25 October 2011

i give up

I think I'm about to quit.  Homeschooling, that is.
At least in part - only one child has been threatened with an appointment at the local elementary school (on Friday).  And I'm not bluffing and I don't care anymore.  Friday is my deadline for something to give.

My whole being is burned out right now.  And no, I cannot take a break - there is no break from the people who have me worn out, whether schooling or not.

I feel like a quitter - but I don't care.  And I'm not posting for moral support....just to say what is as it is.

I have had too many weeks, months - and now years - of incessant arguing over what I ask someone to do.  This year we've added a whiny voice to the mix and I'm a bit too preoccupied with the one who really gets belligerent to give her what she really needs and explain the work to her.  Hardly her fault.  But my patience is shredded by the time I can sit down at her desk.

Burned out?  Try a hollow cavern.

Here's the catch.  I'm getting angry at my God.
I completely believe my kids need to be homeschooled.  I do.  And I think He has asked me to do it.  I love so many parts of it and have such huge aspirations and dreams and . . . . the reality just crumbles like a sandcastle when the ocean waves close over it.  I have truly reached a point where  my responses to the attitudes are not what I want them to be.  It makes me sad.  And mad.  And angry.

I'm angry because I know this is the best option.  But I have poured out every single thing in my being for so long that there is nothing left.  Not a drop in the bucket.  There have been heart-rending times in the past year, and while that's not where we are today, it's still an uphill battle to an extreme.  It's not about getting the work done - that happens when he finally sits his tail in a chair and stops arguing - and he does it well. But the fighting beforehand about why we do certain subjects or how we do them or if we do them or whether it can be a half day or a day off or skip a subject - there is no end and it takes up my morning.  Even if I ignore it.  Or punish it.  Or send him out of the room.  And then the whole crew is miserable.

I'm angry because I need a break.  Not a mommy's night out (though they help a lot usually), and not even a mini-vacation (as phenomenal as that would be) - I need time with my almost-four year old who is getting in more and more mischief, and I'm guessing he needs the fighting to stop and a little more loving - something I'd be happy to offer if I wasn't about to crumble by lunch time.  I need time to snuggle my almost-one year old before her baby moments are gone forever.  I need time to be more hands-on with and explain math and phonics to my eager 1st grader.

I'm angry because I cannot figure out another option to keep him homeschooled without destroying our relationship permanently.  Because that's what I'm afraid of.  I'm afraid that in 8 years he will walk away and be so glad to never return.  I'm afraid I will ruin our relationship forever.  My mom mentioned that when he was little, we were so close. That drug my heart to my toes - I miss my little boy.  I'm not talking about the changes that will come with growing up - I'm worried about how he sees me.  When he yells he hates me, sometimes I think it's mutual and we both mean it.  Just for that moment.  My heart is breaking.

So I want to keep him here and homeschool him.  But I'm not willing to do it at the cost of our relationship and the detriment of the other kids - or my sanity.  It's not fair or acceptable for him to need 90% of me and the other people in the house split up the remaining 10%.  And I can't afford a tutor, or one of the supplemental options like Classical Conversations (that would require me 100% anyway), or the other places that have classes once a week even if they're cheap.

This leaves me challenging the Lord to find a solution that I cannot fathom.  Not a small one, not a temporary band-aid, not a patch - a real solution.  By Friday.  That is three small days.  I've told my son he needs to step it up - that he can change the outcome of Friday's decision with dramatic attitude adjustments.  So my child and my God - they are the only two people who can make me keep him home.  And I see him trying.  But it's not there yet.  His glass has been half empty his whole life.  I need it half full.

And I don't even want the public route.  It brings dread of all the teacher calls, the notes home, the millions of problems that always came up when we did this before.  I don't have energy for that any more than I do for this.  I feel like I lose regardless.  But maybe those few hours a day for my daughter will at least help her. 

No, I don't think it's right.  I think it could be an awful decision.  But I am past that.  I will forge ahead if something doesn't give (so feel free to pray - I'm in a pit and can't climb out).  Every single fiber of my being wants something to change so I don't have to follow through on Friday.  I cannot argue with him any more.  I can't.  It's been too much for too long - I know that partly it's a cycle that starts every single fall and gets deeper and worse until spring decides to peek around the corner.  But I cannot wait that out any more and it's depressing me.  I need it to change.  Now.


Hannah said...

Oh wow. I don't know what to say. Except that I do understand. I don't think my situation is quite so dire, but believe me, there have been many moments when I really questioned whether I was supposed to be homeschooling a particular one of my children ( you know which one). I know that bind -- not at peace either way. No great solution on the horizon. Feeling frustrated with the Lord for not showing me one.

Praying that you will have peace like a river, and that joy will come in the morning.

Liz said...

You are not alone. What a difficult decision to make - and it seems like the control is yanked out of your hands. I am in that position with my stepdaughter, and I have just had the most angry time of my life the last few months realizing that it is totally not in my control. I don't have a solution for me or for you, and it is really a hard thing to trust in God about it too. I am not afraid to admit that. But - He is still able, and He is still on His throne.