(I have a soft spot in my heart for homeschooling moms because I am one of them. If you, dear reader, are not a homeschooling mom I hope you can still find some encouragement in this post. It is specifically for those who have the privilege of home educating their kids, but we all can feel overwhelmed at the beginning of a new school year.)
School’s been in session what, about five weeks now? Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, you’ve probably noticed long before today that teaching kids from home is hard work. Rewarding, yes, but very time consuming. It is a full time job on top of all the “regular” work that goes into running a home & family. So, ever so humbly, I’m offering some reminders, homeschooling mom.
1. BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT, REPEAT….REPEAT AGAIN…AND AGAIN
I discount how much good a nice deep breath can do for me. Whether I’m fretting about getting started on time, worrying about what I will make for dinner since I forgot to get something out of the freezer or struggling to explain the concept of addition. Deep breathing takes the focus away from the task at hand and allows the brain and muscles to relax. Deep breathing takes thought and effort. I actually discovered this when I had Pertussis several years ago. With whooping cough, you consciously have to make yourself take a breath in the middle of a coughing spasm. It’s much the same in the midst of a hectic day. You must make yourself breathe.
2. Be present
Each day brings it’s own set of circumstances – joys and hardships. Don’t borrow either one from yesterday or tomorrow. Experience this joy (peanut butter hugs) now. Experience this hardship (clogged toilet) now. Then, turn the joys into memories and forget the toilet. Notice your miracles.
Days Pass, Years Vanish. And we walk sightless among miracles. – Jewish Proverb
3. Remember who you are
You are a child of God, holy and dearly loved. He holds you together. There is no other who can.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17 (NASB)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
4. Remember why
Take out that little piece of paper with your “Why We Homeschool” mission statement on it and read it again. Modify it if needed. It is a living, breathing document, even if it’s on a coffee stained post-it note. If you have never done this little exercise, I can’t stress how important that paragraph can be on hard days. I keep mine taped inside the front of my binder. Here’s a link to help you easily make one:
Here’s another example (this one reads more like a constitution than a simple mission statement, but it’s good):
5. This too shall pass
Today will be gone tomorrow. Ha! Like that? Good, bad, ugly, horrible, overwhelming, relaxing…whatever. Today will be yesterday tomorrow. When I think of how long a day is feeling I try to remember this post from Tsh at Simple Mom.
Homeschooling is hard work. Mothering is hard work. Wifeing (is that a word?) is really hard work. Cut yourself a break. Give yourself some grace. You’re doing great!
Hug your babies.
Hug your man, maybe even throw in a kiss.
Order Pizza, with extra cheese 🙂
Read a poem: Knowing