I'm really struggling with something that shouldn't be a big deal, but I can't get past it. Our family is blessed to know a lot of Catholic families that homeschool. Our daughters are friends with their children, and many of these families are in a weekly Rosary prayer group for families with us. These Catholic families seem to belong primarily to two homeschool groups. The groups do a variety of activities, and have meetings on various topics related to homeschooling and home management on a regular basis. There are other homeschool groups in the area, but we don't know any of the people in them already.
My husband is a SAHD, and is going to homeschool our two 4-year-old daughters in kindergarten next year, to see how he does. He is really struggling with motivation and confidence, and possibly a hint of unnecessarily high expectations. These are normal problems for him, probably side effects of a mild but constant depressive disorder, and not directly related to homeschooling except that they make it, like almost everything in his life, more difficult. Like much of our lives, there is a tendency for me to need to provide him with lots of little pushes and encouragements to help him stay on top of things, and for me to take on large portions of the work directly, especially planning. I work full-time and we have a nursing baby, plus this tendency extends to home management, so I am already pretty overwhelmed. I really want to help my husband find a homeschool support group that can maybe help both of us with some of these difficulties.
The problem is, I either have to be the only one to attend the support meetings and take notes for him, or we have to find a non-Catholic group with people we don't know. Both of the local Catholic groups have "no Dads" rules at their meetings, even the one named after St. Joseph. We can both participate in the other activities, but it's the support groups that I think would really benefit him. I feel like their decision to have no men is shutting out my husband where he most needs someone's help. I wouldn't mind if this were special women's nights out, but this is the main way they homeschooling parents in this group get support. My husband is not Catholic, and I also worry about what he must think of their discrimination and what he might think this says about Catholicism in general.
There's a meeting tonight, and I'm not sure if I should go. I feel very hurt (irrationally so), even though I understand that the mothers probably just want to be able to talk about "girl topics" and to feel more comfortable. The topic is "Organization and scheduling", something which tends to fall onto my shoulders but which really needs to be my husband's job, and something we could use a lot of help with - but I really want my husband to be able to attend with me, so he can hear directly that other parents struggle with the same issues that he does. When I tell him his issues and concerns are pretty normal, he doesn't seem to believe me. I'm afraid I'll accidentally let some of the hurt slip out in sarcasm, or that I'll start crying in the middle of things - but I'm also afraid of not doing everything I can to support my husband and children in homeschooling. Having me take notes isn't ideal, but it might be better than nothing.
Any thoughts about how to get over these petty, irrational feelings of hurt? And how to get the most out of these meetings? Or do you think we should just give up, and go somewhere where DH can be at the support meetings himself? DH isn't confident or motivated enough to start a guys group, although there probably would be enough interest locally for a small group to form, and I don't think it's right for me to form a group like that even if our family really needs it.
Hrm, maybe I could offer childcare so that another local Dad could start a meeting that the guys could attend? I don't think making an offer like that would be overstepping. Thoughts?