I’ve been homeschooling my children since my oldest was 2 years old. I’ve come across many supportive people and a few not so supportive ones. Unfortunately, it’s these discouraging naysayers whose comments and questions linger the longest with me, most likely because I’m not usually snappy and sarcastic to strangers- so I often replay the things I could have said differently. Among all the questions I get asked, there are 3 that seem to pop up the most. Sadly they are also the most discouraging. Whenever I get asked these questions I try to think about how the Lord would answer them-so to accomplish this, I must go right to the Scriptures.

Question #2

“What about ‘YOU’ time?”

Believe it or not, another popular question I get is often this one…but it is usually phrased as a comment similar to this: “Oh I’d never want to homeschool! I start counting down to the school year the day summer vacation starts!” To a certain degree I can understand this way of thinking but it also saddens me that it seems that children have become a burden to their parents. Look, remember- I have 4 little ones so I get it. They are loud, fast, interrupt, want this, that and the other….even as I write this I have been interrupted for everything from juice to the need to find batteries for my son’s mechanical dinosaur! If anyone understands the need for a break it’s me! I have no real close friends or people I would trust with my babies nearby and my only family is almost 3 hours away on the border of the next state! So it’s just me and my husband in charge of the children 24/7….and he has the “luxury” of working outside the home 12 hours a day, 6 days one week, one day the next. If it’s not to the gym or running errands I rarely leave our home. That could drive a mama batty! I will admit there have been times I have entertained the thought of trying to save enough money up to send them to Christian school. Then I could have my 6 or 7 hours of quiet, have my clean house…maybe even…dare I dream, a job?! But then I remember my beliefs- that this home and everyone in it are my job… my honored duties.

Proverbs 31:27: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” KJV

In my case, the affairs of this household include my children’s education as well as how the place is kept up and running. Pleasing the Lord is of the most importance to me, and I don’t believe that sitting at the computer all day watching Youtube videos or texting idle gossip would be very pleasing to Him. My “me” time usually comes at night after the children have gone to bed. True it may mean sacrificing sleep- and if it’s a night where my youngest refuses to stay asleep or my son has his night terrors, well, then, it doesn’t come at all. But when it does, it’s in the still quiet of the night. That’s the time that I use to talk to friends and family online or to do my blogging. Sometimes I do my devotions or watch long anticipated movies. It’s even better when my husband is home. We make it a point to have our date night- which usually includes snuggling down in bed with Chinese take-out and that new rented movie. It’s something I look forward to every other week! I don’t need to stick my kids in school to get my time. And come summertime, I get a bit of a break in that I have no formal school to teach, unless my girls decide they want to get a head start on the coming school year.

See, when people ask me this question, right away my mind wants to ask, “Why bother having children if all you want to do is avoid them?” Between the school day, after school activities and parents’ jobs- it’s a wonder families spend any time together at all! Our dinner table never has less than 4 children and a parent sitting at it at any given meal time. I watched an episode of Wife Swap once where although every member of this one family were home for dinner every night, they ate their meals in a separate room in front of a television. That kills me. Again, why bother having a family if you don’t want to spend time together? Just stay single and alone. The Bible says that if I seek first God’s Kingdom, everything else- all the extra stuff- will be added. (Matthew 6:33)My decision to homeschool our children is my way of telling God that I value the gifts he has given me as a parent and a teacher and how I educate them is all to honor Him…so the extra stuff like my “me” time, God will take care of.

Maria Votto is a Jersey girl living in Spencer, WV. She is a devoted housewife and SAHM to 4 children ages 8, 5, 4 and 2 and in her limited free time she loves writing at her blogs The Heart of Ruth and 8 Years of Growth, baking healthy treats for family and finding ways to save money through couponing and making homemade products.