“yeah, but…”

Boy, it’s hard to be excited about something when everyone else is raining on my parade. I seriously don’t know if I’ll even mention my plans to co-workers or family or friends from this point on, as the reaction is pretty much negative across the board. “Oh travel nursing is fine until your daughter gets older and needs to go to school and get involved in activities…” or just a flat out “you’ll have to wait until your daughter is out of school” or even from fellow travel nurses “all you’ll get are the crappy assignments”.

Well, maybe they’re right. But there’s on kind of life I can’t even stand the thought of… the one I’m living now, year after year, day after day, plodding through each one in order to get to a five-day (or at the very best, two-week) “vacation”, to supposedly escape the drudgery of real life. Is that really how it should be? What if four days a week, and as many weeks per year as I can afford, I’m on “vacation”??? What if what I really like to do, be it live near a beach or move every three months or see a new place every other week, could be a lifestyle, not a two-week escape from real life?

Seriously, how do other people do this???

And how is it that all these unschooling families seem so happy, relaxed, and confident in their choices when the rest of the world is screaming, “but what about school???” in their face all the time? And then in the same breath they start talking about how their kid had a total meltdown when she had to do an hour of homework on a Friday night. Oh, and she’s six, by the way. I completely fail to see how I’m the crazy one…

The worst part of the idea, to me, is the actual nursing job itself. I have no other skills and no other education, however, and I certainly can’t get by as a writer or blogger, like some people are able to do. I can’t “work from home”. The only other possible option I see is moving to Nepal, full-time, and looking for an NGO job that will allow us to live somewhat decently. Ideally, I could save money first by doing travel assignments, even the occasional assignment in my hometown (to bank the housing allowance).

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

7 thoughts on ““yeah, but…””

  1. People tend to balk at anything outside of the norm, because it feels safe to them, even if it mostly sucks. Just forget about what those people say. A little healthy questioning is a good thing, but that kind of negativity about something people don’t even really understand is just crap you don’t need to hear.

  2. There’s a reason I haven’t mentioned my plans to any family. The asinine email I got from a supposed friend (who read/s my blog) reinforced my need to keep it hush and choose who I share it with. I can ask in the fulltime RV group if there is a travel nursing group. Some people get by doing online work and sales stuff. You have to work to build that kind of stuff up to be profitable. Block out the naysayers and focus on those who are positive and have constructive questions!

  3. How disappointing. Plenty of families travel regularly and live happy fulfilled lives, I know a family where the father is an English teacher and they’ve lived in numerous countries, a plethora of military families, etc. There’s no correct way to live, how sad some think they know best for others.

  4. Another long winded comment from me: I’ve enjoyed following your story and that of @goodfamiliesdo precisely because neither of you are listening to the naysayers. We homeschool / unschool / world / road / whatever school and always have with our three. Most people will shut up about how you can’t do this or that after you DO this or that. They just can’t imagine or relate, and a lot of them feel – however subconsciously – judged that you’re in no way aspiring to live their life. The one they worked so hard to create. My more confident friends and family were always supportive – both my husband and I have a long history of marching to our own beats, so nothing should’ve surprised anyone about the choices we’ve made. You can certainly say the same thing for yourself! Some friends don’t lack confidence, but just assumed that once we had kids we’d “settle down”. Some people we just had to let go with love and hope they’d come back when it worked. Others we were able to just point out that we were working to create the life *we* wanted – it was not a rejection of who they were.

    It took us 12 years to get more of the life we wanted established, (my husband no longer trucking, own our own business, live on our own schedule – and we’re still building those goals up) and we homeschooled throughout that time and continue to do so. When my husband was a truck driver, the kids wouldn’t have seen him more than 2-3 hours a week if they’d been in school. Homeschooling allowed us to spend his few days off with him, mid week, and to take random trips with him all over the country. It improved our quality of life immeasurably. I know as an SMC things will be different for you, but i have every confidence that you’ll find a way to make your life suit your needs, vs shoehorning your spirits into a more smothering lifestyle.

    We do worry about the education they’re getting, fairly often, honestly. But every time we stop to reevaluate, we realize that we’re still meeting our original goals, and that we’re very satisfied with the education they’re *not* getting, as well! We’ve changed styles and tactics many times – you’re allowed to rework things to fit your life as often as you need to. Now that my older two are teens, even my family members who work with (or did) the public school system can see our points – they spend time with my kids and see what great kids they are, and hear more about what they are learning rather than focusing on what they aren’t. The most important thing you can teach M, in my opinion, is how to find out the things she needs to know to accomplish her goals. She already loves to learn – she’ll just need the details filled in here and there, and doing that will come naturally to you both.

    You’ve bucked tradition for years. You know what you want and what’s best for your family. You’ll find a way to make it work. In the meantime, just come up with a pat answer for the blind naysayers, (“I appreciate your concern – M and I are still exploring all of our options. So tell me about your favorite __________.”) and something more genuine for the people who truly want to understand. Sometimes having one reason they could understand (“they’d never see their dad, and that’s not OK with us”) helped them let it go. I got used to the general confusion, but refused to tolerate disrespect. Or anyone talking negatively to my kids about our decisions – we talk all the time with the kids about what’s easy and hard about all the choices all of us make, and we always have, in age appropriate ways. We try not to label anyone’s choices as “wrong” – just different from ours and right for their family. My closest friends are the ones who have lived in one place for years and send their kids to school, but we can still talk and laugh about what we both wish we could enjoy about each other’s lives, you know?

    And idk if I should take any real credit for this, (the societal attitude towards homeschooling has changed so much even since I started) but to me it feels like a ripple effect of freedom in my friend’s lives. Knowing options like the ones we choose are out there for them keeps them from accepting mediocre choices for themselves and their kids. Two friends who I never thought would homeschool now homeschool their kids. One of them was absolutely mystified when I decided to homeschool, but then things got difficult in their schools. We still do things very differently (they’re much more school at home) but now she gets it – we do what works for us.

    I had a sister in law that complained to me a lot about the bullying my nephew endured at school, and i just didn’t know what to tell her. I was so sad my nephew was going thru it, and I knew she wouldn’t homeschool, but i couldn’t relate to forcing my child into a situation where none of the adults in charge would advocate for him. But she thought we were nuts to homeschool. She had to involve the local police before the school would take action to protect my nephew. But I’m crazy. Fair enough. So just do what works for you, like you’ve always done! They’ll either see your genius or stay blind.

  5. Sorry – PS!

    During those 12 years of figuring things out, (how can be quit trucking? How can you make money with an online business?) the side eye got pretty extreme. We had to make hard choices and take risks.. But now that it’s paying off? Maybe we aren’t idiots after all! Persevere!

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