I don’t know how many people who read this blog homeschool their children. Maybe a few. Maybe most. Maybe none.
Here’s something you may or may not know, but I feel like sharing regardless:
Homeschooling is hard.
Some days, it is down right infuriating.
I am often jealous of other moms. Moms that take their kids to school….and LEAVE THEM THERE. For hours at a time. Then they return home alone or with a little one and do whatever they want. For hours at a time.
Ok, I know moms don’t get to do whatever they want all the time. But some days, I feel like they do. They get to sit and drink coffee without all their children arguing or whining or complaining about schoolwork. They get to do laundry without breaking up a fight over who gets to use the math flashcards first. Or listen to the kid who won the imaginary race to read their chapter fastest tease the slower one.
They get to talk on the phone without having to stop and tell their oldest to sit down and finish her copy work. Or read an email and not have to reread the same line three times before actually comprehending it because she is also having to read off spelling test words for two of the kids.
(Or she can write a blog post without pausing to yell at kids about NOT shoving small toys down the vent.)
Every few months I get in this funk about homeschool. I know it is just me. I understand why we homeschool and I love to do it. I just get grouchy and jealous and I lose focus. And then I see or hear about what other moms are doing – shopping alone or even just shopping for something other than groceries. (Honestly. I spent some birthday money at Target and that was the first time I was shopping for something other than food in a very long time. Maybe even since last Christmas.) Or they are dolling themselves up and going to lunch with a friend. I don’t do lunch….except here at home with the kids. And for some reason, every now and then, it bothers me.
I post about baking and cooking and cleaning and homeschool. And I post all the awesome things about those topics. But I purposely leave out the crappy stuff most days. Because I pretend our days are perfect. I pretend we float through our week with a perfect menu and a perfectly clean home and an amazingly perfect set of lesson plans.
Most of the time, only ONE of those three is actually working well. If I’ve got a perfect menu plan…then I have forgotten to do lesson plans. If I do lesson plans, then I put off the menu plan til the last-minute and the bathrooms are disgustingly unclean. If I have the house sparkling, then dinner isn’t ready on time or we are out of clean underwear.
I keep looking up and saving and printing all these awesome planners. A house cleaning planner. A homeschool lesson planner. A menu planner. An all-encompassing planner (I am certain I have saved 4 of those on the computer). I read them, save them, attempt to put one into practice. And then I fail and give up completely. I have a really good couple of weeks where I feel on top of the world, then something happens and I fall apart. I end up grouchy with my husband, yelling at the kids, and wishing I was a “normal” mom with some down time during the day.
Then I hear from a friend on Facebook about how I’m an awesome mom or a super mom or something along those lines. And I feel even worse because apparently they have never seen me at home.
I’m a mess most days. I like to think I have it together. And I can usually convince myself we are perfect here. :) But I know we aren’t.
I am NOT a morning person, but I have been forcing myself up at 5:00 lately to get a shower and maybe read my Bible for a few minutes. It sucks….to be totally honest. Yes, I feel like I’ve gotten more done each day. But I am SO grouchy. I am falling asleep at 8:30PM on the couch.
I am NOT good with shutting up to end an argument. I always feel the need to get the last word. Always. I hear myself speaking and think “what in the world?! why can’t I just shut up??” I carry on the argument or disagreement with my husband way longer than necessary. Why did I even open my mouth to begin with? Because I need control. Of everything.
My kids will tell you I am NOT good with waiting on people. I hurry them along like there is a fire. Somewhere. Everywhere. All the time. My poor kids have learned to just carry their shoes to the car if they need more than about 30 seconds to put them on. No, we aren’t running late. I just hate waiting. And I don’t really even have a good reason for rushing. I just got in the habit and now I can’t stop.
There are so many other things that irritate me about myself. But, today, those were at the top of my list. And because we homeschool I feel alone. I follow other homeschooling moms’ blogs and read all about their adventures or their struggles. And they are all so far away. My mom is far away. My sister is far away. I just feel alone today. (And it doesn’t help I argued with my husband last night and it carried over into today…..because I can’t shut my mouth. See above for explanation.)
I have these grand ideas to have a homeschool co-op. Because we can’t afford to be a part of the one my friends are a part of. But, the other homeschool moms I know are a part of a group already. Then I feel alone again.
I did have coffee this morning with a good friend. Our kids played loudly in the background, but for a second it felt like we were actually by ourselves. We talked about grocery shopping and other moms things, but it was nice to just chat. Even if we did have to stop every few minutes and break up a fight. I didn’t feel alone for the moment.
There’s no crazy revelation or awesome ending here. This is just what I am working with this week. And I feel like I need to share. Not because you all think I’m perfect or awesome or some kind of super mom. But because if I don’t get it out, I might actually explode.
I know my God is here. I am never alone. And I know a pity party won’t actually make me feel better; I will end up feeling worse and then guilty and ashamed. I know God provides exactly what we need when we need it. And that is why coffee with my friend this morning, during the downpour outside, worked out perfectly. I needed that connection. I needed the break from school and housework and menu planning. I needed to make jokes and sarcastic comments about whatever we thought of.
I am not looking for comments or anyone to say I’m doing a great job. I know we are fine. The kids are learning. They enjoy each other’s company. We have food on the table each night. I have a patient husband. I have so much more to be thankful for than I am listing here. I love homeschooling. I love seeing my children smile when they enjoy what we’re doing. I like talking with them. I love when they share their feelings. I love snuggling at random times during the day just because we can. Because we’re together.
Maybe it’s the weather change. Or maybe I’m on Facebook too much. (probably the Facebook thing) I just really long for a homeschooling mom friend that gets it. That understands the tight budget for field trips and curriculum, the numerous children on different levels in schoolwork, the need for a housework/meal/school plan that works, the trapped-inside-the-house feeling. Someone I can call and have over to complain to but also to slap me and say “suck it up and move on!” Someone that will laugh at me when I write posts like this and tell me there are bigger problems in the world and that I sound like a baby.
So, that’s about it. I have to rush now and make some dinner, so we can rush my oldest to her kid program at church. Rush, rush, rush.
I might have the kids just go shoeless tonight. ;)