually mentor me. For a year, we met together, did a Bible study, memorized Scripture, and discussed the practical aspects of our spiritual walk as Christian women. I was so grateful for the investment this woman made in my life. That year my friend’s children were in a Christian school, but the following year she decided to homeschool them.
Although our mentoring time lasted only one year, we continued to maintain a friendship. After a year of homeschooling, my friend chose to put her boys back in a Christian school. I can still remember her words to me that afternoon as I sat in her home, and she justified her actions, “Oh, Teri. I just want to be a mommy. I want to welcome my boys home in the afternoon as their mommy. I don’t want to have to be their teacher too. I just want to be their mommy.”
My Heart to be a Happy, Homeschool Mom
I recall driving home that afternoon in tears. “Lord, I just want to be a mommy too. I want all the happy, fun things about being a mommy with none of the difficulties.”
In my mind, I pictured my friend’s children coming home from school in the afternoon. She would have spent the day in personal Bible study, prayer, exercise, housecleaning, reading, ministry, sewing, and cookie baking. As the children bounced in the door, they would be met by a beautiful, smiling mommy. I was sure she would have taken a long shower and blown her hair dry too. The children would smell the freshly baked cookies and scramble for a seat at the table. There they would happily discuss the excitement of their day in school. Finally, they would head outside to play while my friend started supper in peace and quiet. I just want to be a mommy too!
As I prayed about my heart-wrenching discussion with my friend and my personal feelings about wanting to “just be a mommy” too, the Lord soon began to show me some things. He made me realize that my homeschooling lifestyle was “just being a mommy” in its fullest sense. As we begin a new school year, perhaps you are struggling with feelings of not wanting to tackle another homeschool year. Maybe you have even thought the thoughts of my friend when she told me she “just wanted to be a mommy.” It could be that this is your first year of homeschooling, and you are concerned about being both a teacher and a mommy. Perhaps your role as a homeschool mom has lost the joy it once had. Together let’s encourage one another in the direction the Lord has led each of us in homeschooling. After all, I just want to be a mommy!
Definition of a Real, Homeschool Mom According to Titus2
What does being a mommy really mean? Titus 2:4 tells the older women to “. . . teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.” Easily seen then, my role as a mommy is to love my children. Practically speaking, how is this done? Do I have more chance to love my children when they are away from home at school for seven or eight hours or when I have them home with me all day? The answer to this one is obvious: when they are home with me. By loving my children, I just want to be a mommy!
During those extra hours I have to “just be a mommy,” I can tell my children over and over again how special they are to me, how much I love them, how wonderful they are, and how blessed I am to “just be their mommy.” I have seven more hours a day to give them hugs, pat them, put my arm around them, smile at them, kiss them, laugh with them—opportunities to “just be a mommy.” The bottom line is, “I just want to be a mommy!”
What about the time we spend in homeschooling? Have I taken off my “mommy” hat and replaced it with a “teacher” one? I am taking the place of a teacher in a classroom in my children’s lives, but I am still “Mommy” in the fullest sense of the word. My mommy role as a teacher began from the first words I quietly whispered in each newborn baby’s tiny ear. Almost everything my children have learned in their young lives, this mommy has had a part in teaching them. Being an official teacher in our homeschool is simply an extension of this natural teaching relationship that exists between a mother and her child. Really and truly, I just want to be a mommy!
Reality of Being a Homeschool Mom and Teacher
I thought about what it meant to be a mommy teacher beyond simply teaching my children facts and figures. What teacher in a school loves their students like I love mine? What teacher’s main goal in life is to see their students grow up to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength? What teacher is going to cuddle a sick student on the couch, tucking that student in with extra pillows and blankets, while loving and consoling him through his misery? Hey, I just want to be a mommy!
Perhaps I should consider the time spent in disciplining or correcting my children during school hours. Maybe I am not being a “mommy” then. Once again Scripture assures me that this is part of my mommy role. “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Proverbs 6:20). My friend didn’t like to have to make her children do their schoolwork. Sometimes they cried about what they were to do for school and this was part of why she abandoned homeschooling in favor of “just being a mommy.” One of my most important “mommy” responsibilities is to prepare my children for life. If they face a difficult task in their school and choose to cry about it, this is my chance, as their mommy, to encourage them to pray about it, to put forth some effort, to try again, and to rest in the Lord. What opportunity these hours my children are home with me during school time afford. Wow, I just want to be a mommy!
Every day I have a choice set before me. I can look at my homeschooling with resentment and think, “Lord, I just want to be a mommy,” while sending my children away to school and doing what I want to do all day. I might think these same thoughts without acting on them but all the while wishing I could put them in school. It will still affect my attitude toward my children and my homeschooling. Alternatively, I can view homeschooling with rejoicing in my heart and say, “Lord, I am so grateful to just be a mommy. Thank you that homeschooling is part of the mothering I can give to my children. I know there are moms who want to homeschool their children but can’t. I know there will be difficult days for us as I homeschool my children. Yet, it remains with me as to what I will allow in my thoughts.” May we be mothers who relish our roles as homeschooling mommies. Let’s never forget, I just want to be a mommy!