Originally Posted by thinkingmom
The current culture we are in has a lot to do with burning AP moms out. The point was made that if you choose to homeschool, then you choose to tax the nuclear family. Why is that? Because we live in a culture where we have lots of support and help for being detached parents. We can have others watch our kids (public school, daycare, etc) others grow and cook our foods, etc... Choosing to grow our own foods and cooking "taxes" the family! Because no one is supporting a lifestyle where we all do it "right". I don't think it is right that in order to keep my sanity I have to wean off my kids and choose not to homeschool and that I need a therapist and a massage to be normal! What is this life for anyways? It just might be that if we lived in a different way, with real support or real community then we would be healthier without the need for "me" time.
Here's the reality - mom is home trying to meet the needs of kids and herself and husband, and basically she can't so someone or everyone is getting run down. In one possible ideal case - 2 or three moms get together with their kids of various ages, they all do some schooling or unschooling or whatever in the morning (crafting, gardening, preschooling, doing science, whatever) and then some enjoy chatting while cooking while others (maybe younger kids) are playing outside (all close by and watched) while laundry is getting done as well. Then everyone eats together and they go home for naps! Another possibility - A mom lives in a neighborhood or group (intentional community) where others are all living similarly, there we again find that the people meet on a daily basis for love, work, support, and companionship. They grow foods and cook them (working together and separate/dividing and sharing responsibilities). Anyway, possibilities are endless! Here is a link of a more detailed and realistic example of this real "support" or community I am talking about.
We're living a culture where that's not what most people do. There were all kinds of people supporting each other and helping at the school ds1 went to. That's where the "tribe" is. If someone living in a tribal situation chose to teach their children differently than the way the tribe was doing it, do you think they'd be doing it with a bunch of support, or do you think they'd be on their own? Homeschooling isn't doing it "right". It'd doing it the way we choose to do it, for our particular families. There are a bunch of families right here in my complex who do a lot of this kind of trading off. I'm not interested in participating in that, except in an emergency, because I'm sick of my kids being told off for going barefoot, not having a jacket (in the warm rain), etc. If I'm not involved in the various trade-offs of childcare, etc., then why should they go out of their way to accommodate the ways my life is different than their lives?
There are people who form intentional communities and do these things. (I wouldn't, because it would drive me more bat-crap crazy than what I'm doing right now. Different strokes and all that.) How many people talking about not getting any support for a decision to homeschool are out trying to form an intentional community? There are a few...but there are a whole lot who aren't doing that, too. Since I chose, and continue to choose, to live my life in a way that's different from the vast majority of the people around me, I'm pretty much on my own. The kind of scenario you mention above puts me on someone else's clock all the time. That doesn't appeal to me. It doesn't sound supportive. It sounds stifling. To each their own. But, I choose to live the way I do, and turning around and complaining about the lack of support from people who make different choices makes no sense to me. I live in the culture i live in, and if I'm doing things in a way that doesn't work for my family (including me), then I need to figure out what changes are necessary to make things work. For some people, that may mean forming an intentional community. Personally, I'd rather have a root canal. I live in a nuclear family, and I like it that way...but the context of all my life decisions is within that nuclear family.
In any case, the OP has to make whatever decisions work best for her. But, the bottom line is that whatever our AP (or other) ideals may be, we have to live in the world we live in. In that world, we're making our choices (most of us) within some variant of the nuclear family - one or two parents, with however many children - and if those choices don't work within that context, then it's going to take a lot longer to change the context (certainly worth working towards, if one sees that as a desirable goal) than it is to change the dynamics within one's own situation. In the case of unmet needs and burnout, support for AP, homeschooling, etc. is largely a theoretical consideration. The world isn't going to change to suit those who'd rather live in a more tribal environment, and burnout can't be cured by wishing for a different context.