Homeschool Mom, Who are Your Friends?

Homeschool Mom, Who are Your Friends? | HSLDA Blog

I am an extrovert and I have a lot of friends. I’m not just talking about Facebook friends. I have a lot of friends in my own community whom I see face-to-face on a frequent basis. But something I am not very good at doing—and I know I need to work on it—is cultivating a few, very deep friendships with other women.

There are different levels of friendship. You can have meaningful relationships and not go deep with people. But the deep relationships are the ones that will hopefully transcend time and seasons of life.

I’d like to think the reason I’m not very good at cultivating those few, deep friendships is that I have a hard time deciding who to spend more time with because I like everyone! And, of course, I am with my kids constantly, and life is very busy, and it’s hard to have a lot of deep conversations with kids interrupting.

I know some women who are really good at always inviting friends to come along when they go to the park or visit the children’s museum. I tend to do those things with my kids at the last minute and, more often than not, neglect to invite people to come along. Sometimes it’s because I’m tired, or because I just want to focus on my own kids at the park, or because I just didn’t think about it soon enough.

There are a million reasons and excuses.

Here is my perspective as a second-generation homeschooler. My parents and my husband’s parents both homeschooled their children for 20-plus years each. When they finished homeschooling, they wondered where all the friends had gone. They had long periods of feeling lonely.

All friendships are based on things that the individuals have in common. It’s easy, when homeschooling, to base friendships on the fact that you mutually home-educate. But that might not be enough. Homeschooling doesn’t last forever. It’s just a season. When the homeschooling ends, will the friendships still be there?

Homeschool Moms, Who are Your Friends? | HSLDA Blog

This picture is from an outing last spring where I actually remembered in advance to invite some friends along!

At a homeschool group years ago, I noticed that all the moms tended to talk exclusively about the things we had immediately in common: kids and homeschool curriculum. One day, we were all standing around, and there was a pause in conversation. I said, “So, did anyone do anything fun over the weekend?” Several people looked a little disoriented at the shift in conversation. Finally, someone talked about her landscaping project. It was the first time I had really talked to someone in the group about something other than kids and curriculum. It was nice.

An older friend in my community named Patty, who has had the same group of girlfriends for over 30 years, told me what she thinks is the secret to longevity of friendship. “You have to get your girlfriends to go deeper; to go to the next level.” She and her friends had a walking-group where they talked mostly about superficial things. One day she invited them to a Bible study. This turned their surface friendships into something deeper.

I gave Patty’s advice some thought. I realized that I already have three wonderful friends in my neighborhood who do a semi-monthly Bible study with me in our home. My problem is the reverse of Patty’s problem. I already have “serious” conversation with these friends by studying the Bible. What I realized I needed in my life is a time to just talk about the mundane and trivial things that happen during the week. I needed some time with girlfriends that is “just for fun.”

So, I started my own walking-group about two months ago. There are four of us gals who walk from 6:00-6:45 a.m. every Tuesday. We talk about serious things, we talk about our kids, we talk about dumb stuff, we pray for each other, and we laugh a lot. It has been a highlight of my week ever since we started doing it. I think the other ladies in my walking-group feel the same.

I don’t know if the relationships in my newfound walking-group will turn out to be a 30-year friendships or not. All I can do right now is try.

What are you homeschool moms (and dads!) doing to cultivate friendships that transcend the homeschool years?

-Amy

Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Charity Klicka; second image courtesy of Amy Koons.

6 Comments on “Homeschool Mom, Who are Your Friends?”

  1. Carolyn Bales
    November 23, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

    Game nights! They’re a great way to connect with people in different life stages.

    Like

  2. Ann
    November 24, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

    Guilty as charged! I needed this reminder to take time now to nurture friendships with those dear godly, child-free friends who will hopefully still be around post-homeschooling!

    Like

  3. Lorrie B
    November 25, 2016 at 2:04 am #

    Thanks, Amy! This is an “aha” for me. I am a borderline introvert so I tend to live in my cave, but yearn for deep friendships (my extrovert side). Been pondering my need for deeper friendships and realizing it has to go deeper than homeschooling. Thank you for giving words to my thoughts and encouraging me to take action. God is so good to provide what we need when we need it!

    Like

  4. Tami
    November 25, 2016 at 6:07 am #

    Amy,
    Thank you for your enlightening article on friendships. I didn’t realize I was setting myself up to be on a lone island; fortunately, it’s not too late to make changes. I’m always with my kids, and through the years, got too busy to foster my distant friendships. I’m inspired by your walking group. I see what you mean about being proactive, and being intentional in planning time with friends. I’ll get started right away! Thank you so much! I needed that!😊

    Like

  5. Nancy
    November 28, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    Thank you for this article. i could relate. I get so busy. It is a challenge for me plan ahead to call a friend to just go out and do something fun.

    Like

  6. SJ
    December 2, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    I thoroughly agree with the idea of taking friendships beyond the immediate circumstances you have in common. But going walking at 6am is, I think, an act of friendship beyond my capacity. I’ll stick to coffee at 10. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: