Strangely Silent

Lately (and I mean in the past few months) I’ve felt very incapable of joining in social conversation.

It’s not that I don’t have thoughts to offer, but rather that what I’ve been focusing on lately doesn’t often come up as a topic of conversation in the few times where I have been able to connect with friends.

Things like:

  • Past travels, experiences, joys, and regrets
  • Homeschooling and my still-developing thoughts around education
  • Choosing to stay at home with a toddler instead of going back to work

The first, I figure, is fodder for this blog. I’ve renewed the domain for another year. This is possibly the result of some sort of ownership bias, as detailed by Konnikova in The Confidence Game, since we tend to place more value on things that we’ve “owned” than things that we don’t own, but I think it also reflects my undying optimism that I will one day blog again.

The second goes without discussion for a number of reasons. Being a trained public-school teacher, the very few teachers I’ve discussed homeschooling with (besides Jack) seem to think I’m rejecting the public education system and them as well. This is an overly simplistic view. The public education system has many benefits and I would still love to be a classroom teacher again one day.

Discussing homeschooling with parents who are not homeschooling, however, raises a different sort of issue. I’ve come to realize that every parent is asking, almost incessantly, “Am I doing the right thing for my child?” So of course, when someone decides to do something off the beaten path, the objections begin, not against the homeschooling parent, but as a means of introspection. I do believe that the large majority of parents are doing their utmost best for their children, so whether homeschooling or public school is better as a general choice is a moot point. Still, in understanding that this may be a sensitive topic, I’ve refrained from discussing homeschooling unless asked. So I remain silent.

The third, for similar reasons re: homeschooling, is not something I feel free to discuss with many. I’m very thankful that Jack and I are of one mind, that I can afford to stay home and spend time with the toddler. There is so much joy in being able to see her develop every day. I have more reasons as to why I am happy to stay home but I am surrounded by mothers who return to work. I don’t want to seem as though I’m crowing in front of those who work out of necessity, and I don’t want to seem as though I’m competing against mothers who have elected to work. All (or at least, 99.9%) of mothers love their children. My choice to stay at home isn’t about being more loving, it’s about my own priorities.

So to the blog I return, if only because here are no immediate repercussions (not usually). It’s a sort of lonely return, with regards to a lack of human companionship. My conscientiousness is probably too much, but it’s hard to know where the balance is. Christ walks with me, at least. I miss being able to talk about work with co-workers or how life has been with friends, but for now, it’s the toddler and my inside thoughts. I wish someone would talk to me about their life and not worry about whether it connected to mine or not. I guess that’s what I’ll have to do first.

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