Women Who Had It All

Twenty years ago, British journalist Valerie Grove decided to interview women who “had it all” for at least 25 years. She defined having it all as:

“…they had to have been married for more than 25 years and have had three or more children, as well as a brilliant career.”

She turned her findings into a book, The Compleat Woman: Marriage, Motherhood, Career – Can She Have It All? Her conclusion was that it was very rare for a woman to be able to successfully juggle a husband, children and successful career.

Now, a British newspaper has marked the twentieth anniversary of the book’s publication by going back and interviewing some of the women whose lives were chronicled in it to see if they think it’s gotten any easier to “have it all.” The very interesting (and lengthy) article is worth reading, but if you’re pressed for time, I’d like to share a couple of key points these women now make, as they look back on their lives from the vantage point of old age. Continue reading

Nobody Told Me That I Would Meet So Many Great People Through Homeschooling

Happy Mother's Day, Mother in Garden with Baby

When I was homeschooling, one of my goals was for my kids to find really nice friends. I’d had the experience of dealing with mean kids at school, and didn’t want my kids to have to go through it. And while we did have some great neighbors, I wanted my kids to have good friends in addition to their neighborhood friends.

They did make some really nice friends, which was great. But what I didn’t realize was that these kids would have nice moms, too. What a pleasure it was to hang out with people who understood exactly what my life was like! When we started homeschooling, many people thought it was weird. Some of my mom friends thought I’d lost my marbles because I wanted to have my kids home all day. But the homeschool moms understood completely.

Over the years, I’ve met many more homeschool moms through support group meetings, convention booths and workshops, and the Internet (especially my blogs). I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you all! I think homeschool moms are the smartest, nicest and just plain coolest moms there are  :)

I want to wish all of you a blessed Mother’s Day and also tell you how much I appreciate your friendship. I do think socialization is one of the best things about homeschooling, for kids and their moms. Don’t you?  ;)

Questions, I Get Questions…..

Every so often there’s a common thread in the questions I receive from homeschool moms.

That thread might be about getting teens to follow through on assignments, or how to handle friends and relatives opposed to homeschooling, or (in the most recent bunch) how to juggle homeschooling, homemaking and preschoolers without losing your mind.

Maybe the popularity of this latest topic stems from the fact that it’s February and everyone’s been cooped up indoors for months and they’re getting tired of it. But juggling the kids, the house and homeschooling can be stressful; how well I know that from my own experience.

Continue reading

Kangaroo Care

After having three healthy babies in a row, I’d gotten used to the idea of bringing a baby home a few days after his birth. So it was quite a shock when my fourth baby had to be transferred to a larger hospital, where he ending up spending almost a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

That was nearly 17 years ago, but I remember how hard it was to sit and stare at him through the plastic Isolette incubator as clearly as if it happened last month. Watching the numbers on the monitors go up and down, hearing alarms going off, freaking out when they were his alarms……it was a very difficult time for our family.

The best times were when we could hold him: gingerly of course, because we didn’t want to disconnect any of the lead wires attached to him. We could never do it for long because he’d get too cold and his heart rate would go down. It was so hard to let the nurse put him back in his little plastic box, which was decorated with photos of the siblings he hadn’t met yet.

How I wish there would have been something like Kangaroo Care back then*. I just read an article about this concept, written by a reporter whose baby was born prematurely. She got to “wear” her baby when she visited him in the NICU, and it made a traumatic experience a little easier on her and a lot healthier for him.

If you or someone you know ends up with a baby in the NICU, knowing that Kangaroo Care exists will be a real blessing to the baby and his parents.

*I also wish I could have known that, 17 years later, he’d be the healthy, feisty guy he is today :)