Did you ever feel that homeschooling or even just parenting little ones should be FREEING, in a sense, but that it is not? I mean, after all, every day COULD be a blank slate of whatever you would like it to be! How disappointing, then, sometimes, when you realize that you are busier than when you worked outside the home. When you realize that your schedule is way too full. How disappointing when you can’t say no to things. How disappointing when your house is always a disorganized mess. And that knowing that burn-out is always there in the background (and sometimes in the foreground?) – we won’t even mention that!
If you have ever felt like that, then this post is for you.
First of all, please be easy with yourself. The mothers I see that are hardest on themselves are the ones with babies ( “I should be doing just what I did before I had a baby!”) or the ones with multiple children under the age of 7. Be easy! Your most important job is to take care of them, and also yourself! But part of doing this is developing your own will….read on!
If your children are under the age of 7, in order to take care of yourself, you are going to need to ask for help and to plan ahead. That is hard for people, but that is the only way it is going to happen. Ask your spouse for help! Ask a grandparent! Ask a friend! “Honey, could you please take the children to the park for an hour and a half so I can do some homeschool planning for fall?” “Honey, I know you worked all day and you are tired, but this pile of clean laundry is driving me crazy! Could you please help me put it away?” “ I really need to get some stress out. Could you watch the children so I could go walk for half an hour? I would feel so much better!”
However, in order to ask, you have to know what you need! And I find many mothers are down so low, they don’t know where to start or what even to ask for help with! Meditate, make a list – what are three things that would make your life better right now? Start there.
I have one for you that probably would make your life better (outside of exercise for yourself!): how about getting rid of STUFF? It is hard to be restful with too much stuff. If every room has too much furniture for the size of the space, if every flat surface is covered, if every closet and drawer is bulging, then it is time to start there. It is hard to pay attention to your children, to plan for homeschool, to do homeschool, if there is stuff everywhere. And your children cannot rest in rooms that are overflowing!
But in order to get your own house in order, you have to be HOME. What would happen if you took a two week vacation and just said “no” to outside things, and made a huge dent in getting your house in order? Really go through things and get RID of things.
What would happen if over the summer you just planned to be home? What would happen in the fall if you plan to be out one day during the weekdays (this is not including the weekends) and otherwise you were at home? What would life look like then? Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, really do need to be home – a walk around the block, playing in the neighborhood, being outside; yes- but really at home!
Perhaps you can meditate on this and find the middle road, the common ground that really works for you. Start small if that is where you are, but conversely, don’t be afraid to jump in and make a big change. Your life, after all, should work for you. If you are feeling resentful, stressed, not happy – change it, you are in control of at least some of it. And your own attitude you are fully in control of!