Meghan Tells It

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Homeschool and Social Lives January 18, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 3:12 pm

We’ve been a homeschool family for couple of years now. The most persistent question remains, “What do you do to socialize your son?”  First of all, he’s not a dog. So please stop using that term. As to making sure he isn’t shackled to the basement walls, we do get out regularly. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1. I am responsible for providing social opportunities. Unlike a traditional school, notices will not be sent home letting me know about sports sign ups, chess club, or dances. Homeschool parents must seek these out. Use Google to find local groups. You may have to start using a platform you are not yet familiar with. A friend got a Facebook account that she only uses for finding homeschool events and classes in our area. You may have to start a local group on social media if there isn’t one that meets your needs.

2. I must be willing to travel. Depending on the area, your drive might be ten minutes. It might be an hour or more. If you don’t drive or have access to a car, get creative. Ask for rides. I regularly see kids at events who were driven by another family because their own parents had another obligation. I’ve given rides myself. Another mom started a Facebook group for people interested in evening events in her area because that’s when her husband can help with the driving.

3. I must be willing to host or organize events. When I started, my greatest need was for playtime for my son. I can handle early elementary education on my own. But I can’t replace free play with other kids. No one in my area offered that. So I found a space (churches and libraries are great for this) and set up a weekly play-group. We met some really nice families that we’re still friends with even though the group stopped meeting. On nice days I’ll announce on a local Facebook group that we’re going to the playground. Usually at least one other family will show up. I’ve organized a field trip to take advantage of a group rate. (Get a PayPal account and have people send you their payment.)

For some people, these things come naturally. For others, like me, it’s hard. I would much rather have someone else organize an event or get-together. However, homeschooling is very much a do it yourself lifestyle. This includes a social life.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people on my local group post: “I have an x year old child looking for friends.” A bunch of people respond with, “Me too!” But rarely does this come to anything. What does yield fruit is, “I have an x year old that likes to do y. Who wants to join us on date?” 

In a nutshell, take charge! Your willingness to set up time for your kids to spend time with other kids will determine their ability to have a social life. You’ve already taken charge of their academic education. You can take charge of their social education.

 

Small Town Life – Escaped Horse December 8, 2015

Filed under: Thoughts,Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 6:37 pm
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On Sunday I got a call from a friend. She and her family were about an hour outside of town and they had received a call from the police. One of their horses had escaped. The police had the horse safely tied in the area, but they were having difficulty getting by the dogs. So could I drive over and help get the horse back onto their property?

I immediately headed over. Upon arrival, a policeman and the animal control officer were standing in the driveway, the horse on a stick lead dancing around, dogs barking at the two strangers in their yard, and the animal control officer trying to not get stepped on by the horse. He is a miniature horse, but you still don’t want to get stepped on or kicked.

The dogs noticed me and formed a wall between myself and the two strangers on their property. I reassured them that it was OK and we got the horse back into the paddock. Apparently he was upset that the family had taken a couple of the other horses out for the day and left him behind. He managed to open the gate and go looking for them.

Given that the horse wasn’t run over, the dogs didn’t bite anyone, and all ended well, it was pretty comical. That got me thinking. It was probably the most exciting thing that happened to any of us that day. For that, I am grateful. We live in a world where some people are eager to hurt others. My area isn’t immune to such things. But that day, I was safe. My biggest worry was getting a friend’s horse back where he belonged.

 

 

How to Plan a Fun Afternoon With Your Child November 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 1:56 pm

Directions for a nice afternoon with your child:

1. Find out about a free event through Facebook.
2. Notice it’s out of town, but neglect to check exactly where the location is because you’re distracted.
3. Ask child if he wants to go.
4. Upon an excited acceptance by child, sign him/her up for the event.
5. The day of the event, double check the location in case you need directions.
6. Notice it’s in South Shore Plaza at 4:00PM, just in time for Boston rush hour traffic to hit hard. (It’s already an hour away from us in good driving conditions.)
7. Bite the bullet, move your departure time to 2:00, and get in the car hoping for the best.
8. Arrive with your happy child who can’t wait to check in and get started.
9. When he’s done, hear him tell you he wants to do it all over again next month.
9. Get in car and enjoy more rush hour traffic on the way home.
10. Stop for a fast food dinner on the way because the traffic has made you insane and there will be no cooking upon arrival home.
11. Arrive home and think it may have all been worth it because your kid had such a good time.

Meghan Schaffer Hamilton's photo.
 

Being depressed did not make me “an innocent in hell” November 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 3:53 pm

Living with a mentally ill husband, I learned, “Don’t argue with Crazy.” Reality is in the eye of the beholder. When someone you love is faced with a reality that you don’t see, it’s ok to let them have that reality. Stop trying to talk the depressed person out of their sadness. Stop trying to talk the psychotic person out of their delusions. Just offer a hug and ask if they need a ride to their therapist’s office.

karenwriteshere

People suffering from clinical depression are often likened to an innocent in hell by medical professionals and their loved ones. It always stems from a well-meaning attempt to lift the depressed individual from the quicksand of self-loathing and self-beratement. You are not any of those things you say you are. You are not evil, you are not selfish. I know you. You are an amazing person and you are suffering due to no fault of your own. Basically, an innocent in hell.

I disagree. Yes, it was never my fault that I was depressed, but I am in many ways flawed, and so are you. I am not innocent, and neither are you.

The only difference is that those who are depressed feel the weight of their flaws, and the flaws of others (though mostly their own), far more intensely than those who are not depressed.

While deep in depression, I…

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Ready to Live Again October 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 2:42 am

Ready to Live Again.

 

Ready to Live Again

Filed under: Personal Growth,Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 2:30 am
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depression_by_thirsty5

Depression Sucks.  Not just metaphorically.  I mean it sucks the life right out of you.  It slows every process in your body down.  Was mine major?  Nope.  But it has certainly interfered with my life and continues to try.  I’m beating it back though.  Most days are good.  But it’s always there, lurking and waiting to rear its ugly head.

But, Meghan, you don’t seem sad.  You have a lot going for you.  How can you be depressed?

It’s a sickness of the brain.  Like any mental illness, my neurons don’t always fire the way God designed them to.  So, in my case, my thoughts are slowed somewhat, but mostly still there and just fine.  My body lags.  Sometimes it’s all I can do to get a shower and make sure that Alex is where he needs to be and has some sort of food in his growing body.

Write?  Nope.  Too hard.

Clean?  Too hard.

Answer the phone?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  Maybe a text, but no promises.

My “to do list” is rarely very long.  But Depression will put up a brick wall between my organized self and my ability to get off my butt and get it done.  How do I get this wall out of the way?  For me, St. John’s Wort is very effective.  But like anything, you have to actually take it for it to help.  A number of years ago, I saw a therapist when I realized Depression wouldn’t go away on its own.  My health insurance was crappy and a number of respectable studies had come out saying that St. John’s Wort was actually effective for mild to moderate depression.  She told me to try it, as it would be cheaper than a formal prescription.  If it didn’t work, she’d prescribe something stronger.  It worked.  I was on Prozac for a while after Alex was born.  That worked too, but it made me feel flat, rather than reconnecting my head to my body the way St. John’s Wort does.

Anyway, it works for me as long as I take it religiously.  For several years I didn’t.  And I slid down that hill of disconnection and crankiness.  Life circumstances didn’t help either.  Craig has been hospitalized twice in that time period.  The first one was a nightmare of a time in our lives.  He’d done everything right by taking meds and going to his appointments, but the NP didn’t seem to get that things were going very very badly.  The last time was much better.  The new NP understood immediately that Craig needed a change and called for an ambulance before it was a big problem.

Raising a child isn’t easy.  Raising a child with a man who can’t work and Depression trying to tell me I can’t work either, is even harder.

Now?  Now, I’m moving again.  My home is less trashed.  My family is often fed healthier meals. Business is moving again.

Hmm.  Funny how treating an illness actually can make it better rather than ignoring it.  I’m done letting it suck the life out of me.  I’m ready to live again.

sunshine1

 

Coming Back September 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 10:52 pm
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So many thoughts. Some are deep. Some aren’t. So I’ll start with the overarching struggle of the past couple of years – Depression with a Capital “D.” I didn’t even realize how bad I had it until I started to come out of it late last spring. Perhaps if I had realized, I’d have sought professional help. Perhaps not. I’m sure there are a number of contributing factors. And it’s not totally over, but things are much better inside of my head now.

Now that my brain is functioning with more clarity, I have some projects that are finally getting off the ground. My soap looks like it may start selling. Hooray! I’m so glad I said “Hi!” to Teri in the grocery store. She ordered some for her farm stand. (Why wouldn’t I say hi? Because of the Big Depression and Hormones making me miserable that day. But she’s wicked nice, so even if she didn’t want soap, it would have been good talking to her.)

I crochet. I would like to sell that stuff too. I am struggling with pricing. It’s nearly impossible to make minimum wage on crocheted items. Most people don’t want to pay you for your time. Perceptions are difficult to overcome in this arena. So, do I sell it just because maybe I can get back my yarn costs plus a little? Do I insist on getting an hourly wage? ($120 baby blanket anyone?) So, I guess the bottom line is that I will be at a few Christmas craft fairs and see how it goes.

Alex is 6 and in 1st Grade this year. I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to home-school him since before enrolling him in Kindergarten. It’s a big undertaking and I just don’t know what will be best for him. Hmm.

On the to-do list is an overhaul of my Etsy site, but if you’re interested, go check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MegInStitches

Also on the to-do list is to write more.  So, perhaps it won’t be two more years until there is new content here.