The Thing I Said I’d Never Do

Really. So many things.

Before I became a parent my “List of Things I Will Never Do” would’ve paved the way to the top of Mt. Everest.

Now, it’s more along the lines of, “I will never willingly stay up past midnight” and “I will never cheer for the Longhorns.” Because, kids. And priorities.

At first, I said I’d never quit artificial birth control. Then that was followed by I’ll never put my kids in timeout in a public place. Have a baby in the NICU. Go drug-free during a birth. Walk out of a bathroom with toilet paper stuck to my shoe. You know. Many things.

I share all that because sometimes in life, you change. And, sometimes you don’t. Thirteen years ago, when we had our first child we decided that our children would attend Catholic school for as long as possible. I believe I also said, I will never homeschool. To my best recollection I think that’s the only thing – after 13 years of ‘nevers’ – that still actually holds true. But I have changed my mind about the kind of people that do choose to homeschool. I was not very charitable 13 years ago, y’all. At all. But, time, kids, experience, perspective and age have all taught me that there is no one “right way” for your kids to be educated. So, when Bonnie wrote this post, I loved it.

Every family is different. And, no momma is better, or worse, than her counterparts because her family chooses a different path.

Choosing Catholic school

We chose Catholic school for many reasons. I think more people should seriously consider it and seek out ways to make it affordable, but I also realize that it’s not always the ideal, or best, solution for every family. Quite honestly, I don’t think you should beat yourself up, either, if you just can’t make it happen. While there are various schools of thought (see what I did there?) on tuition-free vs. not, all the way through high school vs. not and supplementing with church religious education programs vs. not – you ultimately have to put it to prayer.

As parents, we have to ask ourselves one very important question: Is what I’m doing in my household getting my kids to heaven? The rest is just details.

When Scott and I chose Catholic school for our family, we put it to pen and paper. What would it cost us financially? What were the things that drew us to that environment (even though we’re both the product of public school systems)? And at the end of every year, we have looked back and said, YES, that was the right thing for our family. I can’t tell you where to send your kids to school, nor should I. But, I can encourage you to take stock of your own gifts, your vocation, your kids’ temperament and the school choices available and PRAY.

Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. It feels like big stuff at the time, but take heart. Only you know what’s best for your family.

1 Comment

  1. Karen on October 23, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I missed the original viral article, but I think I get the gist. Your series last year on choosing schools was so helpful for me and ended up being what helped us decide not to attend Catholic school. I did an “examination of conscience” with the awesome list of questions you put in that series and took them to our catholic school’s K info session and walked away knowing that sadly our parish school would not be the right place for my kids, and for a number of reasons, there wasn’t really an option for attending a different parish school.

    So my daughter is in our local public K now, a nice, well-achieving, family oriented school with a strong sense of community. I love her teacher. And yet there are some things I’m deeply unhappy with – mainly they are things endemic to the way our schools our funded and run out here in California and are unlikely to change, very disappointing.

    I would reconsider one other local catholic school, but I love our parish and don’t want to switch so that makes switching to a different catholic school tough because of the non-parishioner hit in intuition. We are inching closer to homeschool.

    Anyways, I always wanted to tell you thank you so much for that school series because it really helped us with our school decision!

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