The Co-op Conundrum

I gave up co-op before it even started. Before I printed the application. Before the family interview. Before I even knew where it met.

I requested the application because it was the thing I was supposed to be doing.

Get your kid into something, because the world thinks he’s unsocialized. Get your kid into something, because he is going to resent you when he isn’t in a kindergarten recital. Get your kid into something, because you’re supposed to get your kid into something.

But I just can’t do it right now. I know it could be good for Graham, but I don’t think it will be best for our family. And by our family, I mean me. I am not ready for all the homeschool co-op life. The meetings and duties and special duties and shirts and fees and special fees. I thought I was. But then I ended up with hives and a migraine.

I sent Dave a text saying I didn’t want to do co-op. Do. My word choice confirmed my heart. Not participate in. Not attend. Do. Because I see it as another thing that falls on me. And only me. Dave would be working. Graham would be ever-so-slowly dressing himself and pretending he couldn’t remember how to put on socks. I would be doing everything else. Diaper bags. Bottles. Allergy-free snacks. Clothes. Unloading the wheelchair. Loading the wheelchair. Nursery Duty. Scholastic Book Order Duty. Penny Duty. I don’t even know what Penny Duty is, but it was going to be on me.

And I can’t take on one more thing.

After Graham was so good at VBS, we decided he was ready for Awana. We think. I pray he’s ready. We got back good reports from his VBS teachers and helpers. And he was never kicked out of class or specials. So, he starts Awana in September. We were going to wait until 1st grade, but Dave and I feel like it’s time.

And Adelaide starts preschool someday. It won’t be in August or September, since they haven’t even started her evaluations, but it will be sometime before Christmas.

And she will still have physical therapy, even if we are paying completely out-of-pocket. And I don’t even know what days she will get her services at the school.

So, it’s wise for me to keep our calendar open while we get Adelaide situated. It’s wise to choose Awana, since Graham knows the kids, teachers, building, and some of the rules. It’s wise to say ‘yes’ to helping in a nursery class with kids I already know while Graham is with parents I trust.

And it’s wise to say ‘no’ to a foreign place with responsibilities I don’t think I can manage at this time. At this time.

In this season. I’m saying no to co-op for a season.

And trying to let go of the mom guilt.

Because so many other moms are doing Awana, co-op #1, co-op #2, gymnastics, and swim lessons. And I can only manage library every other week.

But they’re not me. And I’m not them. And we all just do what we think is best for our families.

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3 thoughts on “The Co-op Conundrum

  1. Maura says:

    Please don’t feel guilty about this! You are doing what is right for your child and your family. It is not always best to be overbooked! Let Graham be a child. He sounds delightful! Co-ops are not required for homeschooling ;) I think you sound like a wonderful mother.


  2. sarahcupp says:

    Oh girl. As I’m sitting here realizing it’s August, and I still haven’t nailed down whether we hs at home or try classical conversations again, which would be ‘easier’…but then I have to figure out where my barely verbal 3.5 year old (who gets REALLY excited around kids her age and pulls hair or grabs/pushes to show it) would go because the nursery would involve meeting with coordinators and scheduling someone for her. But then I need to call and see how her preschool eval went and if she qualified. And if I even want to send her or do therapies at home out of pocket. And I literally just hit “maybe” to a coop meeting not an hour ago. And it’s august and I haven’t figured out the best way for everyone to do this this year.


  3. Alexandra says:

    Yes. You are you, they are them. And none of the comparisons REALLT matter at all. I wish I remembered this more often. I’m proud of you. I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you.


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