I have a friend.
This friend has three awesome kids.
These three awesome kids are homeschooled.
I have four awesome kids.
My awesome kids are not homeschooled.
My four awesome kids go (or will go, in the case of the little one) to our local primary school.
My kids go to school, her kids do not.
We choose conventional education for our kids, they chose unschooling.
Does it matter?
Does it mean that we can’t be friends?
Does it mean that our kids can’t be friends?
This friend happens to be one of the best friends I have. She happens to be one of the few people who would be there for me, no matter what. She happens to be someone who I trust with my children, my messy house, and my love.
Those three kids happen to be some of the closest friends my kids will ever have. Our kids have laughed together, gotten in trouble together, and grown up together.
Even our husbands get along… because they have to.
Yes, we made different choices, and they are kinda big choices in the scheme of our lives right now, but we made them for our own children, for our own families. This is not about agreeing or disagreeing, or being right or wrong, this is simply about doing what we each need to do for our kids right now.
So really, we agree with each other 100%.
We agree that we need to do what is right for us, for our own families.
And I’m betting that most parents would agree with us too.
Most people would agree that you need to do the best for your family, in the situation you are in, with the resources you have, at this time.
So if we agree, then why all the nastiness?
Why are the ‘mummy wars’ splashed all over newspapers and websites?
Why are facebook pages full of mean comments?
Why do people look horrified when my friend says her kids are homeschooled?
Why do complete strangers on the internet tell me that I am scarring my children by sending them to school?
Why does each side have to prove their ideas are better?
Why are there even sides in the first place?
We will never all agree on the all the eleven zillion choices and decisions we have to make as parents, and that’s ok.
We don’t have to agree on everything to be nice to each other.
We don’t have to agree on everything to know that parenting is hard enough without added pressure.
We don’t have to agree on everything to realise that everyone is doing the best they can for their own family.
Let’s be nice.
Let’s ‘assign positive intent‘.
Let’s be ok with making different choices.
You might even find a fabulous friend, who might not do everything the same as you, but who loves you anyway… and that is golden.