As you can imagine, mothers who homeschool their children have a tendency to get burn-out. Yes, we have chosen to teach our children at home and we are committed to that right, but as with any commitment that demands hours and hours of service, there comes a time when a 15 minute break is needed.
Moms who stay home with their children and drive them to and from co-ops, field trips, classes, sports, cub scouts and such...develop nerves of steel. Those nerves can be trampled on, screamed at, puked on, covered with viral diarrhea and we just keep on keeping on, conjugating verbs and scouring the counters day after day. Then, the time comes when that nerves decides it has had enough. The former stoic mother looks around her home, smiles ever so maniacally at her brood and walks out the door...to Mom's Night Out or MNO as the locals call it.
Homeschool moms are unlike any other group of mothers you will ever find. Starbucks workers and Tim Hortons employees alike will attest to the fact that these women are not your usual night on the town type women. Homeschool moms come to MNO without make-up, or with...with sputum on their shirt or not. The attire is left to each individual to choose as she sees fit. MNO is a community of women who accept the mom where she is at that moment. Should she need to dress up and feel awesome that night..she is welcome to do so and we will oooh and ahhh for her sake. Should the mom need to run out of the house, unwashed, unshaven and under the weather, we take her, hug her and tell her she looks tired and beautiful all in the same breath.
Homeschooling moms accept the rants of psychotic gibberish that sometimes erupt during a sip of coffee. We listen as past memories of lighter days collide with the reality of an unexpected pregnancy, a teen driver and a child who cannot grasp the concept of reading. Somehow, we just accept the real woman inside. We reject the fake, superficial facade and energize our maternal, homeschooling battery each and every Mom's Night Out. We look around at real women who have real problems and real joys. We see and are reminded ever so wonderfully that we are indeed normal. We are indeed beautiful and we are just that strong. We are as strong as every woman at that meeting and just as vulnerable.
Yes, our evening of coffee is a need. It is a mental charge, emotional roller coaster and a bond that is not easily explained in one blog post. If you are not living a homeschooling lifestyle it will be hard to understand what MNO means to a homeschooling mother and if your MNO's are not like this, I pray God will send you the women who make up our group. Its numbers ebb and flow but the spirit is the same. We enjoy our sisters and refuse to think of a day when MNO will cease to exist.
Last night, was the best MNO I have ever experienced. Last night, a fellow homeschool mom confided in me that she was "late." As I got up from the table to leave, all the other moms were concerned. I'm the first to arrive and the last to leave so my exit created a stir to say the least. I drove away, and came back. I arrived with 4 pregnancy tests. I handed one to our friend...a mother of 5...ages 6,5,4,3,& almost 2...(I think) All the moms smiled. She walked into the bathroom of Tim Hortons and came out holding a positive test. Yes, number 6 is on the way. That night there were 3 tests taken. One positive, two very joyfully negative. The laughter, love and contentment of no judgement filled the room. We accept our sisters where they are and rejoice that we all get to live the life we wish to live.
To my sisters, I say, Thank you for making my life that much easier. Thank you for allowing me to go from subject to subject without ever finishing a thought. Thank you for loving me anyway. I am so very blessed to have you all in my life... And Heather! Congratulations!