When People Don’t Get it

Alright. You just started doing something you love, and are passionate about. Maybe its unschooling your kids. Maybe its moving to a faraway destination. Maybe its about becoming an entrepreneur, artist, juggler, or whatever floats your boat. You are nervous, but damnit it feels good!! This is it!!

Then, Debbie Downer comes along and makes you feel like the worst human alive, like the parent from hell.

If you live outside of the box ( or even if you don’t) you probably are nodding your head going ‘I HATE DEBBIE!!’ This person ( or people) makes you second guess everything, and feel like a failure before you have even begun your journey. You see, people will listen to CNN or BBC before they listen to you about your stance on vaccines or home education. They will put you down if they don’t understand ( and don’t want to) what you are doing. They have to take somewhat out, so it may as well be you because you are doing things differently.

I think homeschoolers of all varieties deal with the pressure from family, friends, neighbors, and co workers on how they are a bit…odd. Maybe you get some vacant nods when you try to explain yourself to these people, or you get flat out stink eye. Maybe your mom just shouts into the phone for hours going ‘I DIDN’T RAISE YOU TO BE A HIPPIE!!’

The bottom line: how to handle it?

I think social networking has a downside, but it also has a wonderful upside: it connects like minded people. I have met so many amazing unschooling, homeschooling worldschooling, APing….people who have encouraged me. You have to accept that if your family or neighbors don’t understand what you are doing, that isn’t your problem. You need no one’s approval to parent how you want to, or to work from home or whatever.

We all face struggles and failures.

Not one of us is perfect. NOT ONE. We are not avatars. We all make stupid mistakes and have down time. I know someone ( not saying who because she/he will KIL me) who it took 25 years to succeed in their profession. Maybe longer. This person was literally insulted NONSTOP by family and friends. Only one person I know understood them…and no, it wasn’t me. It was someone else. I too doubted them because she/he was the source of many arguements that I witnessed, so I grew doubtful. Boy, was I wrong: that person is set to be a millionaire, and this year. They had the break they needed and it was literally a miracle how short of a time period it took them to achieve their goal, when they finished their project.

Everybody screws up their kids too. Don’t pretend we unschoolers don’t; let’s all just admit it!! Because life is a curve, not a straight path. It works for us, and we are happy to be doing it. But come on, we all have days where we feel we are going insane, even if we are doing our best for our kids.

Because, as Louise Hay says, we do the best we can with the knowledge we have.

Learning never stops, right? It is perpetual. I bet when I die and go somewhere heavenish, it will continue there. Why shouldn’t it?

But we have to get over appeasing others. We need to only appease ourselves, and find support in our community or online. We are all in this together. All of us, you know, hippies…

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About Elizabeth Kelsey Bradley

Writer, Blog Coach, and Digital Strategist based in Thailand. Wellness fan. Gamer.
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10 Responses to When People Don’t Get it

  1. Dana K says:

    Great post! Social media is a great resource when your “inner circle” keeps giving you grief.

  2. Amy says:

    Ah yes, there are naysayers everywhere. The trick it to have enough confidence in yourself and your style that you can hear what they are saying, understand where they are coming from and then completely disagree! I too have found so much support in the online community. More support than I could ever receive in my “real” community.

  3. Cass says:

    Amen, sister. You know, the thing that frustrates me the most about people who critisize homeschooling or Unschooling… whichever, is that Homeschoolers are supposed to ‘back up’ our choices when no one else does. For instance, if I feel threatened by a parent who believes in communal schooling as they ask, “WHY do you Homeschool ANYWAYS?” my response will often be something like, “Well, why don’t you tell me why you are passionate about institutionalized schooling? Why have decided to choose that path for child?” Most people have no IDEA how to respond. Most people who have their kids in ‘school’ do it because they are told to (overtly or not). Period. They might mutter something about socialization, or learning how to deal in the ‘real world’… both of which are fed concepts from the media, peers, and the like.

    Yet, we’re the schmucks because we’re doing something different. Something deeply rooted in who we are. Something often heavily researched and discussed… something that takes hours and hours and days and years of full-out commitment to our families.

    But yet, we’re the weird ones that have to answer to the masses and are met with a critical eye no matter what we say.

    *argh*

    Keep on keeping on, Mama.

    Cass @ Unplug Your Family

    • Wow Cass, that is the BEST retort ever: why are you passionate about institutionalized schooling LOL!!!. I bet people are speechless!! I get the whole ‘well kids get social interaction that way’. I’m like ‘Oh, you mena they get teased, harassed, and eventually learn to take it?’ Ha!! I also think people especially attack people who homeschool for religious reasons, or people who are religious in general. It’s like now, society says materialization and consumerism is what is best, or at least what we should all agree to. Have you seen the Winx Club?? oh wait you don’t have a TV LOL!! Go onto youtube and watch an episode. It will scare you.

  4. It’s nice to have a place to go where you feel like you’re not alone in your decision to unschool.

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