By Laura Hoffpauir
This year Mother’s Day “hits different”, as the young folks would say. It marks the end of an era for me. As my youngest graduates from homeschooling high school and prepares for college and her future, I officially retire from homeschooling. I have treasured the role of mom and loved caring for my babies and children, teaching them, and watching them grow and flourish.
I love my children and I am thankful for them and proud of them, but sometimes they make very different choices from what I would like to see for them, and sometimes I don’t feel respected or appreciated as a mother. It seems to me my own relationship with my mother transitioned much more smoothly into an adult-child-to-parent form, but maybe that was because my values and choices were closely aligned with hers. Ultimately, our children need to live their own lives and find their own way, and we as parents need to remember that the tremendous investment we have made into each child is a long-term investment.
Since I have been out of the workforce for over 30 years while caring for and educating my children, and since my husband has only a handful of years until he reaches retirement age, and since I still have some family commitments during the workday, I don’t intend to go back to work full time. Some people rejoice over the freedom of their empty nest; others miss the joyous days of a house full of children. I suspect most people experience a combination of these feelings.
It is an exciting opportunity to do things I’ve been wanting to do or meaning to do but never had time for. Probably one of the first big projects I’ll tackle will be going through old photos and putting together albums. It will help me focus on the good times and remind me that I was a good mom, and it will be a gift to my children that will help remind them of the good times too.
Laura Hoffpauir is passionate about learning and teaching. She has homeschooled her 6 children, taught small classes in homeschooling co-ops, and continues to provide tutoring services. She also enjoys crochet, crafts, birdwatching, word games, and live music of all kinds, from her daughters’ church choirs to her husband and son’s rock cover band, The Lakeshore Drivers.