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The one thing that saddens me most...

(120 Posts)
Colleger Sat 13-Oct-12 22:32:33

Is when my friends say they couldn't bare having the kids around them all day.

I don't deny that my boys can do my head in at times blush but what I do know is that I'm less patient and loving with them whenever they've not been around for a while and they come back. My friends talk as if they shouldn't have their kids at home, that they should give birth and then send them away for over half of their waking day once they hit four, or sometimes before. Yes, some parents have no choice but to say they can't bare it and it would drive them nuts to have them at home just seems so wrong. sad

In just over 100 years we have taught parents that we shouldn't tolerate our children being around us for more than a few waking hours each day. sad

lisad123 Sat 13-Oct-12 22:34:07

Had someone say that to me today and I don't HE, but had considered it for dd1 before we moved her to an indie school and I know if that fails I will HE. But then again in a weird one that loves school holidays grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 13-Oct-12 22:37:13

I'd be happy to bear my children around more than they are, but not sure I could bear knowing I was responsible for all their academic, pastoral, social and sporting needs during those hours. Maybe the comments are short hand for that?

Love them being around in holidays when there is no pressure to be doing anything but relax and have a nice time, but I don't think I could ever be a one stop shop for the whole bit, really.

Inneedofbrandy Sat 13-Oct-12 22:38:30

I don't HE and I know exactly what your friend means by couldn't have them around all day. I love the school holidays but I love them getting back to school to. I couldn't be all smiley and engaged with them, getting work done like a teacher I'd be to busy MNing

How do you afford to HE Iv'e always wondered this or are you a jammy cow with a luffly rich DH. grin

Colleger Sat 13-Oct-12 22:44:42

Darn spell checker - bear not bare!

We are fortunate, I admit, that one of us can stay at home but I know of plenty people on benefits who also HE.

I too was a parent who needed my space but it's amazing how naturally tolerant and patient one becomes when the option of childcare (school) is removed. I'm certainly no earth mum but I can see myself becoming one now that my natural instincts are allowed to come out. HE benefits the kids but I think it benefits the souls of the parents far more! smile

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 13-Oct-12 22:47:39

I think your friends are just being modest, or humble, or even complimentary to you, and in a way just acknowledging that they couldn't do what you are doing. Or else that they personally wouldn't want to, and are being self deprecating about why.

nancy75 Sat 13-Oct-12 22:53:10

Maybe they don't want to be rude and tell you want they really thing of he, so they make it lighthearted about themselves

Colleger Sat 13-Oct-12 23:04:34

I find that most people are very willing to tell us what they think of HE. It tends to be the ones who have no experience of it whatsoever and their views come from a place of ignorance.

I've been called brave for doing it. Is it really brave to have my child at home with me? I'm just saddened by society feeling that way. But I'll get over by tomorrow morning! wink

Inneedofbrandy Sat 13-Oct-12 23:19:26

Of course it's brave to HE. If he fucks up his GCSE's and A levels that on you. I think that's very brave.

Sparklyboots Sat 13-Oct-12 23:31:19

Of course it's brave to HE. If he fucks up his GCSE's and A levels that on you. I think that's very brave. Ahahhahahhahahhahaha. I'm planning to HE but think that if he fucks up any qualifications or exams, that's down to him.

Inneedofbrandy Sat 13-Oct-12 23:42:43

Not really Whoever educates whoever does have a huge responsibilty to ensure they learn what they need to learn. It is down to the time and effort educating kids/your dc. If you don't bother and they don't have a clue in the exams then it is your fault.

I don't have a problem with HE but like a dog I can't deal with that responsibility, and couldn't be arsed. Don't think thats anything to be sad about I'm just not kind of parent. I find homework a boring struggle.

ScarahScreams Sat 13-Oct-12 23:48:58

I also think it takes guts to HE. Your weak areas will become theirs. I would feel like crap if DD ends up being as awful in Maths as I am because I can't teach her past time tables blush

I am great at English and languages though.

Saracen Sun 14-Oct-12 03:38:51

<Trying not to get sidetracked by people's additional unfounded worries about HE>

Colleger, I agree that the widespread use of school and childcare is a factor in parents feeling it is difficult to have their kids around. When you aren't used to doing something it does become more difficult. My dh was born with at least as much patience and tolerance as I, and he really enjoys the company of children, but whenever he has sole charge of the kids for the day he is exhausted and frustrated by it.

But I think there may be other contributing factors. The main one which springs to my mind is the current paranoia about child safety, which leads many parents to believe they must be directly and closely supervising their children at all times. In previous generations it was more acceptable for parents to tell children "I'm busy and you're underfoot" or "You're annoying me" and follow up by pushing them out the door to play and not come home until lunchtime. Nowadays it isn't even the done thing to take the kids to the park without remaining continuously viligantly aware of where they are and what they are doing.

There's also the fact that childrearing is now considered to be an active pursuit whereas it once was considered acceptable for children to spend nearly all of their time playing with each other or on their own without needing frequent direct parental involvement and coaching about their behaviour. Parents used to be much more in the background, stepping in very occasionally to offer some guidance and only intervening when something went seriously wrong. It's stressful to feel that you've got to be meaningfully engaged with your children whenever they are with you. These days, if parents don't make time to read with their children regularly, they are held responsible for low academic attainment. If they don't stand over their two-year-olds teaching them to share, they are held responsible for later difficulties in making friends. There's a sense that you have to make good use of every waking moment to improve your children and help them lead fulfilling lives, rather than leaving them to get on with it and take responsibility for their own development.

So I think that when people say they couldn't bear to have their children with them all day, they aren't always meaning that they don't like being with their children. Sometimes they are meaning that because they have such high standards for themselves in terms of ensuring safety and promoting their children's development, looking after their children has become exceptionally hard work for them. It's a full-time job rather than an incidental activity.

...but I guess that is sad too.

MollyMurphy Sun 14-Oct-12 04:14:31

saracen, I think that is very insightful and I agree (as a working parent who feels this pressure very acutely and devotes every waking moment of free time trying to meet my parenting potential).

Colleger Sun 14-Oct-12 07:51:13

Yes, that is very insightful Saracen but still sad that parents feel they have to micromanage their kids lives or throw in the towel and send them somewhere else to do it. In reality though, not that much thought is given to it. We send our kids to school because that's what the norm is.

As for messing up their education, well that will be down to them and not me. I will be a facilitator, a tutor when asked, and I'll provide all the necessary equipment and opportunities at my resources. But you can lead a horse to water...

aliportico Sun 14-Oct-12 12:16:52

I have been tempted to reply that perhaps my children are just nicer than theirs ;-)

But yeah, I think it's more to do with imagining that it would be completely full-on all the time, and it's just not.

SDeuchars Sun 14-Oct-12 13:47:56

I think that home education gives the time for the parent not to feel that they have to be full on. Because you are around each other all the time, things can be done later, tomorrow, when we both feel like it, etc. If you only have weekends and a couple of hours between dinner and bed, then things can't be left to happen naturally.

Trills Sun 14-Oct-12 13:52:19

Different people have different personalities.

I agree that it sounds like they are trying to pay you a compliment - they are trying to say that you must be more patient than them (or similar).

But in reality some people enjoy spending all day with their children and some people don't. That doesn't mean that they love their kids any less, or even LIKE their kids any less, they just don't have the type of personality that enjoys spending all day with children.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 15-Oct-12 22:16:44

I have been called mad, brave, patient, and have people asking questions all the time.
The mad comment sort of bothers me as if its not said in jest (you can tell) it seems like the person is assuming that little or no thought went into your decision.
I love all the time I spend with all my dc whether home ed or not. I always enjoyed the holidays and never wanted them to go back. I could never understand parents who couldn't wait for them to go back, but as other posters have said. It doesn't mean they love them any less.

exoticfruits Tue 16-Oct-12 22:06:35

I would be surprised if we were all the same. I don't think it at all sad. Many women would go spare at home-they need the stimulation of a job.
I am the sort of person who needs time alone-I need some time completely on my own with silence.
If you want your DCs with you all the time that is fine-but it isn't 'better' -just better for you. (and possibly better for your DCs but possibly not-depending on their personalities).

morethanpotatoprints Wed 17-Oct-12 22:21:11


I see your point but H.ed needn't stop you from doing anything. I hear of quite a few who hold down jobs, spend time on their own, pursue hobbies and interests. There's no difference really. I don't think its healthy to spend all your time or dcs time together, everyone needs their own space. I manage to have silence quite often if I want it.

Colleger Wed 17-Oct-12 22:49:26

I disagree exotic. I used to be very like you. In fact I found the first few weeks of the holidays an absolute nightmare and I was so impatient with them. The more the kids are around me the more patient and happy I am and I never thought that possible.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Oct-12 07:39:28

I absolutely adored the first few weeks of the holidays- in fact all of the holidays- because I knew that it was a great time to just relax with them, not have to keep to timetables, not have to have the regular activities and not have to be 'educational'- it was the contrast that was so enjoyable and it wouldn't have been the same if it went on all year.
Once back in routine I liked the fact that we all did our own thing and that we could then appreciate time together again and everyone had their private space.
As a DC I certainly preferred my own life away from the home. I got on well with my parents and siblings, still do enjoy spending time with them, but being together all day would have been irritating. I think it is perfectly normal before you are 5 yrs to centre on the home but after that you increasingly need time away to make your own mistakes, find out who you are and the parents job is to give them roots and give them wings.

I would find a mother who wanted us around the entire time a bit of a millstone and a responsibility that I didn't want.
There never was a 'golden time' when parents kept their DCs with them for 24hrs a day.

Colleger Thu 18-Oct-12 08:10:00

But HE'ers are not with their kids all day and the social scene is fantastic for parents as well as kids. I've become friends with an HE'er and we are going to go on specialist cookery courses together - without the kids!

I'm confused that you think that HE'ers have their kids around 24/7.

Trills Thu 18-Oct-12 08:22:41

You like it - that's great.

Some people wouldn't like it, and they are saying that you are "brave" because they think you must be working hard and finding it hard, rather than finding it easier and more enjoyable than the alternative.

You are both doing the same thing. You are assuming that everyone would like it. They are assuming that everyone would not like it.

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