Overview: Feeling alone as a homeschool mom is not uncommon, but there are ways to overcome it so you can feel happy and fulfilled on this journey.
It can happen slowly, over years, even as you become more assured in how you homeschool, as you begin making decisions for your family that don’t line up with the ones everyone else seems to be making.
Or it can happen quickly, like when you move to a new home and are unfamiliar with the homeschool law and don’t know anyone to ask.
Or as high school approaches and you keep homeschooling — and the families you started with are now sending their kids to school.
Whatever the catalyst, one day you realize that you are alone in this homeschool gig. There is no one other than your husband to confer with. Play dates or field trips are a thing of the past. Your most meaningful conversations about homeschooling happen when fighting with your teen about the paper that was supposed to be 500 words and was turned in with ten.
Even in the midst of homeschool mom friends, it is possible to feel alone, if their parenting style is different than yours, or they are using a curriculum which you hate (or vice-versa), or you’ve got family issues you can’t share about for fear of being judged.
I’ve been there. And it’s no fun.
For me, it was a combination of factors. Yes, we moved across country and bought a beautiful home in the country — far away from everything. I felt good about my homeschool choices and didn’t feel the need for a co-op. And my kids had each other to play with — what’s wrong with that?
Nothing. Except when these well-intentioned choices become a prison of your own making. When you wish you could pick up the phone and chat with someone who can truly understand about your day. When you feel stuck at home because you don’t have anything else to do and honestly wouldn’t know of anything else to do anyway.
It can feel so lonely and hopeless, but you keep trudging, because that’s what homeschool moms do.
While slowly wilting.
But you don’t have to do that. You can change these circumstances and that feeling if you truly want to, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal. I mean, it can be — but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s knock around some ideas:
How to Deal with Loneliness as a Homeschool Mom
I’ve already harped on this a bit, so I won’t go into too much detail again. For more detailed information, look here: Episode 63: Self-Care for the Homeschool Mom and here: Episode 47: 10 Doable Ways to Find Time for Yourself.
But suffice it to say that the person who is responsible for taking care of your emotional needs is no one other than you. You can’t expect others to see your difficulty and reach out. They might, but you can’t fault them if they don’t.
And if you are feeling that your emotional needs are going unmet, a good part of the reason why might be because you are not taking care of your first responsibility — yourself.
You can’t serve your family from a half-empty tank, y’all. Get over the martyr syndrome, organize the kids to clean the kitchen for once, and treat yourself to a hot bath and a dose of fun fiction! Doctor Annie’s orders!
2) Be the one to reach out.
When I was in 6th grade I was placed in a group of kids who saw a counselor about how to make friends. She advised we make the first move. I was afraid, so the following week I told her I “didn’t have time.” And yet I heard as the other kids shared their success stories — and so I belatedly gave it a go. Surprisingly enough (to me, anyway), the girl I approached was actually very glad to be reached out to and became a good friend.
This still applies as grownups, LOL. We can make all the excuses we want, but sometimes we just gotta take the plunge and make the first move. Homeschool moms are nice people, and they don’t turn down friendly overtures.
And part of self-care is having friends to talk to.
So find someone you want to get to know better and send a text or message. Start slow if that is more comfortable for you. But do it!
3) Look around for a co-op.
When my number three headed off to college, the two that were left and I were definitely feeling lonely. So we found a co-op. It really helped give more interest to our week, and we all made new friends.
4) Re-evaluate if the co-op you are in is still a good fit.
Sometimes where we are isn’t meeting our needs anymore. That’s OK! No one said we have to keep doing the same thing year after year, just because others are. You do what’s best for YOUR teen and YOUR family.
5) Start your own co-op.
I never would have had the guts or energy to do this, but if you are the go-getter type, then get ‘er done! You can create exactly what you want!
6) Find your closest Great Homeschool Convention and get there.
I can’t say enough about getting yourself to a GHC. There are so many reasons for this:
a) you will be reminded of the huge homeschool movement
c) you can gain perspective by stepping out of your own morass
c) you can find local groups you didn’t know about
d) you can make new friends and keep in touch
e) you can gain wisdom from veteran homeschool moms such as myself
f) you can get in some of that self-care we mentioned earlier
I had so much fun at all the GHC’s this past year (2021). At my booth I talked with many homeschool moms, and that was probably the highlight for me. Everyone has their own story, and all are beautiful in their own way. I came away so encouraged!
You can register for 2022 at the best prices NOW. Go here: Great Homeschool Conventions Website.
I’ll be at the Texas, Ohio, and Missouri conventions in 2022! Come see me!
Being lonely as a homeschool mom comes and goes, but we don’t have to get stuck there. We tend to be self-sufficient, but sometimes we can carry that too far. I encourage you to make the effort to find a solution for your own situation. You won’t regret it!
- Episode 81: Communicating with Teenagers - July 1, 2022
- Episode 80: Gena Mayo Shares Her Best Advice for Homeschooling High School - June 17, 2022
- Episode 79: Granting Autonomy to Your Homeschooled Teen - June 3, 2022