Don't presume...A (polite) Tirade to Impolite People

7:01 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
I am a Christian, home schooling, stay-at-home, biblically submissive wife and mother to six children, although we would welcome any more God choose to give us with happy hearts. There. I said it. What is it about that statement that upsets so many people?

As such, I have to contend with a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions on a daily basis, and although I must be polite, I don’t have to let it passed un-noticed. This is for all those women like me who were raised, or chose as an adult, to be ladies, not divas.

Don’t presume that I’m fanatical because I home school my children. Although, definitions of fanatical differ wildly between individuals, I assure you I am most definitely NOT crazy. I treasure my children, I treasure their ability to be children and I refuse to allow them to have their innocence stolen by strangers who don’t care a whit about them or their education as long as they keep their funding. (And yes, I do know that there are teachers who DO care, but the system and the people running don’t!) I refuse to have my girls objectified and taught that their worth is in their bodies and not in their minds. I refuse to have my boys grow up into perpetual children because ‘boys will be boys!’. Boys will be boys, but my boys will grow into men!

Don’t presume that my children are brilliant and I’m superwoman because I home school our children. It’s not my fault that my children know who Dionysus, or Alexander, or Brutus was and your’s don’t. It’s not my fault that my children read Shakespeare and your’s don’t. It’s not my fault that my children can appreciate a masterpiece by Delacroix and your’s can’t. It’s not my fault that my children understand natural processes and the scientific method and your’s don’t. It’s not my fault that my kids are eager to learn and your’s aren’t. I teach my children these things… what do you teach yours?

Don’t presume that I’m weak and stupid because I submit to my husband. I can strip down an engine and rebuild it. I can build a house, including wiring and plumbing, from the ground up. I can break a wild horse. I can milk a cow, and a goat, for that matter. I can plant a field and drive a tractor. I can run heavy machinery. I can wield a chainsaw like nobodies’ business. My husband bought me a new ax and a hatchet for my birthday last year and I was thrilled. I have my own set of tools, and they are not pink. I can slaughter a chicken, and dress out a deer. I am an excellent marksmen, with a rifle, handgun, and bow. I am college educated and graduated top of my class. I am well-read, well-versed, and well-spoken. Does that sound weak and stupid to you? I submit to my husband, not only because God demands it, but because he's an amazing man and deserves it.

Don’t presume that we only eat gross or bland food because we eat kosher, or that we can‘t enjoy eating out. Especially if you’ve eaten in my house multiple times and keep coming back for more! We eat well. What’s more than that, we eat healthy. And our choice to abstain from pork, and follow other dietary laws, doesn’t make us kooks, it makes us, US. Oh, and do you children voluntarily choose healthy (kosher!) food over junk, and does your husband and his friends spend hours raving to people they meet about what you cooked for dinner last night? Do you have people beg you to cook your ‘specialty’ for them? No? Mine does and people do. Don’t dog my cooking because I don’t season everything with pig fat.

Don’t presume we’re horrible, strict, mean, or abusive parents because our children behave, have chores, and are held to high standards. It would be completely unacceptable if my husband went to work, did half the job, shoddily, was rude to his customers, and knocked off early because he didn’t feel like working- why should I treat my adults-in-progress as if they are not capable of completing a task without getting distracted or without conducting themselves like brats all the time? I understand each child at each age has limitations, and I expect them to fulfill their potential at that age and ability. Ever wonder why your kids like spending time at my house and actually behave for me when they are hellions for you? Maybe because I don’t let bad attitudes and bad habits slide by ‘because it’s just a phase’- I expect, am given, and GIVE respect! Hard work is rewarding, and completing a job an amazing feeling. Remember, what you learn as a child, you are as adult.

Don’t presume that I’m lazy because you stop by unannounced and my floor needs mopping, my kitchen is a mess, and my kids are dirty. We live here. Our home is not a stop during our daily business, or an inn to sleep in: We love, learn, play, explore, create, experiment, work, study, and embrace life here. Try having 8 people in your house all day long and see if it still looks like a model home. If it does: kudos to you! But most likely, you’ll be pulling your hair out and shouting at everyone to clean up the mess. We clean, and we work hard, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to limit our children by making them stop in the middle of being knighted by the queen for slaying a terrible dragon to have them pick up the blankets and toys they strewed out during their adventure… it can wait until they finish their game! It doesn’t bother me, and if you couldn’t pick up the phone before you left your house for a head’s up, you shouldn’t expect anything less.

Don’t presume that because we live at home that we don’t have lives, friends, appointments, and places to go or are at your very beck and call because we home school
. If my best friend has to schedule an afternoon out with me almost a month in advance, and always calls to make sure we‘re home and available, what makes you any better? We will always genuinely welcome guests and help out those who need it, but don’t assume that you can call on me to run your every errand or visit you everyday of the week. Education, for one example, is not a joke, and it doesn’t spontaneously, somehow magically, appear in children’s heads, even in home schooled children‘s heads. We are too busy to have to deal with your misconceptions, and have too much on our calendar to let you waste our time.

Don’t presume we are geeky because we home school or are home schooled. We most definitely aren’t. We aren’t afraid to be ourselves. We know how to express ourselves, converse with people, and we are not bound by societies notions of ‘cool’. And in case I’ve missed something that makes us very cool. We aren’t afraid of being ourselves, whether it’s spending an entire afternoon at an art museum or hanging out with bikers. My children are dancers, cheerleaders, and soon-to-be football and baseball players. We ‘fit in’ and ‘hang out’ with everyone from Mennonites to professional sports players to actors and singers to scientists to missionaries to regular folks off the street. We are not shrouded by cliques or controlled by peer pressure, but if that makes us geeky… so be it.

I could go on and on, but in the interest of time, yours and mine, I’ll leave it there. I hope I’ve not been too rude or straight forward, but if I have, maybe it will make you think before you begin to judge the next person you meet who is like me.


Oh, and I have to add: Yes, they’re all mine AND my husband’s. Yes, we know what causes it- why do you think we have so many? And Yes, we’re glad it us and not you too.

Peace Out.


Anonymous said...

THIS WAS A SUPER POST!!!!! Excellent. I love it. And I loved to find you eat kosher! Woot. :)


Justin said...

Well I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Stranger to stranger this made my day. Awesome! I sent it to my wife who does the heavy lifting with respect to daily instruction.



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