I am married. My husband exists. But I am the primary educator and nurturer for our children. Let me explain...
In the last 2 1/2 years of this homeschooling journey, he's been rarely seen by most people. Until 2 weeks ago, he was an over-the-road driver which basically means he was a truck driver who travels long distances and has a work base away from their home. He was on the road for 26-27 days per month and home only 4 days per month. The children and I both got used to him not being physically available to and for us. It sucked at first but we managed.
Now that he's home, it still doesn't feel like the situation has shifted much. He works 10-14 hour days driving locally, is only off 2 days per week and he still isn't much available when he is home (he's usually sleeping or spending time with his son and daughter from a previous marriage). Now, I work part-time in order to earn extra income for our children to participate in extracurricular activities as well as some other important ventures. So, I come home from work Monday-Thursday from 8 am to 1 p.m. (I'm off on Fridays). I leave independent work assignments for the kids to complete while I'm at work once they wake up in the morning. I immediately come home and let them give me oral reports on their work and I check over it for accuracy, etc. I then go into the day's lessons. We head out to practices- Taekwondo, Track, Swimming, or Gymnastics. We also have days where we might have a library program. We come home, we eat, bathe, read bedtime stories, say our creed, and it's off to bed for the young ones. As for me- I try to give myself a few minutes of "no-thinking time" which loosely translates into me watching an episode of "30 Rock", "Great News", or "The Boondocks"- shows that make me laugh and don't require a lot of thinking and isn't action-packed. I then pray and fall asleep. My husband gets home around 2 a.m. AND REPEAT...
I say all this to say, I know that I am not the only parent who has "the Mother Load" of homeschooling and nurturing their children while their spouse/partner works outside of the house for the family. It's tough for me and there are days where I am just dog tired and frustrated with the present situation. I do understand that it might not always be this way- especially if we make plans for things to be different. This doesn't take away from the difficulty of the situation. It's emotionally and physically draining at times to handle an entire household of energy and young ones with differing personalities all by yourself most times. I'm thankful for coaches and instructors who work with me to help keep my children balanced and focused on their individual goals. I'm grateful for community library programs that allows us to spend time as a family having fun and learning together. I'm grateful for my eldest son's father who steps in and does the Baba role when my husband is working and ensuring that we can live comfortably.
I started this journey out determined (and I'm still determined) to be the foremost educator of my children. I am committed to ensuring that they are nurtured and given proper exposure to opportunities and challenges that will elevate them spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. IT IS A LOT TO DO FOR 1 PERSON but I'm staying the course. I have no prescription for anyone else's personal situation. I only share so that so many others understand that this homeschooling is a family-determined, culture-driven "process". It is ever-changing therefore new opportunities for what better serves your family is always possible if you set clear goals and work
I send encouragement out to fellow mamas and babas in this "single homeschooling while married" dilemma.
Peace & Prosperity