Mom the Dictator

How did you feel when you were all done with homeschooling?

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Mom the Dictator

I kind of hesitate to ask this, but was anyone depressed? After 16 years, I'm finding this a huge transition -- I guess it must be like retiring from your career.

A friend says she thinks I'm grieving. I do feel like I'm kind of immobilized, not sure what to do next. I'm 59, have been out of the work force for 16 years, have no idea what to do next. Really need to bring in some income but just paralyzed about looking for anything. I have some mobility issues and it would have to be a job where I could sit down. I'm considering offering private art instruction for homeschoolers, since I taught so many art classes for our co-op and really enjoy that. But I'm hesitant to see if anyone would be interested, and afraid I'll just lose money at trying to start my own business.

Since graduation I have also had a rough time relating to dd. She is pulling away from me and trying to be her own person, and that is normal, but we've been so close that it's really hard. (In reality, I think I'm pulling away from her too.)

So -- anyone else have these issues when you were done? How did you manage?

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the geographer

I'll get back to you in a year. :)

 

Right now I just want to be done. Little Sis's junior year didn't go very well for a variety of reasons and I really want her senior year to be better but she and I tend to butt heads so I don't know how it will go. I'm looking forward to retiring from being the homeschool teacher. I'm ready to move on but I have no idea right now what I'll be moving on to. Like you I'll need to get a job and dh and I have tossed around ideas for self-employment but haven't come up with a keeper idea yet. Since Little Sis is taking a class at the cc this fall I'm hoping to spend some time on me, maybe volunteering, maybe working on ideas for employment, so that come next summer when both girls will be gone working at camp I'll be able to ramp up whatever plan I have.

 

I hope someone who is actually retired, like ZooRho, will stop by and answer.

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Merry

I've thought and wondered about this myself--I still have one year to go, but even after graduating my oldest, I started to feel myself transition and think about "what next."

I do work from home now and will continue that, but beyond that...there are a lot of things I could consider. I could bump up to working full time or closer to it (might need to anyway!). I could do more volunteering with church. I could tutor. I could spend more time writing.

One thing I have thought is that I don't want to jump right into something new. I want to give myself time to transition, if that makes sense. As you said, it's like ending a career, and there is a sense of loss. I think that's only natural. I don't want to jump quickly into something new and skip over that transition and leave myself lurching, you know?

If you like art, that would be something fairly easy to add in though. Good art classes are always seem in demand. (I say "good" only because I remember the one bad experience we had, where the "teacher" mainly had them practice drawing lines with crayola markers...not really creative or inspiring and really no new techniques taught--it was odd! But we've had mostly good experiences otherwise!)

Pray, give yourself time--I don't think it's an easy transition, and there can be a lot of identity wrapped up in it too. It's career, hobby, interests, social connections, professional connections, parenting...all rolled up into one when we homeschool. I find myself some days saying I'm ready to be done, and other days feeling the huge loss that's coming too. I don't think it can be glossed over or the changes rushed through--but I pray God will lead and guide you in new ventures.

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Countrymom9

I'm already thinking about this too, still with four years to go. I will be 70 then, probably too old for many jobs, though I'll probably try if my dh (who has multiple myeloma that is not fully responding so far to chemo) is still alive then. That way he will be able to retire. 

 

Otherwise, if I am able I'll probably work with Literacy Volunteers or volunteer in a school if I don't need to work. Or I might offer my services to one of the young and overwhelmed homeschool moms at my church.

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the geographer

Merry, you always have such wise things to say. I think taking time next summer to transition would be nice but for me, the reality is that both girls will likely be working at camp again so I'll be home alone. After my experience this summer with that I think I need to take this year to figure out what's next so that when next summer rolls around I've got a plan to keep busy. I can't have another "lost summer" which will bleed into the fall if Little Sis ends up going away to school.

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northwestmom

I'm suddenly down to one student after years of having more, plus he's a reluctant student, plus the other kids are leaving home/driving/maturing too. I've taught them to be mostly independent with school so suddenly I don't have much to DO. I have a lot of conflicting emotions, missing the old days with littles excited about school, while still feeling the need to finish strong, when I'm tired. And I really need to get a part time job after not working for 30 years. There's a lot of transitions in store. I think the transitions can be good for us, to keep us thinking and active and growing. But it's not necessarily easy.

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doxa

I'm "retiring" from homeschooling this year too, though there is one child (Mario -13) left "in the nest".  It is a time of many transitions.  DD lives far away now, DS just married and moved away, and now we are stopping the homeschooling, so Mario will be transitioning too, and I will be faced with an empty house  (during the day) for the first time in years.

 

So yeah, I think there is real grief because there is a shifting of roles (and the mom's role becomes less obvious, though it is still important) coupled with loneliness and that "what now?" feeling.  I do believe there is a LOT of grief if what I'm feeling (crying at random times) is any indication.

 

As Merry said, I think you need some time.  I hate to see you finish homeschooling and light into yourself with "I have to figure out what to do next right away."  Why not step back and ask yourself if there are any areas of yourself as a person that have been put on the back burner while you were homeschooling?  Maybe you would like to take some art lessons yourself instead of leaping into teaching or starting a business?  For me I know there was never enough time to exercise and it took a physical toll.  I'd like to have some time to spend focusing on recovering my health through more activity.  I might like to actually read a book.  So maybe you could just take more time to care for yourself, rediscover your own needs and interests... and perhaps a new job direction will grow out of that, but in a more natural, peaceful way.

 

As to the distance thing with the daughter who is graduating -- I remember that being the roughest stage I ever went through with my DD.  I think she almost needed to push me away in order to separate a little (because we were pretty close and that made the impending college separation harder) plus she was also feeling worried and insecure about her future, which made her snappish.   It's just a phase.  Try not to take it to heart.

 

I hope that you can rest awhile, take care of yourself, give yourself time to pray and to think, and God will show you where He wants you next.

 

I'm so glad you posted.  I think many of us feel that way.

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4arrows

I'm starting to move into this phase myself.  We're going into our 14th year of homeschooling this fall, and I'm down to my last student.  Pookie-pie will be a junior, but in reality this will probably be my last year officially hsing.  He will probably go to the community college full time his senior year.  I've had people ask me what I will do when I'm done with hsing, and it leaves me rather bewildered.  I've had my head down, focusing on the task at hand for years.  I've never looked up to see what comes next down the road.  I'm wondering how I'll react when this job is done.  Perhaps that year that ds is at the cc will be a time for me to start transitioning and figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.  I have had a bit of sadness or nostalgia that this is the last year I'll be hsing.  Another part of me is thrilled that we are almost done!  With the health issues I've had over the past few years, I've been getting burned out pretty quickly.  I think what we are feeling is probably very normal and we should allow ourselves the time to transition, as others have said.  I'm thankful I have this year with ds.  He asked me to read aloud to him again this year, so we are doing Core 300 together.  That will be a good way to end our hsing journey.  

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Mom the Dictator

Wow, I was kind of afraid to admit that I'm depressed (although I know it's safe here on these forums to share such things), but I guess I hit a nerve -- so grateful for all the responses here. Finishing homeschool is a big transition, I think much moreso than if I had a public school graduate. One of the things I've been feeling strongly is that I've invested so much time and effort and money into my kids, and I'm just not liking what I see in them as they become adults. Feeling like a failure in a lot of ways, actually.

Some of you encouraged me to take time to transition. I've already been transitioning for the last year. Dd did all her senior year schoolwork at community college and graduated with 25 credits of basic general education requirements under her belt, plus some art and music. She is so gifted creatively in so many areas but she rejects my perspective on this and just says there will be no employment opportunities after college if she goes into graphic design, which I know is her passion.

Some of you mentioned health issues. (Doxa, I especially appreciated your post because it sounds like you've been right where I am! -- especially with health issues and the snarky teen pulling away.) For the last couple of years I so wanted to quit but knew we couldn't -- we HAD to be "finishers" instead of "quitters" -- I said this to her every year when we got so far behind we wanted to quit. I was so tired all the time and then started experiencing shortness of breath and chest discomfort, which I chalked up to the stresses of life, being overweight and out of shape and not taking care of myself. In February of 2015 I had a cardiac catheterization done and they found a heart artery that was 99% blocked. So I had a stent installed and went through cardiac rehab and lost 35 pounds on Weight Watchers. Last summer was the best time of my life that way -- exercising regularly, eating right, taking care of my health. My cardiologist called me a "poster child." Now I've slipped back into not exercising due to mobility issues -- bursitis and sciatica in my hips and leg. I've gained back almost half of the weight I lost. I'm depressed and need to get back into the swing of taking care of myself but it seems so hard now that I'm not in an exercise or weight loss program. Having some heart symptoms again and it's scaring me.

As for school last year, I knew something had to change big time, so that's when we decided to go the community college route. Dd has serious performance anxiety and is a perfectionist -- she got straight A's but if it wasn't 100% she felt like she was failing. She started having panic attacks. I took the stress off of me and put it on her, which really is where it belonged anyway (it's her education, after all) -- but I truly think she's harboring anger against me for it, even though for her own future it was a good thing. She asked me if she could take a gap semester or year before deciding about college, and I'm fine with that, I did the same thing. She's working now at a local cafe and enjoying it, but she knows she doesn't want to do that forever. I'm happy to give her time.

And to top all THAT off, not only did we graduate, we also left our church in June due to a lot of issues which I'm still trying to work through. (I think that's another post.) I don't even feel like I CAN pray lately -- haven't been going to church anywhere and feel so burned out. So I'm going through a spiritual crisis at the same time as the transition from homeschool.

My whole life is a mess right now, physically, emotionally, and spiritually -- no wonder I'm depressed!

Thanks for listening and responding! I appreciate all of you. I hope your final graduation is easier for all of you than it's proving to be for me.

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Mom the Dictator

I thought of a couple of other things --

About the art -- thank you to everyone for the encouragement there. I would love to go back to college and get an art studio certificate (I have a BA in Art History already and by God's grace have been teaching art as mostly self-taught with a 7th grade studio education so I often feel pretty insecure there!) but I don't see that in the financial cards right now. I may be able to swing a painting class at the community college, though -- we'll have to see. That is a do-able thing I could do for myself and I'll talk to dh about it.

Also, to Countrymom9 -- thank you so much for your reply. The idea of homeschooling for 35 years simply staggers my imagination. Kudos to you and I'm so sorry about your dh, hope he begins to get better very soon. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate too.

And to Merry, I haven't been around much on these forums much lately, but I've followed a lot of your posts over the years and appreciate your good perspectives.

Again, I do appreciate all of you! Thanks for sharing.

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doxa

Wow, I was kind of afraid to admit that I'm depressed (although I know it's safe here on these forums to share such things), but I guess I hit a nerve -- so grateful for all the responses here. Finishing homeschool is a big transition, I think much moreso than if I had a public school graduate. One of the things I've been feeling strongly is that I've invested so much time and effort and money into my kids, and I'm just not liking what I see in them as they become adults. Feeling like a failure in a lot of ways, actually.

Some of you encouraged me to take time to transition. I've already been transitioning for the last year. Dd did all her senior year schoolwork at community college and graduated with 25 credits of basic general education requirements under her belt, plus some art and music. She is so gifted creatively in so many areas but she rejects my perspective on this and just says there will be no employment opportunities after college if she goes into graphic design, which I know is her passion.

Some of you mentioned health issues. (Doxa, I especially appreciated your post because it sounds like you've been right where I am! -- especially with health issues and the snarky teen pulling away.) For the last couple of years I so wanted to quit but knew we couldn't -- we HAD to be "finishers" instead of "quitters" -- I said this to her every year when we got so far behind we wanted to quit. I was so tired all the time and then started experiencing shortness of breath and chest discomfort, which I chalked up to the stresses of life, being overweight and out of shape and not taking care of myself. In February of 2015 I had a cardiac catheterization done and they found a heart artery that was 99% blocked. So I had a stent installed and went through cardiac rehab and lost 35 pounds on Weight Watchers. Last summer was the best time of my life that way -- exercising regularly, eating right, taking care of my health. My cardiologist called me a "poster child." Now I've slipped back into not exercising due to mobility issues -- bursitis and sciatica in my hips and leg. I've gained back almost half of the weight I lost. I'm depressed and need to get back into the swing of taking care of myself but it seems so hard now that I'm not in an exercise or weight loss program. Having some heart symptoms again and it's scaring me.

As for school last year, I knew something had to change big time, so that's when we decided to go the community college route. Dd has serious performance anxiety and is a perfectionist -- she got straight A's but if it wasn't 100% she felt like she was failing. She started having panic attacks. I took the stress off of me and put it on her, which really is where it belonged anyway (it's her education, after all) -- but I truly think she's harboring anger against me for it, even though for her own future it was a good thing. She asked me if she could take a gap semester or year before deciding about college, and I'm fine with that, I did the same thing. She's working now at a local cafe and enjoying it, but she knows she doesn't want to do that forever. I'm happy to give her time.

And to top all THAT off, not only did we graduate, we also left our church in June due to a lot of issues which I'm still trying to work through. (I think that's another post.) I don't even feel like I CAN pray lately -- haven't been going to church anywhere and feel so burned out. So I'm going through a spiritual crisis at the same time as the transition from homeschool.

My whole life is a mess right now, physically, emotionally, and spiritually -- no wonder I'm depressed!

Thanks for listening and responding! I appreciate all of you. I hope your final graduation is easier for all of you than it's proving to be for me.

 

(((Hugs to you!)))  No wonder you're struggling!

 

May I be a "bossy pants" (to steal Chel-C's vocabulary)?

 

First of all, I would really like to see you get back to your doctor, pronto.  If you are having cardiac symptoms again, you cannot afford to ignore them.  Please pick up that phone and make an appointment.  Your family loves you and doesn't want to lose you.  

 

On the pain/immobility/reduced activity -- it is a vicious cycle for lots of people.  The more it hurts, the less you want to move, and the less you move, the more it hurts.  I have some significant osteoarthritis in both my lumbar and thoracic spine, spinal stenosis, and a bit of scoliosis.  There is a very old-school, thorough, wonderful rheumatologist who has been overseeing my case.  I just went for a checkup this week.  He told me to basically try to not take pain meds any more (I don't take them often at all, but when I need them I really need them) because doctors are getting pressured to not prescribe them.   I knew that, but as he was talking, this voice in my head was saying, "Moving is really going to be your only answer."  When I move, it helps.  The physical therapy exercises help.  

 

Do you have physical therapy exercise you can do for the sciatica?  Are you being treated for that pain?  I hope you will pursue that and get some exercises on board.  If you can get that problem under control you will be able to get walking and that should help overall.  You don't have to put yourself under pressure to join a gym, just even a 30 minute walk every day could do wonders.  It will also help with the depression (exercise really does help) and as an added bonus, you could even use that time to pray!

 

What a wonderful job you did with WW!  So you know you can do it!  Lots of people regain some and have to start over.  If you liked that program, you could go back to it.  The feeling of control and success you could have might get you feeling positive again.  Or you could try something different if you felt that it was tough to sustain.  My Fitness Pal is a great app that lets you count calories and log activity without the hassle of points.  Whatever you're comfortable with.

 

As for prayer -- pick a few prayers that mean something to you -- and try to just say them.  Read them if you have to.  You don't have to feel anything - God's love for us is so much deeper than anything we can feel or even say on any given day.  As you go through your day, you might even try the "Jesus Prayer" tradition -- "O Lord Jesus, have mercy on me."  Just that.  He hears and there is power in His name.

 

It is traumatic to leave a church.  DH and I have been struggling mightily with hard feelings over some things that have gone on at our own parish and we have considered leaving too.  Just yesterday I  after begging God for help with these hard feelings, I realized that there is no perfect pastor, no perfect people, no perfect me.   Part of my own walk with God is going to have to mean forgiving over and over and over, which is especially hard when the pain runs deep. The hurt feelings and anger have been wounding my own soul, making it hard to pray, and forging my own bonds.  So we have decided to stay.   My hope is that if we stick around and ask God for the grace to learn to forgive, we might become even closer to the One who forgave when it hurt Him.  Of course I don't know what happened in your own church or why you left or if you could change your minds, but if it is too painful for you to be there (and I understand that - we've had that experience too) -- then I would encourage you to put the effort into finding a new church.  We were made to pray both individually and corporately.  

 

If you want to talk more about that you can feel free to PM me.  (I was once an ordained pastor, back in the day.) 

 

Oh, on the art.  No need to pressure yourself to go back to school!  I was just thinking that if there were local classes, you might enjoy them.  My stepmother is a talented artist.  She is under so much pressure taking care of my dad - but the one thing that really helps her is if she can carve out time to paint.  I made arrangements for her to take an Orthodox icon painting class.  It did wonders to alleviate her depression!  Maybe you practicing your own skills would help too. 

Edited by doxa

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HannahB

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Edited by HannahB

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Mom the Dictator

(((Hugs to you!)))  No wonder you're struggling!

 

May I be a "bossy pants" (to steal Chel-C's vocabulary)?

 

First of all, I would really like to see you get back to your doctor, pronto.  If you are having cardiac symptoms again, you cannot afford to ignore them.  Please pick up that phone and make an appointment.  Your family loves you and doesn't want to lose you.  

 

On the pain/immobility/reduced activity -- it is a vicious cycle for lots of people.  The more it hurts, the less you want to move, and the less you move, the more it hurts.  I have some significant osteoarthritis in both my lumbar and thoracic spine, spinal stenosis, and a bit of scoliosis.  There is a very old-school, thorough, wonderful rheumatologist who has been overseeing my case.  I just went for a checkup this week.  He told me to basically try to not take pain meds any more (I don't take them often at all, but when I need them I really need them) because doctors are getting pressured to not prescribe them.   I knew that, but as he was talking, this voice in my head was saying, "Moving is really going to be your only answer."  When I move, it helps.  The physical therapy exercises help.  

 

Do you have physical therapy exercise you can do for the sciatica?  Are you being treated for that pain?  I hope you will pursue that and get some exercises on board.  If you can get that problem under control you will be able to get walking and that should help overall.  You don't have to put yourself under pressure to join a gym, just even a 30 minute walk every day could do wonders.  It will also help with the depression (exercise really does help) and as an added bonus, you could even use that time to pray!

 

What a wonderful job you did with WW!  So you know you can do it!  Lots of people regain some and have to start over.  If you liked that program, you could go back to it.  The feeling of control and success you could have might get you feeling positive again.  Or you could try something different if you felt that it was tough to sustain.  My Fitness Pal is a great app that lets you count calories and log activity without the hassle of points.  Whatever you're comfortable with.

 

As for prayer -- pick a few prayers that mean something to you -- and try to just say them.  Read them if you have to.  You don't have to feel anything - God's love for us is so much deeper than anything we can feel or even say on any given day.  As you go through your day, you might even try the "Jesus Prayer" tradition -- "O Lord Jesus, have mercy on me."  Just that.  He hears and there is power in His name.

 

It is traumatic to leave a church.  DH and I have been struggling mightily with hard feelings over some things that have gone on at our own parish and we have considered leaving too.  Just yesterday I  after begging God for help with these hard feelings, I realized that there is no perfect pastor, no perfect people, no perfect me.   Part of my own walk with God is going to have to mean forgiving over and over and over, which is especially hard when the pain runs deep. The hurt feelings and anger have been wounding my own soul, making it hard to pray, and forging my own bonds.  So we have decided to stay.   My hope is that if we stick around and ask God for the grace to learn to forgive, we might become even closer to the One who forgave when it hurt Him.  Of course I don't know what happened in your own church or why you left or if you could change your minds, but if it is too painful for you to be there (and I understand that - we've had that experience too) -- then I would encourage you to put the effort into finding a new church.  We were made to pray both individually and corporately.  

 

If you want to talk more about that you can feel free to PM me.  (I was once an ordained pastor, back in the day.) 

 

Oh, on the art.  No need to pressure yourself to go back to school!  I was just thinking that if there were local classes, you might enjoy them.  My stepmother is a talented artist.  She is under so much pressure taking care of my dad - but the one thing that really helps her is if she can carve out time to paint.  I made arrangements for her to take an Orthodox icon painting class.  It did wonders to alleviate her depression!  Maybe you practicing your own skills would help too.

Doxa, thanks once again. You can be a "bossy pants" anytime -- once again, this was helpful.

I did make an appt with my cardiologist, I was supposed to see her this month anyway. I'm afraid she will scold me. She is actually very nice but firm. I'm obviously not doing the things I should be doing and I'm also not taking a cholesterol medication she prescribed because I just couldn't afford it. Also, I found out another cardiologist in the practice no longer prescribes this medication because it doesn't work, so I need to ask her about that. I see her in 2 weeks, not sure I can get in before that.

I know I can lose weight but it's so hard to keep up with a diet. Getting started is the hardest part. WW really worked but there were things I didn't like about it, so I've been working at devising another diet based on a plan I was on before. Dh wants to diet with me (all of us in the family need to lose weight, actually) so I have lots of support. I just need to start tracking my food again. Oldest son has been doing this and not much else, and he's lost about 20 pounds this summer.

As for exercise, yes, I have PT routines I can do. I also have a lovely recumbent exerbike that is just sitting unused. I have absolutely NO excuse. I need to start with babysteps. I'm just afraid to get on the bike because of the chest discomfort. And I feel bad that our dog isn't getting walked right now because of my sciatica -- I love to walk her and you're right, just a 20-30 minute walk every day helps. My cardiologist says we should work toward 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, that's a 30-minute walk 5 days a week. (Part of the reason I was okay about getting a dog is that I heard so many people say their dog was their exercise program, LOL!)

I might just PM you about the church or maybe post about it. I'm actually in counseling about it but our whole family has been affected by this church and my 3 kids are now refusing to go anywhere for church. I feel like I can forgive on my part, I certainly don't want to be bitter or harbor offenses, but when all 3 kids are hurt, it's harder. Still, it's knocked the wind out of my sails and I can't get enthused about going anywhere right now.

It wouldn't pressure me to go back to school, I'd love to do this. There are many opportunities in our community for art instruction but some of them are really overpriced, in my opinion. We have 3 colleges in our county and I think the community college would do just fine for a few classes. But wow -- painting Orthodox icons -- that sounds SO cool. Where do you find such a class? We have a Greek Orthodox church in town. Although I'm not Orthodox, as an art historian, I love early Christian, medieval and Gothic art -- maybe I could just do something like that on my own.

Off topic, but did you ever read The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden? It's an old book (1967) but I remember reading it when I was a kid. (My mom loved Rumer Godden.)

Anyway, thanks again for the encouragement, I do appreciate it.

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Mom the Dictator

Just wanted to say thanks to HannahB. It does take time to transition but I think I've taken more than I need, LOL. Time to actually FIND a job!

I've talked to dh and we've discussed teaching art. I think I'm going to just make a list of all my lessons and devise a business plan of some type for how I'll teach private lessons. Then we'll go over it again and I'll see if there is interest with my homeschool group. I only need to work PT to bring in some cash.

In the meantime I think I'll get a fresh sketchbook and start drawing again. I encourage you to do those enrichment classes. If you are interested in gardening, as you mentioned, you could try purchasing a course from the Great Courses, I know they have some on gardening and cooking too. Relatively inexpensive on sale and you can watch them at home at your own pace.

Thanks again, hope you can find something to do just for yourself. As moms putting out all the time, we all so need this.

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Gilead

I am not quite on my last year, but definitely my last student is quite ready to work mostly on her own and I need to find something to do with myself. I'm turning 60 this year also. I have 2 kids in college living w/me, but they're never home except to eat and leave their clothes in the dryer.

 

*Fitness (I hate fitness) -- I need to walk a mile or two every day....or we have a lovely unused elliptical machine for rainy days. I think if I have the motivation a local yoga class might be good for me.

*Weight (I hate diets) -- Losing weight would help the diabetes, not to mention the fitness stuff. Sigh.

*Money (I would love to have more money) -- I was able to find work doing data entry for a local thrift store ministry. I get paid by the piece, not exactly high pay, but I can do it from home and be available to dd. This was supposed to cover co-op and home repairs....so far it's just covered prescriptions since we ran out of Flex funds early this year. But at least it's something.

*Something to DO -- I want to work my way back to freelance editing, but I've been out of the field so long that I really hesitate to put my outdated skills out there. And I'd need to invest in new software and equipment....hence the p/t job should help support the bigger move as well. And I've taken up crocheting, which doesn't exactly help my mobility/fitness issues, does it???? OTOH, I might volunteer teaching literacy classes...that's something I'd consider worthwhile.

 

I commend your idea about art classes. You don't have to invest a lot out of pocket if you start small and get paid class fees before you buy materials. It's renting a venue that really costs, but have you thought about working thru city parks & rec? My husband teaches table tennis and bowling, just had to write a proposal and submit to the city, then gets paid per student based on enrollment. I think he spends $25 or something like that for his tax id number each year.

 

So yes, you're not alone. It's a scary transition to be making @ this point in life....but a great opportunity, too. Since I still have my kids @ home, I haven't hit the totally empty nest yet. In fact, sometimes I look forward to them moving out (the days I am cleaning up after them, feeding them, and yet barely talking to them)....but I do NOT NOT NOT live in an affordable housing area. I think they'll be here a few more years (which I am mostly happy about as it means they're in school and saving for their futures).

Edited by Gilead

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doxa

Doxa, thanks once again. You can be a "bossy pants" anytime -- once again, this was helpful.

I did make an appt with my cardiologist, I was supposed to see her this month anyway. I'm afraid she will scold me. She is actually very nice but firm. I'm obviously not doing the things I should be doing and I'm also not taking a cholesterol medication she prescribed because I just couldn't afford it. Also, I found out another cardiologist in the practice no longer prescribes this medication because it doesn't work, so I need to ask her about that. I see her in 2 weeks, not sure I can get in before that.

I know I can lose weight but it's so hard to keep up with a diet. Getting started is the hardest part. WW really worked but there were things I didn't like about it, so I've been working at devising another diet based on a plan I was on before. Dh wants to diet with me (all of us in the family need to lose weight, actually) so I have lots of support. I just need to start tracking my food again. Oldest son has been doing this and not much else, and he's lost about 20 pounds this summer.

As for exercise, yes, I have PT routines I can do. I also have a lovely recumbent exerbike that is just sitting unused. I have absolutely NO excuse. I need to start with babysteps. I'm just afraid to get on the bike because of the chest discomfort. And I feel bad that our dog isn't getting walked right now because of my sciatica -- I love to walk her and you're right, just a 20-30 minute walk every day helps. My cardiologist says we should work toward 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, that's a 30-minute walk 5 days a week. (Part of the reason I was okay about getting a dog is that I heard so many people say their dog was their exercise program, LOL!)

I might just PM you about the church or maybe post about it. I'm actually in counseling about it but our whole family has been affected by this church and my 3 kids are now refusing to go anywhere for church. I feel like I can forgive on my part, I certainly don't want to be bitter or harbor offenses, but when all 3 kids are hurt, it's harder. Still, it's knocked the wind out of my sails and I can't get enthused about going anywhere right now.

It wouldn't pressure me to go back to school, I'd love to do this. There are many opportunities in our community for art instruction but some of them are really overpriced, in my opinion. We have 3 colleges in our county and I think the community college would do just fine for a few classes. But wow -- painting Orthodox icons -- that sounds SO cool. Where do you find such a class? We have a Greek Orthodox church in town. Although I'm not Orthodox, as an art historian, I love early Christian, medieval and Gothic art -- maybe I could just do something like that on my own.

Off topic, but did you ever read The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden? It's an old book (1967) but I remember reading it when I was a kid. (My mom loved Rumer Godden.)

Anyway, thanks again for the encouragement, I do appreciate it.

 

PM'ing you...

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ZooRho

Heard I was being paged here.  I'll try to come back and give more info.

IT IS HARD.  I FEEL/FELT lost totally, AND I was a teacher by training but I need to take some test for VA and I've only got a short time left for the test.  

BUT I was blessed to find a job last year at a small private school. I DO LOVE IT there and hope to stay BUT it doesn't pay much and dh's business is struggling.   SO I struggle so too.  

It was tough youngest graduated in 2014.   I subbed that first year,  hoping to work into a full time job but it was not good, I had a few interviews but they were terrible.   I finished the year at a Catholic school so I did start looking more seriously at some Christian schools. 

BUT I also started applying to a litany of jobs, it was not fun and it was scary- I am 56 so I get it.  

I'm am moving on to 2nd grade and school starts TUESDAY  so I'll try to come back to read and say more

 

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wjminwi

Hi.  I just discovered this thread (actually just discovered this section of the forums!) and just wanted to chime in that YES, I am depressed!

I schooled both kids k-12, and the younger one finished high school in May '13.  We moved to a new state in June '13.  And I have been gradually sliding into it since then. 

I don't have a job, which I thought I'd try to do once we were settled.  I am home...tied to home, really....because my dd hasn't gone on to new things either.  She has tried.  She's taken some college classes and volunteered places, etc., but she has emotional and sensory issues, plus is recovering from an eating disorder, and now, on top of all that, is not getting along at all with her dad.  So the stress in our home is thick. 

I'm like you...staring at a resume with a hole in it from '92 to now.  Of course I home schooled!...that should count, right?  And did many, many volunteer things over the years which I can try to make "count" on my resume, but I'm having trouble even sitting down to put it all on paper.  This is not like me, thus the acknowledgement that depression is a definite factor in life right now.

So I don't have wise words for you, or helpful tips....just want you to know you aren't a lone ranger :friends: .  Homeschooling gave me "purpose" for a long time, and I'm probably not grieving homeschooling so much as grieving the sense of purpose.

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Gilead

Just a general suggestion....sometimes talking w/a community college counselor can be a bit of a jump start. You have to fill out an application, I think, but then you can also talk to them about interest tests, career change ideas, etc. Sometimes they have classes in working w/non-profits, starting your own business, or brushing up on old skills that are out of date. 

 

These days, I find I qualify for the fitness classes @ the senior center, even tho' I have a 13yo, so maybe I can get myself motivated to go there!!

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California Grandma

Dear ladies who are concerned about finding a job after homeschooling is done, may I encourage you to trust God by telling you my story? After 20+ years of staying home I took a part-time job as a file clerk. Within two years I was working in a job-share as a department head, and shortly after I was doing it full-time, which I did for about ten more years. There were eight separate steps between the beginning and the end, and I never sought a change after I applied for the first position. They "just happened." God made it clear that He was opening the doors, and I was just to keep walking through them, even though I was sure that I really wasn't qualified for the positions. I had a wonderful "career" that I had never anticipated. Trust God with your impossible situations. He will not let you down.

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Z3TL

Hi California Grandma

 

Thank you for sharing your story :)  it was very encouraging to me.  I am no where near the end of my journey but read this link and have been praying for the ladies that are.

 

"Trust God with your impossible situation.  He will not let you down."  - I needed to read this today for very different reasons.

 

Thanks again 

Z

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Gilead

I had a similar experience to California Grandma, though just at the beginning of re-entry. We needed extra cash flow and my last student is in jr. hi and ready to work mostly independently (her preference). A friend was moving and suggested I talk to her p/t employer about doing data entry for a thrift store ministry. I walked into what I thought was an interview that turned right into a training session and just the amount we need for right now. It was a door God opened, and who knows what's next?????

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RV Mom

I guess I am alone with not being depressed. Everyone has told me I will miss my dd. How can I when there is social media? She sends me pictures, texts, and emails throughout the day and week. She cried when we left her at college- but we did not. (I guess we are heartless). I was so proud of her and us for being able to get to this place through our and her hard work. School has been paid for through scholarships. On her own she has a job tutoring other kids on campus. She is getting along with roommates.

 

DH and I just came back from what we are calling our empty nester honeymoon. It was great, we really had some long talks and lots of quiet time too. We love our dd dearly but are so happy for this next phase of life. We both have some health issues we need to work on and now we have time to devote to those so it's all good for us.

 

Maybe in a couple of months I will feel different but I've always been a little "off" to others.

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Bendxap
On 8/30/2016 at 3:20 PM, RV Mom said:

I guess I am alone with not being depressed. Everyone has told me I will miss my dd. How can I when there is social media? She sends me pictures, texts, and emails throughout the day and week. She cried when we left her at college- but we did not. (I guess we are heartless). I was so proud of her and us for being able to get to this place through our and her hard work. School has been paid for through scholarships. On her own she has a job tutoring other kids on campus. She is getting along with roommates.

 

DH and I just came back from what we are calling our empty nester honeymoon. It was great, we really had some long talks and lots of quiet time too. We love our dd dearly but are so happy for this next phase of life. We both have some health issues we need to work on and now we have time to devote to those so it's all good for us.

 

Maybe in a couple of months I will feel different but I've always been a little "off" to others.

 

Nope, you're not alone. (Hubby was pretty sad when we left Older at college; did better with Younger.) I felt like we raised them to take the next step of independence and this is it. 

I did have it a little different than most people, though. Both boys went to the missionary kids school for their senior years, so I got used to not having them around very much during those years. When Older started college, Younger and I stayed with my dad, who was having health problems, so I was busy with Dad (as well as trying to find ways for Younger to connect with people his age! It never happened; he mostly did things with the "old people": me and Dad, my siblings and my friends.).

When Younger started college, we'd planned on my staying with Dad again because Older had told us how much it meant to him to have me near that first semester (four hours instead of five days driving or a long day in the plane). But Dad died that spring. I was able to stay in Mom and Dad's house anyway and again had a built-in job of sorting through stuff and getting rid of stuff as well as getting started again with our translation program. 

The boys drove back home with me for Christmas that year, so it wasn't until January of Younger's first year at college that Hubby and I were together and empty nesting. It took a little adjusting, what with the boys not being home and with me having been gone so much the previous couple of years. 

I love my boys dearly, I love being with them, but I'm happy that they're happy in their grown-up lives. I'm really happy that the two of them communicate with each other much more than they do with us; their friendship will last even after I/we are gone. (And I have to confess that it makes me really really happy that Younger said that he was buying his ticket to come home for Christmas because "going a whole year without seeing you guys is too long!" And Older managed to wangle a couple of extra days off at Christmas too!)

Edited by Bendxap

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Gilead

We had all 4 kids together this summer during our family reunion, and it was a sister pile-up the whole time. I, too, am very glad that my one who is on her own wants to come spend time with us.

 

Some days, my at-home college kids and ALL THEIR STUFF drive me nuts. While I'm thankful we live near a college/CC that suits them, I do sometimes wonder (especially with COLA here) if they will ever get around to moving out.......

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shout4joy

It has not really hit, I went back to college when he was a Junior and have one more semester. I wasn't needed as much and started looking ahead and decided to get my Associates Degree ... So, I've been too busy to grieve the loss of my occupation of the past 20 or so years (or do housework!).

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Amy In Sea

Just wondering if anyone has any updates on how transitioning out of homeschooling is going?  I came here planning to post about it but found this thread.  I've graduated two and my youngest is heading into her junior year so I don't have much longer.  I'm starting to feel some of the anxiety about what to do next.  My youngest is already mostly independent.  I don't really "teach" her any more, I just check her answers and occasionally help explain something.  I'm feeling pretty useless and find my self on Facebook and Pinterest way too much.  I'm thinking about taking some classes at the local community college just to even find out what I'm interested in anymore.  Our pastor just did a sermon about following your passion and the whole time I was thinking, "My passion was homeschooling."  I don't even remember having other passions that I could go back to.  I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this now!

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Mom the Dictator
4 hours ago, Amy In Sea said:

Just wondering if anyone has any updates on how transitioning out of homeschooling is going?  I came here planning to post about it but found this thread.  I've graduated two and my youngest is heading into her junior year so I don't have much longer.  I'm starting to feel some of the anxiety about what to do next.  My youngest is already mostly independent.  I don't really "teach" her any more, I just check her answers and occasionally help explain something.  I'm feeling pretty useless and find my self on Facebook and Pinterest way too much.  I'm thinking about taking some classes at the local community college just to even find out what I'm interested in anymore.  Our pastor just did a sermon about following your passion and the whole time I was thinking, "My passion was homeschooling."  I don't even remember having other passions that I could go back to.  I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this now!

Wow, I was so surprised to get an email telling me of a new post to this thread!  Amy, I'm sorry that you are in the place you are in, and no, you're not the only one going through it.  It is a tough life transition, and as I posted above, mine was complicated with other serious life changes.  You are NOT useless and I want to encourage you by saying that graduating 3 homeschool students is a VERY BIG DEAL.  I'm sure you have many creative gifts (you have to be very creative to homeschool!) and God will help you find your niche -- I hope before your youngest graduates.  What did you like to do before marriage and kids?  If you went to college, what was your major?  Perhaps volunteering at a local organization would help -- your hospital, SPCA, or some other non-profit?  Just find something you like doing and I'm sure God will open doors for you and give you opportunities to serve.

I was also passionate about homeschooling but I have to be honest, along about my daughter's junior year, when life became difficult physically for me, my passion really flagged.  I was really glad to be done by the time we ended.  There was a lot of stress along with all the good things about homeschooling.  She did all her senior year coursework at the community college and it was an answer to prayer for me because I was at the end of my motivation at that point and needed a break.  It worked out great, she has 25 college credits and that was also one way to prove you finished high school in NYS so it fulfilled regulations.

Just to fill everyone in on how I'm doing, the short answer is, much much better!  Dh and I are now involved with another church, the one we went to years ago when my boys were babies/preschoolers.  A lot has changed there but we still know a few people, and the pastors (the wife is a pastor too) homeschool with Sonlight so I knew them from the support group I used to lead.  One thing I love is that he is a great teacher/preacher and I've been enjoying his sermons very much -- the teaching at the church we left was pretty poor.  I also love that there are women's ministries here to be involved in, another lack at the old church.  I'm starting to feel some joy again in worship -- it's encouraging.

As for the cardiac issues, I went through my second cardiac catheterization on Sept 12 and received a second stent in the same artery as the first one (the first one is still fine but another 90% blockage had developed).  So grateful that I was again able to avoid having a heart attack.  I'm doing much better although it's been much rougher to bounce back this time.  I'm leading a cardiac support group once a month and that has really helped.  Cardiac Rehab (second round!) hasn't gone as well as the first time -- I had a lot of little chest pains, did a nuclear stress test and a treadmill stress test, and my doctor now assures me my heart is doing very well.  The problem is I'm still overweight and out of shape, so I'm working on that.  Today is my last day of Rehab and I'm glad to be done.

Dd and I are doing much better.  She was going through her own emotions and she still has things to work out -- she's on medication and we're trying to get her into counseling.  She is taking a gap year and is still undecided about her future.  I really want her to finish at the community college in the fall, since she is working at a local cafe and loving it and could keep her job if she were a student.  (And since there seems to be a young man in her life at the moment in a developing friendship, that's a big motivator to stick around town too -- we'll see what happens with that.)

I started taking an antidepressant a few months ago and I do think it's helping -- it certainly got me through the winter, which is sometimes very depressing for me.  One difference I've noticed is that my creativity, which seemed to be really dead, has come back to life full force -- I'm working on a weaving on canvas of a tree, which is coming along very well, and all of a sudden my mind is flooded with ideas for other artworks I could make.  So I'm spending a lot of time working on art -- just for me.  (And I can relate to Amy's comment on spending too much time on Pinterest, LOL!)

I'm turning 60 at the end of this month and I'm still without a job -- so that's still a concern.  But I'm much more motivated to look seriously at this point.  And at 60 you can audit classes at the community college -- seriously considering taking some art studio classes.  I really want to learn how to paint, for one thing.

So I hope you will all take heart, it does seem to get better with time.  I hope all of you are doing well!

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my cup of tea & me
5 hours ago, Amy In Sea said:

Just wondering if anyone has any updates on how transitioning out of homeschooling is going?  I came here planning to post about it but found this thread.  I've graduated two and my youngest is heading into her junior year so I don't have much longer.  I'm starting to feel some of the anxiety about what to do next.  My youngest is already mostly independent.  I don't really "teach" her any more, I just check her answers and occasionally help explain something.  I'm feeling pretty useless and find my self on Facebook and Pinterest way too much.  I'm thinking about taking some classes at the local community college just to even find out what I'm interested in anymore.  Our pastor just did a sermon about following your passion and the whole time I was thinking, "My passion was homeschooling."  I don't even remember having other passions that I could go back to.  I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this now!

It was great to reread this thread.  

Dd20 is in her last semester at CC and heads to university in the fall.   I really appreciated the transition that CC gives homeschool students and their moms/dads/siblings.   She is gone a lot these days.  When she isn't at school she is studying or hanging out with friends (or working).   I think I got my grieving over quite a bit last semester.   Now I actually feel ready for her to leave home for dorm life.  

Ds17 is a junior.  I may get him into CC for some classes next year.  We learned from our mistakes with dd, and we can correct that with ds.   (in other words-get some dual enrollment credits to ease the work load for those first 2 years).

So all that to say-when our 2 were ages 12 and 15 we decided to follow our hearts.  We started fostering and prayed to adopt.   We hoped to get a preschool aged sibling group-one boy, one girl to foster and then adopt.   God has his own plans and I can only trust that they are better!   We fostered a lot and then got a home-from-the-hospital-to-us baby.   We feel very blessed to raise this beautiful boy who has never known any parents but us.   There were times we thought we'd lose him during the roller coaster ride that is foster care, but those were the times I really felt more sure of my direction.   Like you my passion is home and homeschooling and now I have job security for another K-12.   There is a part of me that loves this and a part of me that is scared out of my mind in a what-have-I-done sort of way.  What California Grandma said in terms of God's plan and trusting it-that was great for me to read.   I am never going to exactly fit in with the moms his age, but God has definitely given him to us for a reason and trusting in that is peace, perfect peace!

I just mapped it out and ds1 will be a junior in college & at university when ds 2 is 6 and officially school aged.   So, I will have two years of not homeschooling-I plan to use that two year gap to finish up some projects like getting my scrapbooking up to date and staying that way with round two of being a hs mom.   I have already started on that project.  I have a list of about 20 things to do.  First off the list was to finish dd20's baby book!  Ha!!  Now I am working on ds17's baby book.    Then I have to catch up from 2011-present on scrapbooking.   There is always something to do.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5.  

 

Edited by my cup of tea & me

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the geographer

My direction is no more clear than it was back in August. This year has gone better than last; Little Sis has gov't, marine bio, and math to finish up at home and her English class at the cc. She's on track with it all except math but mostly we've had a good year. Two months to go and she's done and I'm done. I'm excited. She's so stinking excited about the college she's going to and can't wait for the fall. I know she says that now, come August she may be singing a different tune. She's really going to miss dh and I and her dog. At least her new boyfriend has a car and a friend at a nearby college so he can come down and visit her.

My hope is to find a part time job and do some volunteer work starting in the fall. For the summer I have a bunch of things I need to get done around the house, stuff that isn't on the priority 'needs to get done before graduation party' list. Big Sis comes home from college the second week of May, Little Sis will be done school by the end of May and both will be off working at camp for the summer again starting at the beginning of June. They'll be home weekends (sort of) so I'll have plenty of time during the week to get things done here and start looking for a job to start in the fall.

I think overall I'm ready to be done with homeschooling. I've liked it, loved it, but I'm ready to be done. I've enjoyed this year more than I thought I would. I'm not so sad that it's almost done but ask me in the fall. I'll definitely miss having Little Sis around, we've had a good two years of just the two of us. I've been able to get away and do some stuff with Big Sis and next year with them both at college I'll have to find a way to divide my time to visit them both (in opposite directions). It will definitely be different around here.

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Merry
12 hours ago, Amy In Sea said:

Just wondering if anyone has any updates on how transitioning out of homeschooling is going?  I came here planning to post about it but found this thread.  I've graduated two and my youngest is heading into her junior year so I don't have much longer.  I'm starting to feel some of the anxiety about what to do next.  My youngest is already mostly independent.  I don't really "teach" her any more, I just check her answers and occasionally help explain something.  I'm feeling pretty useless and find my self on Facebook and Pinterest way too much.  I'm thinking about taking some classes at the local community college just to even find out what I'm interested in anymore.  Our pastor just did a sermon about following your passion and the whole time I was thinking, "My passion was homeschooling."  I don't even remember having other passions that I could go back to.  I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this now!

Do you have a favorite subject? Maybe tutoring or leading a class for homeschoolers might be in your future? Or being a resource mom to encourage other homeschoolers. 

No big updates here. My dd graduates in May (and I need to start getting ready for that!) She'll be taking the CNA class and licensing test this summer, and then prerequisite classes for nursing school (which she'll apply to next spring). DS still doesn't know what he wants to major in. He has a few more classes to go to finish his Associate's degree, but I'm not sure what he'll do next. If he doesn't nail something down next year, he'll probably take a year off to work while he thinks about it, before transferring. I'm praying he'll choose something though! 

I'm working and enjoying the worship team at church. I help out with the youth group too, but thinking about not doing that next year. I do have tons of projects at home to work on but never quite get to them. Other than doing some writing and walking in the woods...I'm not sure what I'd like to do next!

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