Parental Advisory: Earning all the money and taking care of the kids by yourself at the same time is hell. And only crazy people do it. Really. Less than 1% of white college-educated women raise kids alone. That statistic makes sense to me. Because 2% of white college-educated women get divorced. All these statistics come from the Bureau of Labor. Most of the women in this demographic get remarried. I am convinced that the women who do not remarry and actually do the whole child-rearing thing alone all have Asperger’s.

Public Service Announcement: Any woman who raised kids alone instead of remarrying and thinks she does not have Asperger’s should just email me. I will diagnose you myself. I don’t care that I’m not a doctor. Because, hello!, doctors freely admit they have no idea how to diagnose women with Asperger’s. You are lucky to have me diagnosing you instead of a doctor.

A lot of people ask me how I can possibly do all that I say I do each day, like there aren’t enough hours or maybe I am embellishing a little. Then they ask me to break my day down into a schedule so they can see how I do it.

The short answer is no, I cannot break down my hours for you. I’m like a chicken with my head cut off. Sometimes. Other times I drink to cope with the stress and then I fall asleep. Which, actually, is similar to a chicken with it’s head cut off, just after a little more time has passed.

My point is, how would I count those hours?

Also, before you get upset about me saying that I drink to cope, drinking alcohol is the coping mechanism of choice for rich suburban moms and also for high-powered women. And while I am not really either of those, I’m almost both of them, so that equals a predilection to deal with stress by drinking.

So anyway, I am really good at adapting my money earning to whatever time I have in between kid stuff. So, for example, when we were driving back and forth to cello lessons and spending 20 hours a week in the car, I changed how I earned money to be less about going into TV studios and more about being on the phone. I could work on the phone in the car.

When I ended up having to be on the phone 100% of the time in order to make enough money, I hired a driver. (Only after I totaled two cars in one year.)

When we moved from the farm so we didn’t have to travel for cello lessons I changed how I made money again. In Swarthmore I’d let people come to our apartment for a few days in a row and we’d take over the dining room table as I showed the person how they could build a business from scratch.

Now, in Boston, the boys study at the dining room table and mostly manage their own schedules. Homeschooling for me is lurking in the background to troubleshoot and keep them on track. Otherwise, they’d do things like punt on the bow tie and perform with an open collar.

So, I hired two people and I am working with a team, because managing a team requires checking in quickly throughout the day, which fits in nicely between the kids.

In each instance, I looked for tools to make things easier. When I coached two or three people a day I automated my calendar with Calendly. When Melissa got married I bought PicMonkey and told my son he’s promoted to my photo editor. Right now I’m looking at CloudPhone, because I have tons of people working on contract and part-time and I hate having to be the phone operator for everyone calling Quistic.

One of the things I worry about is that I’ll commit to the wrong business solutions for the wrong time in my life. Doing something like CloudPhone means I’m getting ready to grow a bigger company. And I can’t tell if you do the software first and then the guts, or guts first then software.

In each phase of my kids’ lives I have tried to adjust so I could do both kids and work at the same time, so I wouldn’t have to choose. I thought I was killing two birds with one stone, but often I was just blindly hurling stones and killing nothing.

And also, I’m aware that PETA is asking us to stop using idioms that are abusive to animals. So I am telling you that I know I’m doing it, because the first step to change is noticing there’s a problem.

I think I did not answer the question about how to work and homeschool at the same time. Maybe I showed how not to do it. But this post is actually a good example of how I get so much work done: I do a bad job and hope a bad job is enough. And I keep going. Sometimes that works.

 

66 replies
    • JC Chouinard
      JC Chouinard says:

      I don’t think luck has anything to do. Sure her path isn’t conventional, but the amount of work she puts into it seems surreal for most people, including me.

      Life is usually about the choices we make and the efforts we put into it. I agree, it is not always possible to changes paths straight away when things go bad, nor that it is always a good idea. However, we can plan this.

      At last, when change isn’t possible and everything seems bad, the best we can do is try to see the best into it.

      I wish you to find the strength to face those challenges. We’re not born strong, we grow strong.

      Reply
    • Sarah Barra
      Sarah Barra says:

      I’m confused by this. In what way is Penelope, or any working mom who gets knocked back often but keeps getting up and swinging “Lucky” ?

      Reply
    • Wendee
      Wendee says:

      Penelope,
      As a former home schooler and working mom. I can share your frustrations. It is very difficult and I was blessed to have others in my life who home schooled to turn to and glean information from. I was also fortunate to have two more independent students. My son did everything and still does in his own time zone but was easy to teach. My daughter was speedy and excellent with prioritizing her work even from a young age but took more time than my son to grasp concepts or maybe just wanted to deeply absorb them. Either way I observed they were easier than other children I observed. You can’t possibly give a schedule, I laugh at that because as soon as you make one it will change! You can have objectives for each day and priorities but a times schedule? Good luck. nice and real post Penelope, like it.

      Reply
  1. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Penelope,
    I love this post. I’m among the 1% as well. However I do not have aspbergers, just no social life!! Thanks for hitting so close to home with this one.

    Reply
  2. Amy Wenger
    Amy Wenger says:

    Thank you for posting this. I was just considering how I could work full time or start an endeavor as my daughter enters formal homeschool studies (5.5 years). It seems so challenging just to homeschool, let alone keep up a home, take care of yourself and work. I do wish I could find some small side gig to keep me sane. I feel inadequate when I see so many other Moms with their side businesses.

    Reply
    • Desiree Day
      Desiree Day says:

      Try teaching Asian kids online. This is not an ad. I am a homeschooler and do about 15 hours a week. Good extra income.

      Reply
    • Janet
      Janet says:

      What s wring with the public school system? My kid went to a religious school for almost 3 yrs and got kicked out 2 months before 2nd grade. When he got into public school he was diagnosed as being gifted smart and did wonderfully. Set my kid up to go to college in 11th and 12th grade. Community college was accelerated high school. Always in honors classes. Did not have time to homeschool as the quality of education in public school. Challenge yiur kids Achievement and academics. Homeschooling would not have work for us.

      Reply
        • Janet lesko
          Janet lesko says:

          My kid is an optometrist. How can you say there are fake people! Thank you 8th grader for speaking up about public schools. What I have learned is this….How can a parent homeschool their kid if they do not have the basics down themselves…ie. the Duggars. In most instances what I have seen us the parents reluctance to allow their children to experience life. Homeschooling isolates a person. Our kids have to be ready for the real working world. Homeschoolers are exempt from the standard proficiency testing that’s required by most states.

          Reply
          • Twinkle
            Twinkle says:

            Not true, Janet. Homeschoolers a *better* socialized the traditionally schooled kids. They are not segregated by age, economic groups, etc. Public schools were created to teach children to work in Factories. To “Stay in line”. I have no issue with people choosing to use the public or private school systems. I have problems with people spouting out dated rhetoric about homeschooling and homeschoolers.

    • Sarah Barra
      Sarah Barra says:

      Amy: my kids are 14,8, and 8, and my tiny biz is 10. Trust Me- Most of the people you are comparing yourself to are fake as hell. And that’s ok too- you have to stretch a bit, tweak your story to yourself to get new connections and access, but don’t think for a minute that your friends have their isht anywhere NEAR together. I would be willing to make a bet with you that if you could take a week off and spend 3 hours with each of the ladies you are comparing yourself to you would be hard-pressed to find 1 who actually has a life approaching what your perception of it is. We are ALL nuts, we are ALL struggling…shoot i had 2 friends from the homeschooling group here that i envied a bit bc of their marriages and guess what? Their husbands freaking up and left them! Trust me You Are Doing Better Than You Give Yourself Credit For. :)

      Reply
      • Janet lesko
        Janet lesko says:

        You are full of baloney. You homeschool because you want to control your kids as your property. You will realize you can’t do that once they start rebelling and open their eyes to what life is really about!!!

        Reply
  3. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    Once in a while, I get an overwhelming urge to dive all in and read one of your posts. Much like going to the gym, I’m always so glad I did, once I start (Don’t judge my analogy: I can draw poor parallels.) This article is no exception. You’re a gem, P. Keep it up.

    Reply
  4. Beth
    Beth says:

    I’m part of that 1%, no desire to get remarried, homeschooling and it’s not Asperger’s. It’s unmedicated ADHD. We are the mental octopi. Whole lot of flailing going on :D! Loved this post. Thank you! Oh- and Fireball Whiskey. Mhm.

    Reply
  5. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    I have been part of that 1% for years and it’s just like you say. I probably have one of those conditions you mentioned or have developed it ;) out of self defense. More coffee than sleep helps get you through, and dogged determination not to quit anything that seems important. There’s no luck about it. More like stubbornness and your own bootstraps.

    Reply
  6. Emily
    Emily says:

    I’m part of the 1% and agree it’s hell. I’m quite certain I don’t have Asberger’s. I would happily have gotten remarried if I found a good partner – as hellish as it is to be a single parent/sole breadwinner, it’s even more hellish to married to the wrong person while raising kids and needing to bring home most (or all) of the bacon.

    Reply
    • graham landi
      graham landi says:

      On her website. There’s enough there to keep you entertained for a lifetime. Unless you’re George Burns

      Reply
  7. Natalee
    Natalee says:

    Oh wow. I am part of the 1% and I just call myself crazy. Thank you for speaking truth.I don’t drink so I don’t even have that comfort, but some days I swear I am going to start drinking.I would love to remarry but I don’t even have time to sleep much less date. Some days I feel like I have everything running smooth and other days I want to go back to bed and start my day over.

    Reply
    • Dominique
      Dominique says:

      Love this. And so happy to read about someone else in the same boat as me. For once I don’t feel so alone. Keep on keeping on :)

      Reply
  8. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    This is the FIRST time I’ve found anyone else who homeschools and works full-time, as a single parent!!! I’m not alone! LOL! I AM crazy to do what I do, but it’s all for my two littles. I am a white woman with a Master’s degree. Divorced. Started my own biz so I could keep my kids on the same schedule – at home with me. They have THRIVED which is how I know I’m making the right choices. However, I am currently dealing with a major stress-related illness and trying to get better at self-care. Cut-down on the drinking too. None of it is easy. We were dealt some tough cards, but our kids are worth it! Sending hugs to you!

    Reply
  9. Diane B.
    Diane B. says:

    I feel for you, I do. I was a single parent for 12 years, starting out with zero skills. Our first piece of furniture was a 4 foot Christmas tree. I got a corporate job at the bottom and clawed my way near the top, all the while working on a degree. Many, many people have asked me over the years how I did it. The only answer I had was LOVE. Today my daughter is a college educated, professional civil engineer, a wife, and mother of two boys. She reminds me every mother’s day that if it weren’t for the choices I made then, we wouldn’t be where we are now. To this day I keep that LOVE within my field of vision.

    Reply
  10. Candice Lloyd
    Candice Lloyd says:

    I’m part of the 1%! I’m a single mom of 5, one is already in college for architecture. I chose not to remarry. I’m told everyday that I am either Super Woman or just plain crazy (I think it’s a combination of both). I just enjoy being able to be an active participant in their lives/education while having a career. I’m not in corporate America I just work privately as an HHA which allows me to make my own schedule.

    Reply
  11. Faith P Smith
    Faith P Smith says:

    So true of single moms
    It’s a juggling act.We use an online site for some academics
    I created the art, music health & gym curriculum in accordance with our state regulations.More income would make it even greater.I love it homeschooling.

    Reply
  12. AnneMarie Vasquez
    AnneMarie Vasquez says:

    I’m tired of being alone in my marriage.we spend 0 time together. I’m alone all day with the kids everyday even weekends. I have 8 kids 4 that are 6 and under and too kids with very low function autism non verbal. I would love to leave my husband and work full time. I homeschool all but the two with autism but no one will watch the disabled kids not even home health care so I guess I’m stuck in this lonely marriage for awhile.

    Reply
    • Sarah
      Sarah says:

      Wow, AnneMarie, that sounds incredibly difficult. I can’t imagine how you keep going everyday. A mother’s love for her children is a crazy powerful motivator. Well done hanging in there for your kids every day. I’m praying for you tonight that God will give you strength and wisdom to walk through your very tough situation, and that maybe you and your husband can somehow reconnect.

      Reply
  13. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    You’re doing great, P. As you mention, it gets easier as the kids get older because they are able to do more for themselves. And these days, technology is available to support learning. So you don’t have to be next to them giving them lessons.

    Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Reply
  14. Dana Martin
    Dana Martin says:

    Penelope,
    This is a genuine question, no negativity: do you think it’s possible that you see Aspergers in so many people due to a bias towards it because you have it? Do you know what I mean?
    thanks
    Dana

    Reply
  15. Janet
    Janet says:

    I got divorced when my kid was 10 months old. After 5 years, I did get remarried for a quick second. Finding “qualified candidates” to marry is not as easy as some folks say. I am in that 1% of the white women population. After 2 divorces and having to have raised my kid, I feel more confident and secure with myself that I don’t really want to be bothered by “any man”. Cheaters and users are all there. I have run into both. I am proud to say that I don’t have Aspergers. I just have always had to bust my bottom and work a lot to keep up with all the bills and take care of my kid. Child support and going to court every 3 years to fight for an increase in child support was my kids entire childhood. I am proud to say that I was a “role model” for my child. I gave my child goals and dreams. I pushed my child academically when I saw that my child was capable of it. I am so proud to say that my child is an Optometrist (an O.D.) and went to Optometry School. My parents and my brother were there for me while my child was growing up. My ex-husband (the dad) did nothing to encourage our child. Ex-husband is working on Number 4 marriage. Just because a parent has to manage and maintain everything and are not given the choice of “taking it easy”, what gives you the “authority” to say that 1 % of college educated Caucasian women have Aspergers?

    Reply
  16. Janet
    Janet says:

    I posted my opinion here and you folks didn’t release them. You are so bad. We, as women are the “stronger gender”. We have to put up with a lot of baloney (and it ain’t Oscar Meyer) from men who make you believe they “love you” only to find out that they are either cheating on you or they want to screw you over financially. My child was an infant when my ex-husband decided to get remarried to someone else. I was not making a lot of money (even though I went to college) so I had to work a lot of hours while my parents watched my kid. I also sent my kid to preschool. I wish I would have had the “energy” to homeschool my kid. This thing about you diagnosing white females who are 1 % of the population who don’t remarry. Well, lady I did for a quick second. It’s not so easy to find a soul mate who 1. doesn’t cheat 2. who isn’t trying to either kill you or rip you off financially. I dated plenty of others who had many different addictions like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and pornography along with other personal things I can’t talk about in public. It’s sad that the “men pool” of good men out there is limited. I raised a good one the way that my parents raised my brother and I. I would rather be without a spouse and do my own thing that be frustrated by any man out there. I have plenty of friends, acquaintances, work full time and travel. I am not isolated by anyone. Get really lady. Like someone said in the comments, maybe you are the one with the problem. Us “single moms” have to do what we have to do to raise our kids so they turn out to be good people. Do you have any kids of your own?

    Reply
  17. Savorian
    Savorian says:

    Well, white women aren’t the only ones who homeschool OR get divorced, OR drink to cope, OR run around like a chicken with its head cut of. While I’m sure I’m not your demographic it was disappointing that this article made it seem like you people are the only ones who struggle or need advice.

    Reply
    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I realize that, but thank you for pointing it out.

      Asian statistics run pretty similar to white statistics in this arena. But Black and Latino statistics are very different. I have some ideas why, but I feel totally unqualified to be sorting this stuff out.

      So, what I meant to do is point out that women of any race who have a choice to get married, and then choose to raise kids alone, probably have a mental disorder. I mean, that’s how much harder it is to raise kids alone.

      Penelope

      Reply
      • Beth
        Beth says:

        Penelope,
        Do you know what’s far harder than raising kids alone? Dealing with a dysfunctional marriage while raising kids. You speak as though the default state of marriage is “happy and supportive”. If you romanticize it, yes- life is far easier with a partner. If you look at it through the lens of reality, it’s rarely so simple. Even a marginally ok marriage takes effort to keep in balance (effort better spent on your children, in my opinion). Many suffer through shit marriages and I don’t believe that it’s any easier to be a solid, connected parent when you’re wondering why the other parent lied about where they were over the weekend. Though cheating, drinking/drugs, overspending, abuse, or all the other issues that plague relationships may also not be the default state, they are certainly as common as the “happy and supportive” marriage. Some of us simply choose to focus on the kids and ourselves, without that added complication. Autonomy is priceless. I’m not sure you meant to sound condemnatory, but the connotation of “mental disorder” is that there is some innate malfunctioning in our brains keeping us from making a rational decision. I love my boyfriend. He’s wonderful. And I shall enjoy him from a reasonable distance until the kids are in college.

        Reply
        • Amy D. Kovach
          Amy D. Kovach says:

          Beth, I had to reply to your post. I did the same thing you are doing and am so glad I did. I dated my now-husband for TEN years and we married the summer the youngest child graduated from high school and prepared to leave for college. We have now been married 12 years and it has been wonderful. Would we have blended families, I am not sure how it would have gone and I was not willing to make my children struggle through it. They are close with my husband and have thanked me many times for the choice I made.
          We didn’t do sleep overs unless the kids were with the other parent. We didn’t do joint vacations or holidays. We both focused on giving our own kids the best life they could have, after our divorces. (We didn’t meet until after our marriages had ended.)

          People thought we were crazy to wait that long, but I was adamant. It was not easy but it was definitely worthwhile. And starting a new life just the two of us once the kids were launched has been wonderful.

          And every time I read/hear about the struggles of step/blended families, I am glad all over again we played it the way we did.

          Best wishes to you for your future.

          Reply
  18. Paula HoustonAllen
    Paula HoustonAllen says:

    I love your post! I’m a soon-to-be single homeschool mom, college educated, with ADD. I don’t necessarily want to stay single forever but can’t imagine having time for a new relationship. Regarding Aspergers, my soon-to-be ex is an aspie and never really accepted homeschooling or really parenthood for that matter. He thrives on routine and resents the spontanaity of a child it seems. I’m impressed that you’ve been able to adapt to so many different situations. To his defense, I admire his ability to stick to routines and his tenacity. Not sure if these are aspie traits or just him.

    Reply
  19. Janet
    Janet says:

    What s wring with the public school system? My kid went to a religious school for almost 3 yrs and got kicked out 2 months before 2nd grade. When he got into public school he was diagnosed as being gifted smart and did wonderfully. Set my kid up to go to college in 11th and 12th grade. Community college was accelerated high school. Always in honors classes. Did not have time to homeschool as the quality of education in public school. Challenge yiur kids Achievement and academics. Homeschooling would not have work for us.

    Reply
  20. Jeannie Duarte
    Jeannie Duarte says:

    I am an “old” mom, had my first boy-child 3 days shy of my 38th birthday, then another 13 months later, then another 12 months later. I’ve always been a consultant/business owner and I JUST CANT SEEM to keep it to doing one thing and doing it well. I am an INTP (couldn’t possibly be anything else) and my husband is an ENFP (lordy, all the feelings there). We don’t make a lot of money (probably because I just can’t seem to work for someone else, and neither can my husband) because I am always wandering off after the next idea. Thankfully I am smart…and I have a young single person who is an assistant/nanny (ISFP)…and I have people clean my house once a week, and I have an instant pot, and there is Instacart. One person simply cannot be everything to everyone, unless the “everyone” is only one’s self. But because I still want to parent my children (who are 6,5 and 7) I have to learn where, who and how to shift and adjust and offload tasks whenever possible. I will pay my “helper” before I pay my own bills…having that type of assistance is absolutely essential to my life right now. For all mom’s out there, there isn’t one way to do it and you have to understand yourself AND your kids to find the best mix and be the best, most present parent you can be.

    Reply
    • Janet
      Janet says:

      The optimimum word here is “husband”. You have one with a pretty good income, it sounds like it. I can’t afford a housekeeper. I still struggle financially because I don’t make 6 figures. We as parents have to do the right thing for our kids even when were dealing with a cheater.

      Reply
  21. Molly
    Molly says:

    I’m actually in the 1% of something! I, too, work from home and have school right along with it. We love it.

    I have thought many time I may have asperger’s, so this post hit home!

    Reply
  22. Julia
    Julia says:

    I think Asperger’s/ADHD often comes with a lot of mental energy that will morph into physical activity because otherwise we just die of boredom (or become somehow mentally disturbed). At least I think that is how I cope. It is hard not to overdo it and harm your health. So I obsess with organization and schedules (which definitely don’t come easy). But if I were divorced I am pretty sure drinking like a chicken with its head cut off (wasn’t that the analogy?) would be on the table.

    Reply
  23. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Wow, AnneMarie, that sounds incredibly difficult. I can’t imagine how you keep going everyday. A mother’s love for her children is a crazy powerful motivator. Well done hanging in there for your kids every day. I’m praying for you tonight that God will give you strength and wisdom to walk through your very tough situation, and that maybe you and your husband can somehow reconnect.

    Reply
  24. Sarah Barra
    Sarah Barra says:

    AMEN!!! And I feel so much less alone reading the comments, Big Fist Bumps to yall! (bc i am very aspergery and hate hugs lol) Penelope you nailed it on this one…i’ve seen comments on some of your other posts where ppl kept telling you to get help blah blah blah…you are a rock star and i am so glad you stay strong and tell the truth! My kids decided to go back to public after i homeschooled all 3 for about 20 months while running my 2 locations of dog grooming shops. The problem with public school questioned above is that it brings all kids down to the LCD. I threaten mine every day that i’m going to pull them back out if they don’t commit time to study after school, bc they have gone backwards academically since they went back. They wanted to go back bc i couldn’t get them in situations where they had continuous relationships with other kids. A big thing that y’all might also have found is that women with our personality types tend to be super-honest and blunt with our kids. Most of us don’t dumb things down for them or overprotect them bc we want them to be strong, smart, productive people. Homeschool groups are primarily (in my area at least) comprised of married Christian moms who raise their kids with a completely opposite mindset, so my kids didn’t relate at all to them. (Elf-on-a-shelf Really?!?) Also the other homeschool kids came across as very clique-y bc they had known each other since they were on their mom’s boob next to each other at the park, and didn’t know how to reach out to new kids to play with them…so i ended up letting them go back to public school only to make friends, which they have done successfully. Penelope you totally called it that the struggle is in constantly adapting and shifting as kids needs change, business realities change, etc, and everyone around you is telling you you’re a control freak, your hard-headed, etc etc but the proof is in the pudding; looks like we all have done right so far in raising our kids by living with integrity and taking full responsibility.

    Reply
    • Sarah
      Sarah says:

      Sarah, I’m a married, Christian Mom, but I’m also super honest and blunt with my kids and try to err on the side of not over-protecting them. (And yes, I agree that Elf on the Shelf is bizarre, lol.) And I, too, have experienced the clique-ish-ness of some homeschool groups. It’s hard when you don’t know where else to go to find community for yourself or your kids.

      Reply
  25. Adam
    Adam says:

    “[…] 2% of white college-educated women get divorced. All these statistics come from the Bureau of Labor.” Could you please provide a more specific citation for this?

    If I recall correctly, in a previous post, you made a similar claim about divorce in a foreign country, possibly the UK, and it turned out be an annual rate. I could not find that article by searching the web at the moment, but, for whatever it may be worth, I did come across a similar remark by user “sx” on your blog entry at http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2013/09/30/is-your-marriage-ruining-your-career/ .

    For context, in a web page from 2013 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2013/article/marriage-and-divorce-patterns-by-gender-race-and-educational-attainment.htm , in table 4 (“Marriage outcomes by age 46 by gender and education attainment”), “percent of first marriages ending in divorce” (without selecting for sex or ethnicity) for “Bachelor’s degree or higher” was 23.7%.

    On the other hand, if your statistic really is correct, it would be quite an interesting one to know, given a clearer source.

    Reply
    • Bob
      Bob says:

      Yes, she’s made similar claims before, more than once. It’s fair to say that she’s not a statistics expert. But part of the problem is that “divorce rate” has no single definition.

      Reply
  26. 8th grader
    8th grader says:

    I know this comment isn’t related to this article, but I really wanted to share my own view on public schooling. Quite frankly, I think it’s fairly good- and certainly not as terrible as this website often portrays it.
    I am a 8th grade female student living in New York City who goes to a public school, enjoys it, thrives there, and takes initiative. I am in the process of starting my own website- my own company- selling my own designs made through Photoshop (self-taught and took a class in) on clothing. I’ve started teaching my self Latin on my commute to school, and I’ve met amazing people and inspiring teachers at my school. Being home-schooled may be favored by some people, but there are many others who enjoy public school- even through all the tough moments.
    Public school has taught me so much, and has pushed me further. It enforces appreciation and respect for others. My elementary school had “Custodian Appreciation Day” and my middle school has “Peace and Diversity Day” as well as “Upstander Day.” And there’s more. I love meeting new people and learning how to deal with social situations. I like class group chats and running into your classmates on the street. The sports are great, too. My school has a wrestling team, basket ball team, and soccer team. The sports don’t decide your social status; they’re a great community and way to make friends. I play travel soccer outside of school.
    I think the teaching at public schools is very good. I think public schools teach you important social issues and expose you to different lifestyles. Had I not gone to my public school, I doubt that I would have discovered I was bisexual at a young age. I connect with my teachers, as do many of my classmates. There are many fun extracurriculars that encourage students to take action of their own, or just fun clubs to hang out in with teachers. My school has many special-ed students who thrive here- I’m friendly with most of them. I learn a lot from school, but it doesn’t dominate my whole life. I understand that public school isn’t for everyone, but you can’t make such huge generalizations about all public schools and students. Finally, I can’t emphasize enough how much I learn from my school and how grateful I am to be learning so much.

    Oh, and by the way- I think learning math is important.

    Reply
    • Janet
      Janet says:

      Public school or private school CREATES Structure!!! For those of you whose lives are turned upside down because you want to teach them at home, you’re kidding yourself. You can probably teach them up to a certain point Elementary School but that’s about it

      Reply
    • Janet
      Janet says:

      The Duggar kids we’re all home-schooled and look how stupid they are. They depend on their father’s money and therefore he controls them.

      Reply
    • Ginger
      Ginger says:

      Thank-you for sharing. It’s nice to read a defense of public school from a student thriving in public school. My children have had some great experiences at their own public school. I am grateful for the teachers and staff and all of the passion and love they pour into their work.

      Reply
  27. Stephie McCarthy
    Stephie McCarthy says:

    That so true! The point being, you can do a lot more if you don’t worry so much about what others think and drop a lot of perfectionism. I’m learning this myself by watching women on video who do a hell of a lot, living on their own money, and home school. Embrace a little messiness in life, because it’s still beautiful if you will look at it that way.

    Reply
  28. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Penelope, I am married with one child. I spent a good part of my life wondering if I actually wanted to get married – and for good part of it I was inclined not to, but I also wanted children – yes, more than one, and I tried for more than one, but was only successful once… Anyhow, I am happily married, I don’t think my husband is going anywhere, but if he did, I am pretty sure I would not want to remarry – maybe in the past I would have considered it if I still had a chance for more children, but now that my age and health are at the point where it is probably not a good idea to try again – I hope for many happy years with my husband, but if something stopped that, I would not likely entertain the idea of remarrying. Do you think, based on that, that I have AS?

    Reply
    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I am talking about raising kids alone vs. raising kids with someone. So did you marry while the kid is young or is the kid out of the house?

      Penelope

      Reply
  29. Scarlet
    Scarlet says:

    As a mom who works full time from home, and raises two children with the help of her husband, I feel my hands are so full. It isn’t pretty to have to manage doing it all yourself. But we often rise to our challenges- thankfully! It like that quote, “Women are like teabags, you don’t know how strong they are till you put them in hot water.”

    Reply
  30. algrim.co
    algrim.co says:

    I think more jobs these days are allowing you to make your own hours. Which is a really nice benefit. They are measuring you by your performance. If you aren’t in one of those jobs, I think it’s important to potentially consider making a move, to a working environment which supports that type of delivery method. That way, you can take a few hours of the day to homeschool and support your child while still delivering your work on the time you do have available.

    Reply

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