“I’m so tired and confused
Ain’t got nuthin to lose
But my blues, my blues, my blues…”
Sometimes I get the homeschool blues – and it’s not just me. A lot of homeschool mums talk about the loneliness of homeschooling.
Everyone has different lonely issues. For me it’s a feeling of being a bit disconnected rather than not having any friends. Easily done in a big city.
In London as a single gal I was too busy to be lonely. Throughout my 20s I worked 3 jobs and when I wasn’t working I wandered the city like an enthralled Dick Whittington. When I got engaged me and my fiancee moved to Jakarta, Indonesia for a year, the blues began – feeling disconnected from reality, feeling depressed without understanding why. It started again in Lagos, I used to and sometimes still feel like a ghost wafting around the city. Few notice a ghost, much less miss it.
Working helped. I then joined a couple of organisations. Firstly the Nigerian West Indian Association and then Nigerwives (foreign wives of Nigerian men). Both have given me a kind of community to belong to, a social safety net although we don’t skip down the street singing Kumbaya.
‘My blues, they comfort me,
Shroud me, hold my hand
Soothe my insecure heart because they understand’
Homeschooling has been another shift. It asks a lot of you and the grass often looks greener on the other foot. Joining schooling mothers in their education anxiety looks like a fun social activity – especially if it includes cupcakes and herbal tea and you feel like you’re part of a special shared experience – the first day, first performance, first sports day tears etc. The birthday parties, the knowing smiles at Saturday football.
My kids aren’t lonely yet, but sometimes I worry that they will be. They have a lovely set of kids that they know and are close to – almost cousins. There’s enough to do plus extra curricular activities, church if I can get a car (that’s a long story – let’s not go there) and we still go to playgroup once a week even though my son is usually the oldest there. But sometimes I see how enthusiastic my eldest is (still!) about school and wonder if he’s missing out. He remembers his nursery very fondly and when we go for our piano lessons in a local school he loves the glimpses and sounds of other children – he doesn’t want to leave.
All in all homeschooling is great, but you do have your dog days. Times like this I find blogging helps to put things in perspective. I have the happiest boys in the world. People always remark on how happy they are and always laughing. They don’t have time for the blues.
Worn out shoes
And bad news
My blues, my blues, my blues…