A funny cartoon makes the rounds every so often that depicts a homeschooling mom carting her child to an event and giving him an exhaustive list of things not to say or do.
The reason it's funny is because we've all done it.
What...you haven't? You mean you've never grabbed your child before he walks into a new homeschool gathering and said do not mention that we watch duck dynasty or that we butcher rabbits for meat or that we let you stay up until midnight!
I know that at least once in your homeschool career you've stopped at the door, bent down to your sweet child and advised them the other moms don't need to hear that your favorite song is Gangnam Style and we skipped church last week because we overslept and you don't know your multiplication tables yet and you and your father once played Minecraft for 23 hours straight!
Homeschooling moms can fall into a very sticky trap. We want everyone to think we're a certain type of family, even if we're not. We want everyone to believe we're a certain kind of mom/woman/person and that our kids are certain kinds of kids, even if its not true. We want to project the image that we're all Homeschool Mama Extraordinaire...even when none of us really are
Why do we do that?
What do we gain by pretending our life is something it isn't?
What are we helping by pretending to be people we aren't?
Nothing. Not one flippin' thing. And you know what's worse? When we aren't real, we're missing out on some of the most awesome, honest, helpful relationships we could possibly build in these tough, stressful homeschooling years.
Homeschooling is hard, and these other parents we're pretending around are the very people we should be honest with. These are the people who will cheer us on when we feel like throwing in the towel.
If homeschooling is real life, then we need to be real. That's the only way we will know who's really going to help us when things get really hard.