So according to my last post, you must all think I just abhor being at home with my kids. And yes, I won't deny that somethings I have only one nerve left and they can twang it like a banjo string, but that doesn't change the fact that I wouldn't have it any other way.
First, I actually do enjoy being at home with my kids. I enjoy running errands with them, reading to them, watching movies with them. Having the older ones help me in the kitchen to prep dinner. And usually it's quicker without their "help", but it's quality time. Annamaria always bustles over and "helps" me put away the dishes from the dishwasher every morning. And really, who else could put up with Harrison all day, every day? I don't get extended periods of "me time", but I get a little here and there. A couple hours when Vince is out and kids are asleep in bed. A "Girls Night Out" with some friends. And I've been lucky enough for a weekend or two in Vegas with my mom, which I always thoroughly enjoy. But I don't have a need to escape or "get away" from my kids.
Second, I'm grateful to not have to pack my kids off to daycare every day. I'm proud that none of my kids have had to endure daycare for even one day. And I know there are some good ones out there, but I'm just not that trusting when it comes to my kids. Fifty to sixty hours a week is just too much time to be in someone else's care. And if I did work (outside the home, because let's face it, this is no vacation), I'd just have to turn around and hand over my paycheck to the daycare providers anyway. What's the point? And my kids hardly ever get sick. They're not bringing home every little germ and sniffle to pass on and spread around. The incidence of sickness greatly increased in our house when Sophia started attending school at St. Mary's.
Third, I'm very very grateful that I don't have to schlep off to some office or lab everyday, deal with traffic, a hellish commute, and spend the majority of my day with a bunch of people I would really rather not associate with if given the choice. I can watch "The Office" and laugh, because I don't have to live it anymore. I don't have to play office politics, or deal with the socially inept. All of their insecurities, power trips, and arrogance. Not that I'm excluding myself from those attributes, but now no one has to put up with mine either. Except my kids. And if I worked (outside the home) all day, I'd have to come home and fix dinner, do laundry, and clean the house anyway. Honestly, I don't know how all those working moms get it all done.
Fourth, I enjoying home schooling Sophia. And I plan to continue to do so until it's not working. For either her or me. I do not have set plans for how long that may be. We'll play it by ear. But for now, it's working out great. I do want her to have the experience of attending school, especially the High School years can be so much fun. But for now, she's just too impressionable, and has this need to be accepted. Unfortunately she doesn't always pick the nicest girls that she wants that acceptance from. I'm sure when she's a little older, and has a better sense of herself she'll have a more discriminating palate when it comes to choosing her friends. At least I hope she will. I would like to avoid the public school system in at least the elementary level, if not in Junior High too. We'll see where we are when it's time for High School to make that decision. And as far as private school goes, it's a mixed bag. She had the best teacher/experience ever in kindergarten, but 1st grade was a complete waste. And $500 a month is just too much money to be wasting with sub par teachers and standards that are not kept. We're friends with a few couples out here who send their kids to the Catholic school, and to be honest, I'm not all that impressed with their kids behavior either. I can home school for $500 for the entire year, versus $500 a month. And the next time someone makes derogatory remarks about home schooling, I have just the piece of paper to wave under their nose. Sophia got her California Achievement Test results back, and she kicked ass! My child scored in the 99Th percentile. She rocked with a 100%. 220 questions, all answered correctly. 220 baby! And this was not some subjective score that I assigned her based on what I observed. This was a standardized, #2 pencil, fill in the bubble test that was submitted for scoring. And her final report card for the year contained one B+ in a sea of A's and A+'s. And that one B+ was in Handwriting, a grade that I assigned her. ( I just thought she could do better if she would not be so lazy. Hey, I'm a tough teacher, I have high standards.) So music, PE, and handwriting grades were assigned by me. Every other grade was based on class work, and quarter tests that were submitted for scoring. She earned her grades based on her own hard work and effort. And I think that CAT score stands on it's own. The proof is in the pudding. (Can you tell those disparaging remarks really frosted my muffins?)
So yes, there are sacrifices. And it's not all wine and roses. We don't have an unending working budget, and we don't take fancy vacations to far off and exotic locations, but we're happy. We're well fed, clothed, have access to much entertainment, and a roof over our heads. So the next time I'm griping, it's just that. I'm just griping. And since I'm at home all day, and don't have to worry about that drive home, I can always start drinking early in the day if I feel the need. It's always happy hour somewhere, right? Just kidding! I usually wait until at least 3pm. Ha ha, just kidding again. Sea breeze anyone?