Friday, April 12, 2013

But it's a Good Stress

Back when my older two children were little, I had my own business as a party entertainer. I enjoyed what I did for the most part. I've always loved being around kids, even when they are hopped up on sugar. I was able to see some impressive parties, too. It always amazed me how people would pull out all the stops for a children's party. And since I was so conscious of my own family's financial restraints, I did what I could to make my juggling shows affordable for any family who asked.

The funny thing is, it was always the big parties where I would run into trouble. I was not a good manager to myself. A friend of mine told me I didn't charge enough, and that I wouldn't be taken seriously because of that. He was right. I had instances where my fee was cut because I didn't perform for a full hour, or worse, I was blamed for a bad party and was not paid at all. This was hard for me, because I poured my heart into each show I did and I really did enjoy the good parties. The pressure of trying to collect the money was my tipping point. I decided to stop doing parties. I didn't need the anxiety.

I don't regret having tried performing. I was a shy kid, performing helped me learn to deal with that. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of what you do, and to revisit that list every now and then to see if anything has changed. This helped me with homeschooling as well. There have been times when I wondered if the hassles were worth it to have my kids home. It's important to keep revisiting your reasons for home education, your methods, and your family's well being.

Our family will get into a rut from time to time. Tempers flare (usually mine) when things aren't going smoothly or when I worry about required testing and reporting. It's good to be open to revising your methods if they aren't working. I've said it before: every child is different. You need to be willing to tweak your program if a child is simply not getting it. Sacrificing family harmony is not worth doing things the way you want them done. I don't regret using a classical education with Marina, but I'm glad I relaxed my methods with Chase and opted to unschool Sierra. Sometimes you need to choose your battles.

I couldn't make it work to perform. It's a stressful life, one that works best if you don't have a family and have no qualms about collecting fees. I can make homeschooling work. It's its own form of performance, not without its own stresses, but the rewards are so much greater.


Kez said...

The rewards are better! And you don't have the stress of collecting money :)

Anonymous said...

Words of wisdom! They come with experience, not with age. Love you.

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