It always throws me for a loop when I hear this statement. (And I hear it pretty often.) It kind of goes hand-in-hand with “I can’t wait until my kids go back to school!!!” Wow.
Now I know we all need our “me” time. I get plenty of that. I get my me time when my kid is sleeping, I go to moms’ game nights and book club nights, and I go on dates with Bob (especially now that Becca has a busy babysitting “career”). When we go to homeschool events, my kid takes off and finds her friends, and I get much-needed adult time with MY friends.
So what does this statement mean? I’ve actually come out and challenged (asked) the moms outright. I mean, how can any loving, well-meaning parent actually say they don’t like spending time with their children? (Why do you have children if you don’t want to be around them?)
Some of it goes back to, “Well, I could never teach my kid(s).” (I don’t have the patience, we butt heads, I couldn’t teach my child math… I’m not “disciplined” enough…) I actually get this. Some people just can’t do it. And that’s OK.
Some kids actually do better and thrive in the more structured school setting of public or private school. That’s OK too. (Hey, the system didn’t work for US, but it’s obviously working for other people out there!)
So, are there really parents out there that can’t be around their child(ren) that much?
Maybe it’s because I’m the parent of an “only.” That may actually have something to do with it. (I don’t have to worry about children fighting with each other and picking at each other all day during summer break.) But then I think about my homeschooling friends with three and four (and FIVE!) children! Sure they lose patience with their kids at times. (We ALL do!) But how do THEY do it?
“I couldn’t spend that much time with my kid” is probably a catch-all statement. I don’t honestly think that people mean it like it sounds (though who knows, I may be wrong). But for those of use who DO spend “that much time” with our kids, we sometimes feel a little sad when we hear it (and hope that it isn’t true).