Women who home educate have chosen, in a very loud and clear manner, to take responsibility for the education of their children. Additionally, we have chosen to guide them into adulthood with the goal of them becoming, well, adults. Not only adult as defined by age, but actual adults who no longer behave like adolescents.
Sure, there are times we struggle with letting them grow up. It's hard! For a zillion different reasons, it's hard. And sometimes we hold on too tightly. That may be due to fear on our part, or sadness that this all-defining aspect of our own lives is changing, or perhaps we don't even realize we are still holding on. It is possible to believe you have let go of something only to look down and see it still tightly grasped in your hand. But for the most part, I think homeschooling mothers are working to get their children into adulthood in the proper time frame (as in, they behave like adults when their birth certificate reveals they are legally adults).
Sippy cups and diapers are quickly replaced by college applications and FAFSA forms. Life moves on. Kids grow up. And moms, we need to grow up, too.
Yup, I have more wrinkles and a whole head of graying hair. That part of growing up comes very naturally for me. My question for each one of us, myself included, is this: Am I allowing my children to grow toward adulthood without any guilt or manipulation on my part? Ouch, that smarts a little bit....
The thing is, it's really difficult to pour all of yourself into the homeschooling lifestyle and then one day just....stop. It is really, really hard to step back and let go as they become who God created them to be. It's the end of an era, and it can feel like the end of our identity. Because we're not just moms, we're homeschooling moms. When the kiddos grow up and leave, our job, so to speak, leaves with them. It's empty-nest syndrome on steroids! We're now unemployed and unable to "mother". Yikes!
Bear in mind it is very healthy and completely right to let go as God leads. Remember, we are training up the next generation. God has good plans for each one of our children. He also has good plans for us as we move from one phase of life to the next.
Didn't Solomon say there is a time for everything? How right he was. If you are in a time of transition, of letting go, of hanging up your homeschool hat and preparing for your empty nest, cling to Jesus. He knows how hard this season is for you, and He will be faithful to help you navigate these new waters with His peace and love to be your guide and your comfort.
Seek His will for your life even as you continue seeking His will for your children's lives. He will help you to let go when you need to, and even in the letting go, He will never let go of you.
For His glory alone we homeschool.
Day 342 done :)
Jan L. Burt