When it comes to down time, in mom circles, conversations often start and end the same way. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Maybe participated in it.
It goes like this:One mom complains of being exhausted/having little time for anything. Other moms totally understand and offer sympathy. Everybody agrees that there is just no way for homeschooling moms to catch a break. The end.
There was a time that I was totally that mom. Eventually, though, I learned I didn’t have to be.
This kind of thing is why I created this web site — to help others learn from my
mistakes experience. Had I only had a helpful friend or experienced homeschooler explain it to me, I would have had less stress and joy during our early homeschool years, too.
Here’s what I wish an experienced homeschooler had told me…
T: Take time off. You heard that right. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s exactly what moms need during times of stress and exhaustion. Don’t quit, mind you. Just step back, rest for a while, and reconnect with your spouse and your children, too. It’s never a good time to make decisions when you’re overwhelmed. Give things a couple of days off first.
P: Prioritize. Really do it. As in, changing diapers and feeding children are priorities, whereas having a picture-perfect kitchen is not. Or, paying bills and brushing teeth are considered priorities, whereas teaching Latin and field trips every Friday are not. After looking at what really needs to be done in a day (being a wife and mother, for example) and what doesn’t (think anywhere from bread-baking to blogging), life suddenly looks a whole lot different.
C: Change Your Thinking. Let go of what you thought homeschooling should be. This isn’t lazy or foolish. We’re talking self-preservation. You won’t be dissing your students, either. The truth is, homeschooling isn’t supposed to be that hard. And it’s definitely not supposed to bring anyone to the brink of physical exhaustion. Letting go of your image of what homeschooling should be, and accepting what it really is — in your home, at this time – is the only solution. And that’s enough. Case closed.
As a homeschooling mentor, coach and advisor, I often meet parents (usually moms) pushing themselves so hard they lose sight of the joy and the rewards. If this describes you, remember T-P-C for guidance. This took me years to discover, but I promise will help you right now.
Linda Dobson says
I’m a huge advocate of finding homeschooling support. It’s certainly “doable” without it, but it’s a lot more FUN with it! Thanks for spreading the message.