One of the biggest indicators of professional happiness may be how important your position really is, according to the Harvard Business Review. Lynchpin employees—employees whose work is essential to their organization’s success—felt their work was more meaningful, felt more committed to their work, and were less likely to experience burnout than their peers in less essential jobs. Even with the downsides that come with being essential—a heavy workload and tough decision making—lynchpin employees are just plain happier.
So what does this have to do with homeschooling? Well, homeschool parents are lynchpins, though we often fail to recognize that fact. Not convinced? Here are three criteria for determining whether your work is “lynchpin work:”
- The work produced by lynchpin workers is essential to the organizational mission. (Whatever your reasons for homeschooling, you became a lynchpin worker the minute you opted into homeschooling.)
- Lynchpin workers cannot be replaced or substituted easily. (Any homeschool mom who’s ever tried to take a day off can attest to how hard it can be to find someone else to cover your homeschool to-do list.)
- The work of an organization would pretty much cease immediately if a lynchpin worker stops working. (Even classes that you outsource might slow down or stop if you weren’t around to run car service and homework support.)
I think most of us would have a hard time trying to argue that we don’t fit that criteria—so why is it so hard for homeschool parents to recognize how important we really are? It’s so much easier to hone in on the things we’re not doing well, the places where we miss the mark, our weaknesses, than to accept our basic essential-ness. And the more we fail to acknowledge how important we really are, the more we miss out on a major opportunity to be really happy in our homeschool lives.