Homeschooling is more than just educating the kids. It’s also about learning in the real world and meeting the many different kinds of people that are out there. These meetings may be superficial, like chatting randomly with other moms during park days and never getting to know them much at all. But they can also be deeper, by seeing the same families over and over, and developing an understanding of what some of the other moms may be going through while trying to homeschool her kids.
Sometimes, moms who hurt are easy to spot. These women may receive help, understanding or accommodations simply because everyone knows she can use a helping hand. But other times, situations are well hidden with no evidence at all. It is impossible to ever know just how many moms come to dance class suffering with depression, fibromyalgia, anxiety or another invisible illness, since they look just like all of the other moms on the outside while hurting deeply within. How many moms sit right next to you during orchestra practice thinking about devastating life situations you may never even fathom — the loss of a home, unemployment, abuse, a child who is very ill, or perhaps the death of a loved one?
Though we may never know how many moms are suffering alone, women often have a way of identifying at least some of the moms in their community who need help. And though we may not be able to reach them all, lending an ear or a helping hand could make the difference in one woman’s life, making it worth doing. And though homeschooling moms understandably already have plenty to do, there are many different ways to help that take little or no time at all. And what woman wouldn’t want to help another mom in need if she could?
I have compiled a list of just some of the little things that homeschooling moms can do to help other moms who hurt. Consider doing anything on this list, or anything else you come up with on your own, the next time you encounter another mom who could use your help:
- Sit beside her if she is alone, making yourself available to talk during meetings or events
- Make yourself available by telephone or text messaging, for those times when she needs connection
- Bring along an extra cup of tea or coffee and share it with her at the next activity
- Include her in an activity or conversation, making her welcome even if she knows no one
- Watch her child on the playground for a few moments, giving her time to rest or think quietly alone
- Offer to drive and/or chaperone her child to and from a field trip or other activity
- Offer to have her child to your home for several hours of play-time or school work
- Make an extra meal or bake a boxed cake and drop it to her home
- Offer to babysit for a couple of hours in her home or yours
- Tuck an encouraging note, a small gift card or several dollars into a thoughtful greeting card and mail
- Arrange for small needs to be met, such as a winter coat for a child or soccer cleats for a player going without
- Procure an item she needs for homeschooling, like a book, a hard-to-find item, or some school supplies
- Use your talents to perform a simple service she can really use, like completing a tax form or a student transcript
- Offer a luxury just for her, like performing a home hair color, a manicure, or help sprucing up a kitchen or bedroom
- Invite her to a women-only event, such as a home party, mom’s night out, encouraging lecture, religious study, exercise class or anything else, with no strings attached but to come and enjoy some time out
Can you think of other ways to help moms in need? I appreciate your COMMENT below, listing any ideas I have not included on my list.