I recently watched this short presentation by Todd Wilson and was reminded again that it is so important for homeschooling moms and dads to spend significant time and energy building their marriage relationship. His message is one that should be shared far and wide and here are a few reasons why:
Homeschooling families experience many pressures other families do not have. Typically they live on one income, have long hours, days, and weeks with children who have many needs without much of a break and often without support from friends or family members. Moms, especially, are often isolated and lonely. They feel vulnerable, too, as well as responsible for everything!
The real or perceived pressure to perform from both inside and outside homeschooling circles can be overwhelming and the constant temptation to compare yourself with others can cause discouragement and even defeat. Sometimes that pressure comes from one spouse who places unrealistic goals on the other one, causing irritations with each other that lead to arguments and a break down of the oneness marriage is supposed to have.
Adversarial views of husband/wife and parent/child relationships set marriages up for failure from the beginning. For example, the common false teaching in evangelical churches that the woman’s curse in Genesis 3 means women will desire to rule over men can be interpreted that if homeschooling moms feel strongly about certain situations with their children, they have a hidden agenda when expressing it to their husbands! Children who express their different opinions are labeled as rebellious. All these things wreck havoc on marriages.
Sometimes homeschooling families think they are immune from relationship struggles (or that they should be) just because they are homeschoolers. So they ignore the problems, sweeping them under a rug. What would their co-op think? What would homeschooling friends in the church think? What would their blog readers think?
Also, sometimes people decide to homeschool because they have problems with their children and believe homeschooling will solve those issues. What actually happens is that once you are all together in the same place at the same time, the issues that might have once been hidden all spill over onto the middle of the family room floor and you will be forced to deal with them one way or another. If you don’t want your problems brought to the surface, homeschooling is not for you!
Todd mentions seeing couples separate and divorce once their children are homeschooled and gone from home. I have seen this as well and it breaks my heart. Rather than putting energy into their marriages through 20 and 30 years of parenting, they thought they could wait until the children were grown and they were wrong!!!
Please don’t let this happen to you! Consider NOW how you can invest in your marriage for the coming golden years!!!!