Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Society...

These ....


are NOT a nuisance.

This...

is NOT a problem.

She...


is NOT a hassle.

He...


does NOT drive me mad.

I am absolutely sick and oh so very tired of hearing negative remarks about children and young people.

Every school holiday I hear numerous parents openly telling their children that they can't wait until the schools return so they can get some peace and quiet.  I switch on the radio to hear the DJ saying that she "hopes the children aren't driving you too mad" and "Don't worry, just a few more days to put up with the children before the schools return - the end of the nightmare is nigh."

Why is this ok?

I have lost count of the number of negative connotations aimed towards my children when I have been in their presence.  I've had supermarket cashiers suggesting that I will be "relieved when the children go back to school" - despite those children just standing at my side causing me no stress or worry whatsoever, often these very same 'nuisance children' are even helping me to pack the shopping into bags and I'm thankful for their presence.

Callum has even had somebody openly say to his face that they bet his mum (ie. me) will be glad when he is 'out of her hair' and back in school after the holidays.

How dare they assume to know how I feel or what I want.  How dare they give my child, MY child, even an inkling that his mummy may not be happy to have him around.

I'm sorry if this posting offends anyone.  Actually, no I take that back.  I'm not sorry at all.  This is something I feel so passionately about that I'm going to stand high on my soapbox, waving my hands in the air, jumping up and down and drawing every bit of attention to me that I can, because....

CHILDREN HAVE FEELINGS TOO!!!

Children can pick up on negativity.

Children are affected by what is said (or typed) by those around them.

Children are not immune to how people feel about them.

Even throw away remarks can do damage.  How would you feel if you felt that you were just a problem, a nuisance, a difficulty, an annoyance, an inconvenience?

Do people not think that children may be sensitive to such sentiments?

They are.

Children and young people are human beings. They deserve the same love and respect from us adults as we would pay our good friends. Would we tell our best friend that we can't wait until they go home as we have had enough of them or they are driving us crazy?  No?  I'm thinking it would be unlikely.   Not even if they were totally doing our heads in with their whining and moaning, or constant chattering?  I know I wouldn't.  I would take deep breaths, and sit and listen, perhaps grumbling silently in my head.  I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings, make them feel awkward or upset them.

Don't children deserve the same trail of thought?

Negativity surrounds our children every day.  You only have to switch on Facebook to see status updates from parents whining about their children's behaviour.  Turn on Twitter and parenting forums to see feeds and threads scattered with harassed parents wishing an end to what should be precious time with their children.  School holidays are seen as a chore, a bother, an inconvenience by many.  Recent examples I've overheard or seen online include "I don't know how teachers do it, I can't believe they actually want to spend their days with children!" and "Thank goodness it's back to school on Monday, I can't wait to have time to myself again."

Even certain TV adverts suggest that all will be much better when the kids are back in school, telling parents that they 'deserve' to treat themselves to the product they are advertising as they have just survived (?!) the school holidays.  Even a FAMILY holiday advert puts forward the idea that their hotels are good ones because they offer a children's club throughout the day and evening, allowing parents time alone to relax knowing their children are catered for at all times, even offering a babysitting service throughout the night.  I thought the idea of a family holiday was to spend time with each other as a family....*sigh*

Time with children should be treasured.  It is a gift.  Their presence should enhance our lives, not hinder our enjoyment of it.

When I walk through town with my family, I am witness to many different opinions and feelings about children.  Some people smile readily at a little ones cuteness, passing comment on how happy or beautiful a child is, congratulating on good manners or behaviour. Other people tut and push past, seeing children as nothing more than a inconvenience to their day, huffing and puffing at the toddler in front of them taking their first steps in the big world.  There have been times when one of my children have opened doors for 10 or 12 people to pass through and not one single person has said a word of thank you.  There have been numerous occasions when one of my children have stepped into the road to allows others to stay on the pavement, or given up a seat on a bus, to receive a "I should think so too" look and no thanks.

This is not ok.

We shouldn't be treating children as second-class citizens purely because they are smaller in stature.

They have every right to be treated with the same sort of respect given to fellow adults.

Children should be welcomed into restaurants, not seen as a possible disruption to diners.  I'm not talking about the child that constantly screams and screams and screams, inconsolably, giving everyone a headache and completely spoiling a quiet night out.  I'm talking about the families, who want to spend time with their children and see taking them out with them as part of their life experience - their 'education' if you like.  We are so behind over here with our way of thinking about children in public places compared to many countries.  Take a child to Spain for example and you are welcomed almost everywhere you go, children are actively encouraged to stay out with their family, to dine with relatives young and old, it's expected.  Over here we are often shoved into 'family rooms' away from other diners, these rooms aren't up to the same standard of decor and have cheap furniture for seating.  You get the feeling they are expecting children to make lots of noise and make lots of mess so let's keep them out the way.

Sad.

Now, before anyone shoots me down in flames, I'm not saying I'm perfect.  I'm not for one minute saying that there aren't times I get frustrated, exhausted, annoyed, angry, upset and desperate for a bit of peace.  There are days when my children are bickering, when they seem to know what buttons to press to gain a reaction from another and continuously insist on pressing that button over and over and over again.

Yes I shout.

Yes I yell.

Yes I whinge and whine that I'm doing the third load of washing up that morning because the children are too lazy to wash up their own breakfast dishes (aiming this at the older ones here, obviously).  I get annoyed that something has been spilt and not wiped up (or me told so I can wipe it up), meaning there is some sort of sticky mess that has been walked through causing more sticky messes.

I'm a human being with limits, but...

I apologise for shouting/over-reacting/screaming/saying an un-called for remark.

My children know I'm human and that I'm vulnerable to all those human traits which curse us all at various times - tiredness, frustration, selfishness, short fuses, the list goes on and on.  But once I'm calm, we talk.  I apologise.  I think that's important for parents - we can show our weaknesses and own up to our mistakes.  But I would never make a comment that puts them down or questions their self-worth to others.  I would never assume that another person will be glad to be relieved of the burden that is their children.  I would never insist that another mother's life is going to improve wonderfully because their child returns to school.

I've said so much already, and I've not even touched on the remarks I receive from those that question why my children aren't in school.

I haven't yet mentioned the fact that time and time again I hear "What? Your children don't go to school??!!  Oh my, I couldn't spend all day every day with my children, it would totally do my head in/drive me crazy/send me mad."  This has even been said in front of their own child.  My heart feels a pang of pain as I think of what that child has just heard.

Just what message are we sending out to children within our society?

That they are often deemed as a hindrance.  That their presence outside of school is a burden, a problem, an issue that we count down the days to resolve.

No wonder family life is crumbling and children are turning to their peers for the support, attention and dare I say it, love that they don't feel they receive from their family unit.

Every child should feel as though they are valued.  Every day spent with a child should be special.  Yes we all have good and bad days, that is normal and totally ok, but we shouldn't be counting down the days until we have 'gotten rid' or telling others that school holidays are a nightmare.

I'm not for one minute suggesting that everyone should home-educate.  It certainly isn't a lifestyle that would suit all, just as the school environment doesn't suit all children.  I'm not accusing those that send their children to school as loving their children any less than those that don't - that would be horrendously judgemental of me.  Every family needs to do what is right for them, be it education wise, for financial reasons, or for sanities sake.

What I am suggesting is that we just take a moment to ponder how it must feel to hear that your mother or father is dreading the school holidays, or wishes the holidays would end as they have had enough of your company.  That can't be nice for anyone to hear can it?

79 comments:

  1. LOVE this post!!! not a truer word spoken!!! And TBH I'm looking forward to having my children (well the primary school ages ones) "under my feet" every day as we venture into the world of homeschooling!!! I'm anxious about it in a sense but that's mostly because of how I've been conditioned by society to have my children in school and not appreciate my time with them... This is a whole new adventure for us and I really REALLY appreciate this blog post, it's helped my resolve in many ways xxx

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  2. Well put. I get sooooooo annoyed when people comment to me "bet you can't wait till he starts school" as though my son is some sort of burden/problem/nuisance I can't wait to get rid of.

    I often wonder why some of these people had children in the first place!!

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    1. Thanks :) I know we all have days when we wonder why on earth we are putting ourselves through it, I just hate the way there is a large portion of society looking at children almost as a nuisance.

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  3. And so say all of us in the Rutherford family!!!!!

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  4. Bravo! Well said!

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Mama Hen :)

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  6. i really wish that i had written this! I am often out and about with my 6 children and it makes me so sad that the negative comments outweighthe positive 10 to 1.
    I spent the last few weeks of dd2's time at school trying to explain that children are just smaller people not a lower class, the teacher in question said that this was 'just the sort of view she woud expect from someone like me'. I was too shocked to reply that as a person who has chosed to work with children it should be her view too!
    Sorry i have almost started to rant...... great post thanks

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    1. I cringed at the quote from the teacher you mentioned - what an awful response!
      Thank you for reading and commenting cc :)

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  7. Great post, very well said! :D

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    1. Thank you Deb, I appreciate you reading and commenting :)

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  8. I loved this. Thank you so much for writing it.

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    1. And thank you very much for reading and commenting :)

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  9. Brilliant post!!! I am honoured to have been a part of my children's lives every single day. I have been there for every step, every smile and every tear and I've watched them grow surrounded by that love. I feel so very, very grateful and extremely privileged to be able to do so.

    I have often heard other parents in supermarkets and parks scolding their children with words such as "Can't wait until you leave home!" and "Thank Goodness it's school on Monday, so I can get rid of you!" and many more besides. When my children were smaller and we'd walk past such a spectacle mine would squeeze my hand just that little bit tighter in fear and whisper "Doesn't that other Mummy love her little girl/boy Mummy?"
    To them it's child abuse, and they couldn't understand why a parent could speak so cruelly to their child. As an adult, I have to say, I don't either.

    I whole heartedly agree with, 'Yorkshire Crafter' above and have often thought - Why on earth did these people have children in the first place!!

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I feel saddened too, which is what compelled me to write the post. I hate how it is almost the norm to hear such things, and how we just accept it. I don't ever want my children thinking that I don't want them around.

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  10. Oh my how I nodded and cried yes, I know, your right....all the way through this Wonderful post......Thank you :) xx

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Sue, so nice to know others feel the same xx

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  11. Totally agree with you. I've experienced the same and it makes my blood boil! What on earth are people thinking! Keep SHOUTING! I used to love it when the school kids were back on the scene and felt so sorry for their little souls when they all disappeared again in term time. I hate the resentment, even I could feel at a distance, coming off parents annoyed at having to look after their own kids for a bit. If I can feel it, imagine what their kids feel? Excellent post. BWs xx

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    1. Thanks Ross, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond :)

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  12. Wonderful post, Julia! Thank you x

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting :)

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  13. Babies are needy, if that bothers you get a dog! I saw that on a fb post the other day.

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    1. That made me smile - thank you :))

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    2. If only...my dog is needy too! When I spend time with Hannah, the dog gets jealous and asks to be picked up and cuddled! fortunately, I'm okay with people and dogs needing me :)

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    1. Thank you for reading and responding Heidi-ho :))

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    1. Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to read it and comment.

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  16. oh my goodness!!!!! jUST WHAT I THINK EVERY SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AS I LISTEN TO MY FRIENDS COUNTING DOWN THEIR CHILDRENS TIME AT HOME! Stop drinking that tea and telling them to go away! play with them, do something with them and you won't find them to be a problem, pain (insert your own word). These holidays i have found hard. i have been ill. i childmind and have 2 toddlers in the house. but i have not once wished them away from me! I love spending time with my boys. I sometimes wish they would not niggle at each other, that their behaviour was less boisteros. but then i go out, deal with the energy build up and we are back to being happy and lovely again!It was lovely to read someone saying what i think! Well done you. I often feel very alone in my feelings xx

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your comment with me, so nice to know that others share my views. I hope you are feeling much better now Pip?

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  17. Brilliant post, totally agree, my children have just started back at school this week & I feel like I've lost a limb. Yet as I dropped them off at school I over heard a mum saying " thank god that's over!" if I had the financial means I would definitely home school. Thanks for saying what I'm often thinking!

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    1. Thank you for reading and replying. I'm sure that some mums just say such things as it's almost expected. I know I used to hear lots of "thank goodness that's over" and not much of "oh I'm going to miss them!" Sometimes people say things to fit in - that's sad too!

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  18. Brilliant post, just commented & it's disappeared but basically thanks for writing what I am often thinking!

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    1. And thank you for commenting, it's nice to know that others think the same way :)

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  19. I am home educating my 3 children and tbh they do drive me crazy, do my head in, etc etc etc at times. Yes it is lovely having them home, and we have lots of fun and like each other's company most of the time.

    However, I also rather think I'd enjoy it if I wasn't with them all the time, I am not blinkered enough to find this unimaginable. Sometimes they drive me crazy (and vice versa). Sometimes I wish I wasn't doing this. Sometimes we get on each other's nerves.

    I think that to deny all of these normal human feelings is actually a disservice to a lot of home educating families and makes them hide their actually perfectly 'ok' feelings and put on this 'our life is fantastic every moment of every day' facade. Actually it's ok to say sometimes that your kids do your head in.

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    1. I totally agree Becky, which is why I have stated in my blog post that "We all have good days and bad days, that is ok", and that "Now, before anyone shoots me down in flames, I'm not saying I'm perfect. I'm not for one minute saying that there aren't times I get frustrated, exhausted, annoyed, angry, upset and desperate for a bit of peace. There are days when my children are bickering, when they seem to know what buttons to press to gain a reaction from another and continuously insist on pressing that button over and over and over again."

      I thought I had made it clear that we are human, and as such we are subject to human traits including lack of patience and short fuses.

      I am not for one moment saying that mothers and fathers should not be allowed to vent their feelings - but, perhaps they should do so without their children standing within earshot so they don't get the feeling they are being a burden, or an inconvenience. Perhaps the cashier in the supermarket should not be telling my child that I will be glad when he is back in school and not with me so I can get some peace. Perhaps the DJ on the radio should not be telling the parents that the nightmare of the school holidays is nearly over. It's accepted as ok because society accepts it.

      Just a little thought into how hurtful our words can be, those throwaway remarks can really sting and cause confusion. I have just seen too many crumpled faces to think that they don't.

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    2. Yes, sorry - I wasn't saying that you had been all 'my life is perfect' but reading a lot of HE blogs the 'down days' are never mentioned. I think it would be nice to read more rounded blogs, warts and all, that can make us laugh and feel a bit more 'we're all in it together'.

      I know why we write almost totally positive stuff, because of the fact that society is surrounded by negative stuff about HE and we don't want to feed that... but conversely, I think it can be a bit isolating for HE families... it's easy to think that you are the only one who isn't finding it all sweetness and light... do you know what I mean? Particularly in the early days of HE.

      :-)

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  20. Amen! Brilliant post, I completely agree. It makes me so sad when parents say these things.

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    1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to reply, it's great to know I'm not alone with my way of thinking :)

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  21. I agree and well put Julia! x

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  22. I don't homeschool (very lucky to have a brilliant village school 100 yards away that welcomes parents in the classroom all the time), but couldn't agree more with the article. I had my children because... shock, horror ... I like children! I like spending time with them and seeing the great adults that they are turning into. I love holidays - full of lazy days cuddling on the sofa, reading books, doing crafts and having adventures together. That's together ... with my kids.

    I have also committed that most terrible sin - actively liking teenagers. My son is 16 and is such amazingly good company. His friends are fabulous, too - funny, interesting and with a great sideways view of life. I love talking to them, and cringe whenever someone labels any of them as "****** teenagers". Give them a chance! And many of them (even the ones whose parents moan most about them) are polite and courteous to a fault when faced with an adult who treats them like an equal.

    We're all people. Just some of us are shorter than others...

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    1. Oh yes! Someone that shares my view and love of teenagers! Thank you for reading and responding, it's great to hear from you :))

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    2. Yep. My 11 year old dd is "refusing" to become a teenager. She's terrified she'll turn into what teenagers are portrayed as. She's terrified she'll become disconnected and disaffected, like the majority of institutionalized teens we know. I keep pointing her to our teen friends with attachment parents and the home Ed teens we know. They are just grounded sorts of people, not intent on wreaking revenge for the labels they suffer from and the disrespect they receive daily.
      I was astonished at the rudeness my courtious teen daughter received in the high street even with me there. People physically barging her out of doorways, scowling at her, etc. People have a heavy downer on them & expect them to return respect! I couldn't let it pass without comment.

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  23. Can't agree more - said as much to my husband last week when the floods of fb comments about sending the children away made me so sad. It is such a shame that as so many mums end up working that the 'norm' is to be away from the children not with them. What an incredible shame and a disaster for this country's family life. It is no wonder there are so many instances of anxiety, stress and depression amongst the young people. I feel so blessed to at least be able be home with my two. It is such an amazing experience no matter what moods we are all in. I don't want to change it for anything.

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  24. Can't agree more - said as much to my husband last week when the floods of fb comments about sending the children away made me so sad. It is such a shame that as so many mums end up working that the 'norm' is to be away from the children not with them. What an incredible shame and a disaster for this country's family life. It is no wonder there are so many instances of anxiety, stress and depression amongst the young people. I feel so blessed to at least be able be home with my two. It is such an amazing experience no matter what moods we are all in. I don't want to change it for anything.

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  25. I can't agree more - said as much to my husband last week when the floods of fb comments overwhelmed me and made me so sad. It is such a shame that it is the 'norm' for parents to work and be away from the children. No wonder there is such a high rate of young people with anxiety, stress and depression. It is a disaster for family life. I feel so blessed to at least be at home or out and about with my two no matter what moods we're in. I wouldn't change it for anything.

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  26. Couldn't agree more. Well said Julia.

    Ria

    x

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  27. Loved everything you have said... Mine have gone back to school but this holiday was the hardest holiday ever for me and our family. we own our own caravan park and we were a man down... whilst we normally have a few days of with the kids taking them to the pictures or bowling we were limited to walking the dog to the beach and playing in the garden i wished i could have done more... but i didn't have time and felt guilty that i couldn't spend time with them. They helped on site picking rubbish up helping dad getting pitches ready ???? I think my kids wanted to go back to school as they were working most of there holiday xxxx Erin

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  28. Wonderfully put; thank you for writing this post.

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  29. Excellent post. I hate it when I hear parents moaning about the school holidays. One of my FB friends was moaning about her kids in the first couple of days of the holidays. I just want to shout and tell them how bloody lucky they are. Unfortunately as I have to work full time, due to my DH's days at work being cut to 2 a week, I only get a couple of days off with my DD in the holidays (I book off the days that my husband works and he has her the rest of the time) I'd give anything to be with her for the full school holidays.

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  30. I couldn't have put it better myself. Well said Julia!

    Bizarre isn't it how society deems it acceptable to constantly put down the next generation, our own children, what does that say about society? and some folks think this is acceptable behaviour?

    Like you said I find the hardest thing is hearing parents speak this way with their children in earshot, I recently heard... 'its a double edged sword, one part of you wants to spend time with them and the other can't wait for them to go back to school" - so sad.

    I feel so privileged to be able to spend so much time with my children, they are a blessing and should be spoken to with the love and respect every human being deserves regardless of their age.

    And I have to add a BIG thank you to you for all your wise words and support when my family started out on our home-ed journey. We still get comments from family members, in front of the children, like 'you have your hands full' or 'don't you wish you got a break'. So many people don't get it. When you have a family isn't it about spending time together, being a loving unit. We've made a choice to home-ed and even if we hadn't why do children need to hear that its strange to spend time with their parents and god forbid it be friends with them as well..

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts
    Luv Gemma & co xxxx

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  31. Your blog post in amazing! It had inspired me to write something similar this weekend.
    I too get a lot of negative comments. With five unschooled kids in tow, the looks and words can become overwhelming.

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  32. I agree with everything you've said, but there's more. I home-ed my kids, who are both homebodies with zero desire to try school. Yet if I dare to suggest to some people I enjoy spending so much time with them I've been given the impression, more than once, that they believe I am clingy, holding my kids back and should get my own life!!!!

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    1. Yep. That's a definite implication I get too.

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  33. this is one of the reasons I took my boys out of school, I was the odd mum out who looked forward to the holidays, enjoyed picking them up from school and missed them whilst they were there, then i discovered home ed and havent looked back. I hate listening to the parents who have just minutes before picked up the children and threaten them with "when you get home your going to bed, ive had enough of you already" its so wrong, yesterday morning I was on my youngest paper round with him and this dad told his 3 small boys " if you make us late for school (ahem should it not be upto the parents to timekeep) I won't bother coming to pick you up tonight you can be all alone" I felt sick and angry, how I didn't comment I don't know.

    I'm so glad other mums want to be around the children as much as I do ( except when they are arguing!!!) great post, going to re-blog and share at www.heytherefancypants.blogspot.com hope thats ok x

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  34. Hi Julia,
    Thanks for the post. I completely agree that the way we speak about children at times in the UK is absolutely NOT OK. Your passion really comes across and is great for me to read. I don’t believe we should be apologetic for being cross about the negativity towards children we hear everywhere!
    My family used to live in Spain and I miss the attitude towards children found there – where men and teenage boys routinely take a positive interest in babies, toddlers and young children!!
    I also blog about kids and parents – a blog I posted today reminded one of my readers about your post and she signposted me to you!
    Here’s the post:
    http://www.beyondsupernanny.com/feelings/when-other-adults-talk-about-your-children
    It’s got info about how I dealt with the fallout from the negative comment a check-out assistant make about my kids and my relationship with them last week during the holidays.
    Hope you read it and enjoy.
    Samantha x

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  35. Absolutely, Julia! This bothers me so much. It's not ok.

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  36. Thank you for this. Here in the USA, we experience the same sort of attitude. I hear the same comments, "I could never spend that much time with my children, I would go nuts." So sad. I only have 18 or so years with each of my kiddos and it makes me sad. I would not want to spend my time with anyone else.

    Everything you said was completely true. I have noticed that here it is getting worse with restaurants and stores, eyeing a family of children with suspicion and annoyance. Interestingly, by the end of our outing, we more times than not get compliments on how wonderful and well behaved they were. So, I think this problem is two fold:

    People need to be more respectful and thoughtful of children and their feelings. Parents need to teach their children that they should behave just as politely and respectfully as adults. Thanks again!

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  37. My kids & I have so often heard the "I don't know how you do it. I couldn't ..." kind of comments. I just assure the cashier (it usually is one) that your relationship is very different when they are home more, you stay more connected. My eldest was in school, I say, and it's very different. (I used to be truly sad when she had to go back after the holidays ... It was a real loss of time together).
    My kids hear so many reassuring and enthusiastic responses from me that they really do believe that those folks are missing out and would feel so much better about their kids and themselves if none of them were institutionalized. :-)
    Good soap boxing.

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  38. It's so nice hearing someone in the UK express these sentiments. I couldn't agree more. Not only does that kind of attitude towards children harm them in the present, it carries on into the next generation. It simply has to stop! Thanks so much for posting this.

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  39. Well said! I'm not a home-schooler at the moment (we homeschooled one of our three school-age children for a while, might well go back to it in the future), but I agree wholeheartedly with your post. I enjoy the school holidays, love having everyone at home for that time. I relish the quiet, and the chance to spend time just with my youngest when the others are in school, but I most certainly do not rejoice when the holidays end.
    (I had to come over here and comment, after reading your other post about some of the contact you'd had as a result of writing this.)

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  40. I LOVE this post and feel exactly the same. Those kinds of comments are the norm where I live and it breaks my heart. My feeling is the complete opposite: I count down the days until school break! :) We are going to pull my daughter out of public school and begin our homeschooling journey this summer with TIME as a primary motivator -- being apart for so long isn't doing either of us any good. Thank you for this wonderfully well-said post!

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  41. Thankyou for this,

    The reactions you describe are exactly what I expeted when I took my daughter out of school nearly 3 years ago. And I know they are reactions a lot of people get.

    I've been extremely fortunate, in that I've met with almost universal acceptance and support for what we're doing - curiousity certainly, but I don't think I've ever met with anyone who has been hostile to my daughter being around.

    In fact the most common comment I get is "I wish I could do it/had done it"

    We're known around her now, and it's extremely rare to even get the 'No school today?' comment. But hearing other peoples experiences, I dread ever being in the position where we have to move to a new area!

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  42. i just found your blog,i only have 1 child and i'm looking into home educating her(thats how i found you)
    i have to say i completely agree with you 100%

    i am sad to read your subsequent post,thankyou for writing this and for blogging in general =)
    i've felt like such the outsider in my area as i dont want to throw my child to anyone to get a moments "peace"its nice to read about someone who feels the way i do.

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  43. Thank you for this post Julia, we hear this a lot too and its insulting to both my kids and myself.Even when my eldest was at school I hated the end of holidays. Not everyone who has kids at school has this attitude, its just "some" people who lack respect for parents and children. Sure we have days where there is stress and tension, sometimes the kids (or us for that matter) are going through an uneasy phase but still I would not want to swap them (or get rid of them for a while) for anything. Buts its not only School that's used like this, I knew a woman when my kids were little who had her babies in childcare at 6 weeks so she could sit home and watch Daytime Soaps!If you are going to do that then why have children? I really LOVED this post.It summed up a lot of how we feel.

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  44. your words are sooo similar to a rant i had on my blog months back when this whole issue really got me down...i applaud you for standing up for your children and not apologising for loving them...i shall certainly be following you more from now on!...sending you lots of positive thoughts and support x

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  45. I agree completely, because I've been that kid. My Nan would say "roll on monday" almost every weekend, and in the holidays when I complained about something or even just asked about something when she was in a bad mood I'd get "I can't wait until you are all back in school!" and it made me feel like I wasn't wanted at home.
    I'd spend almost all of my time in my room, because I never felt comfortable sitting downstairs with my family. I felt like I was just "in the way" and it made me feel awkward.

    I didn't start having a real relationship with my family until I left school, probably because I wasn't being told that they wished I was at school all the time.

    I don't have children of my own yet, but I've spent time with kids, and I could NEVER feel that way about a kid. Even when they are screaming or being awkward, I don't think "gahh I wish I your Mum would come and take you now!!" I try my best to make them happy because I like spending time with kids. I can't wait to have my own!

    As heartless as this sounds, when people say things like that I think to myself "well maybe you don't deserve kids, when there are people out there who would do ANYTHING to have kids, and you're wishing them away..." But obviously I don't really feel like that, I know they don't mean it... I just hate it when people say things they don't mean, because like you said, even non-serious comments are damaging.

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  46. Here Here !!! xxx

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  47. Awesome post! Thank you for so clearly articulating my own thoughts!

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  48. First time I'm reading your blog and I'm liking it a lot! Wise words! I'm a mum of 2,5-year-old and am thinking the option of homeschooling. Me and my husband have arranged our work so our little one doesn't go to nursery and I'm already having hard time from parents who have their kids in nursery (my little one will not know how to play with other kids, isn't as clever as the ones in nurseries and other rubbish). The only thing that worries me about homeschooling is though whether my lil one will have enough opportunities to make friends (as he is the only child and will be).
    Looking forward to have a cuppa and read rest of your blog entries now.

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  49. Thank you for writing this! As a mother of 8, grandmother of 18, married to the same man for 34 years so far, and one who home schooled all of her children for varying amounts of their education, this rings so true to me! I dearly love all my children, and my grandchildren, and feel soo very blessed! In fact, I love MOST people's children! :)
    Jennifer Cole
    Pennsylvania

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  50. Great article! As a mother of 8, mother-in-law of 5, and a grandmother of 18 so far, married to the same man for 34 years so far, AND one who home schooled all of her children for varying amounts of their education, this rings so true to me! I LOVE my children, I love my grandchildren! In fact, I love MOST children! :)
    Jennifer
    Pennsylvania

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  51. Yes I totally agree! Great post Julia :) x

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  52. Hi, What a great post, I've only just found you and am going to be home schooling our two boys as well so I look forward to devouring you're posts! When I go into our local shop without the boys sometimes I'm also met with, oh lovely you're out shopping on your own, or, you managed to keep the children at home then. It's as if my children are an inconvenience for me! Hmmmmm I always reply with a comment that ends with me saying I'm dashing home to be with them lol.

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  53. you have stopped talking.

    Please don't let these ignorant people quite your voice, they are a minority, the majority want to hear you shout.

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