Oh Boy! A month into unschooling

It has been a month since we withdrew Thad from school. Every morning as we sit in our warm house looking out at the winter weather, I say to my husband: “The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that we don’t have to get out in this weather to drop the children off at school!”

Thad has been doing so well this past month! He is healthy. He is eating. He is sleeping full nights, no nightmares, and wakes up happy! He is cooperative, and enthusiastic about every experience.

On our part, we have been making a more conscious effort to make every opportunity a learning one. While a lot of what we are doing now is “unschooling”, we have also been looking to long-term homeschooling cirriculum.

At this point, we have no idea how long we will homeschool. Maybe we’ll only do pre-school. Maybe we’ll do primary school. Maybe we’ll do it till university! Maybe our children will tell us that they want to go to traditional school. We will take everything as they come!

Do we look back on our decision and wonder if things would get better if we gave him a longer “transition” period? No. We have no regrets on our decision. No second thoughts.

Learning and experiencing life through the eyes of the little ones is precious! Seeing our son happy, healthy and excited about learning and life, is an added affirmation that we made the best decision for him.

End of an era: I’m retired

As I sit at my dining table, the house is quiet except for the howling wind outside my window. My gaze is on the distant city lights of Beirut through one window, and the glistering deep blue Mediterranean Sea in the other. My children are both snug and warm in their beds. I shut down my office laptop for one last time.

It is the end of an era. I quit a job I used to love. A job I worked at for the last five and a half years. While I quit on amicable terms, my departure has been a long time coming, for I no longer felt excited or appreciated for the time I was putting in. I didn’t even bother clearing my emails – haven’t looked at it all week to be honest.

Sweet Eli asked how I was feeling about it being my last day. I told him I feel indifferent. I felt anger, but now I’m apathetic. I’ve gone weeks not doing any work; like a rebellion of sorts, giving them a taste of what it is really like when I don’t give a flying fish about work, and instead tend to my children. Ha!

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the employment I’ve had. I’m grateful to the editors who made it possible for me to work from Beirut. Now that they are no longer my bosses, we can be real friends and have no holds barred conversations! Really looking forward to that because I understand that jealousy rears its ugly head, people stomp on others to get ahead yadda yadda. I get it, I just don’t play that game.

So, we celebrate my retirement. With cake and city lights. I’ve always loved distant city lights! Haven’t had much of an opportunity to appreciate them when on the daily, I am knackered from work, rush to put the children to bed, and just zone out on my bed. But all that will change.

Less screen time, more time on the floor with my babies, and more romantic nights with my love.

Sayonara work! I quit!

​Many don’t realise this, but I have a full-time job. One that requires me to sit at the computer for 9 fixed hours, with an hour’s break, for which I’ve to report when I take it and when I’m back. I’ve been at the job for 5.5 years.

I go back and forth whether to write about it or not at all. But it has been a part of my daily life for much of my adult life. Now that I’ve quit, I’ve nothing to lose! Also, there are also many misconceptions about what I do, because I do my work from home.

When people hear that I “work from home”, they immediately say: “Oh, that’s so nice! You’re so lucky!” Well, I am blessed that my bosses allowed for such an arrangement, but no, it is NOT “so nice”.

People conjure up in their minds a “dream life”, a very relaxed scenario where I lounge very glamorously, coffee in hand with a laptop by my side, writing for an hour or two, and then spend the rest of my day doing whatever I want. Mostly, my fellow mommy friends say I’m lucky because I get to be with my children all day.

Here is where mom guilt really kicks in. Yes, I am in the house with my children, but I can’t be with them like I’d like to. I’m sitting at my computer all day, working fixed hours, and dealing with work that has to be done “right now”. My children never get my attention, but they do receive my anger.

When the Internet dies (and oh do they die at the most inconvenient time – “Welcome to Lebanon”), I get so frustrated and anxious, my entire family, especially my husband, takes the heat. Does the office care? No. As far as they are concerned, I’m off slacking. “Oh, her Internet died again? Tsk. Maybe she can’t do the job.” They don’t see my husband and I scrambling to find alternative connections. We pack everyone in the car and drive from place to place just to get me back online!

What really kills me, is when some one had the audacity to suggest that I’m not doing my job because I can’t manage baby and work. It kills me, because my children often hear “Wait, I’m busy.” “Wait, can’t you see I’m working?” et cetera. I wouldn’t be so mad if it were true. If I really gave my children the attention instead of putting in time in front of the screen.

Working from home, is not a peach. I see my children, but I’m not there with them. I have no benefits. No medical or dental insurance. No bonuses. NOTHING. I get a flat-rate pay cheque. I pay for my own transportation, Internet, electricity, and stationery.

But I loved my job. I had great bosses. I’m actually really good at my job. I take criticism constructively, and actively ask for feedback, only to be given a “in general” type answer.

After I caught wind of what was being said, it just wasn’t worth it for me any more. It isn’t fair to me. It isn’t fair to my children. With time, more people were siphoned above me. And that’s where the cookie crumbles.

I’m not one to butter up anyone. Or sugar-coat anything. I’m not one to make polite conversation with a personal agenda. I just like to get things done. You know, especially since I’m incapable of juggling work and children, I better not waste time small talking! Ha! Truth is, it just isn’t in me to make small talk. If I’ve nothing to say, I say nothing. Simple as that. But if there are things to be said, I’ll say it. If you’ve something to dish, dish it. I’ll take it with a pinch of salt and flush it.

Boy, does salt-water cleanse work!