Saturday, January 10, 2009

Homeschooling as a substitute for Marriage Counseling?

Mother and children.
Mother and children.
Day after day….mother and children.

I can’t prove that this is the case nor am I judging, stereotyping, being sexist or whatever label one might assign to it. I am only assuming that because in most households, the mother is still the primary caregiver, that most homeschooling households follow suit.

With that being said, How does the Hubby fit into the home schooling scenario? It’s an interesting question and one I can’t answer other than to share a little insight to the shifting dynamic in my relationship with my husband now that we are homeschooling.

He’s more interested in me!

Go Figure. I never could have predicted it. In fact, I feared the opposite. I have been an “egalitarian, career obsessed, business associate or partner to my husband for as long as I can remember. In the early stages of our relationship which began in college, I was pretty convinced he fell in love with me because of my “take charge attitude”, my entrepreneurial nature, and my chameleon like ability to morph into a number of business roles over the course of that time. I was a budding entrepreneur with potential to rise to the top of the corporate ladder with him. He was Harvard bound and would need someone like that at his side.

Two years ago, I informed him that I planned on “retiring to spend more time with the kids”. I essentially “kidney punched” him with this information. He was completely blindsided. He just didn’t get it. And in fact, for about six months he denied that he heard me say it even though I was very careful to follow up the verbal conversation with a certified email just to document the event and my intentions. (Our relationship was very “electronic” at that point in time).

Honestly, I wasn’t sure our marriage would survive my transition from glass ceiling breaker to home maker, but I also knew that our marriage would no longer survive our working together as business partners. I was at a proverbial crossroads--damned if I did, damned if I didn’t. There was nothing I could do but hope that I could reinvent myself as I had so many times in the past into someone he would still love, respect and revere while I followed my soul’s new calling.

Then we moved into a period I call “the dark ages”.

It seemed like ages. When two married people aren’t in sync, things can get very dark and time moves painfully slowly. For the last year, I would have to say I have been pretty uninspired and therefore, uninspiring. I haven’t been much of a wife because I haven’t been the person I am capable of being.

All during this very drab and listless time, I was trying to convince him that now was the time to start homeschooling. Slowly but surely, I built my case. I knew that my chances would be better if I enlisted the support of the children.

My husband is a “data guy”. So I had to compile the data and feed it to him in small increments that he could absorb. It’s not that he isn’t intelligent. He happens to be the most intelligent person I know. It’s just that he has the attention span of a garden hose with ADHD and a tendency to fall asleep as soon as he stops moving. So I have to keep the data bytes small, plentiful and perfectly timed—like incoming missiles. Once I had my children on board, which was surprisingly easy, I continued to feed him the data while my children tugged on the heartstrings. The three of us make a very powerful team in this regard.

Anyway, he agreed to give it a try. With that blessing, he had given me permission to unleash the tigress within. The passion and enthusiasm and drive that I had been withholding for so long are now fueling my new found “career”. I’m back, so to speak and my hubby noticed. He’s loving the new me which is really the old me he fell in love with.

And I came to a very important realization. It was never my career capabilities that he fell in love with. I made that up somewhere along the way in my own mind. It was my passion and drive when I get interested in something that he fell in love with. The other day he told me I looked different. He must have sensed the change in my aura. And he told me that our enthusiasm in the “classroom” is inspiring him to step it up in his life. He’s suddenly becoming the man I married and I, the woman he married.

Maybe homeschooling CAN be a substitute for marriage counseling. (And in California, it’s state funded)! LOL (I learned that from my kids).


  1. Kim, Lovely! Keep it comin'! You're a gift to your kids, your husband, your friends (including me, thank God), THE WORLD! I'm copying your lovely template, OK? xoxoG

  2. Very interesting perspective! We should start marketing that aspect at River Springs! LOL!