This is a guest post from Karelys. She is one of my favorite commenters. And it’s amazing to me that she writes guest posts when she has a brand new baby. 

Plenty has been said about the merits of homeschooling (even if it’s just done as simply as transferring traditional classroom material to the home), but even more about unschooling or self-directed learning. It’s just clearly the best way for children to learn.

It’s thought of as hard-to-pull-off, especially if you’re not jumping for joy at the thought of staying at home with your kid.

But I don’t think anyone is saying how good this move is for the parent, and the family’s lifestyle. Homeschooling is best for the parents, too!

My husband and I chose to do a home-birth with both kids. After realizing it was best for the kid from a nauseating amount of research, I was terrified of the pain and basically doing something that wasn’t that common—people still wrinkle their eyebrows at the idea.

But the way a mother experiences birth is incredibly important for many reasons. Having a completely smooth labor leads into quick recovery. Breastfeeding is hard work. You know what it’s like. You know what it’s like to not be healthy emotionally, mentally, and physically and trying to transition into motherhood.

Hardly any mother has the luxury of complications because hardly any mother can just lay there until she has fully recovered. Hardly any mom can tell life to pause for a second. Many mothers have to go back to work, take care of a toddler that is possibly feeling left out, and deal with a whole new household dynamic.

So the choices around labor and birth are not only about having a healthy baby, but creating a confident, beaming, healthy mother as well.

Homeschooling is the same.

It’s about the parents’ marriage. It’s about having autonomy over your time to say “Whatever! We’re taking it easy this week because life is crazy.” Or, “You kids watch TV and eat cereal because we need to focus on the marriage today so you can have a secure family life.” Or maybe, “Do what you must and pitch in for this family because today we have to work extra long hours to make sure bills get paid.” Or even, “Today you kids take one for the team because parental sanity is super important as well and I’m going to focus on what makes me healthy.”

How often can you do that when you’re tied to school?

How often can you say “No school today because I NEEEEED to sleep in and no one make a peep before 10 am!”?

How often can you say, “We’re not worrying about homework today because I had an emotional day and we all need to curl up in the couch and hide under blankets and watch movies”?

You just can’t.

So sure, the things you give up can be challenging to let go of. But there are many perks. Like putting your own life as a parent first. Because you’re the well your kids draw from.

It’s amazing to me that no one sees that right away. They all see “going crazy from having kids in the house all the time.” Or they see reduced income.

I see freedom and autonomy over my time.