The Overwhelm. Too much to do, too little time.
When I speak to mothers, often their “to-do” list is long, their presence has a harried energy, and they are concerned that they cannot “get it all done.”
They want to do it all, and they want to do it all perfectly.
This is common in mothers in general, but also very common in homeschooling mothers. I think the biggest overwhelm I hear experienced homeschooling mothers mention is lack of time to do things outside of homeschooling because there is no separation from the children. Often the list of things to do outside of homeschooling is long – like trying to clean a house when you live in it many hours a day or when you are on the go a lot more with older children, trying to get errands done, trying so hard to do everything when teaching children really takes up the entire day.
A few things that many mothers (and myself) seem to find helpful:
1. Always think people before things, but also child- inclusive and not child-centered. Your children’s needs and connection should always come before cleaning or errands or anything else. However, you should also be working toward creating stable rhythms and routines to your work in which your children can be involved and included.
2. Writing a to-do list can be helpful for some mothers. If you have lots of things swirling around in your head, sometimes writing it all down does make it seem better because you can prioritize and realize it all does not need to be done today.
3. Garner a support system. We love to pretend we can do it all by ourselves, but most of us really can’t. Who is your support system? How do other family members help? Who can help you with your children at times when you really need it? Who do you really trust with your children? It is so important to have someone, whether this is a family friend, a neighbor, or extended family.
4. Boost yourself up! Make sure YOU are on the list of things to get done, and that you put your own health on the list. Without you being healthy, nothing else is going to happen. This includes sleep, good nutrition, exercise, taking care of your mental health, and laughing!
5. Plan ahead. Life is so much easier with meal plans, crockpots, double batch cooking, cleaning and decluttering in a rhythmic way because then you don’t have to clean for ten hours to catch up, planning ahead for school and making sure you have the supplies you need gathered.
6. For homeschooling mothers and mothers of small children, you may have to prioritize greatly. You really can’t do the job of five mothers, you can only do the job of one mother. There are seasons to life, and homeschooling is often a long season that involves choices.
What are ways that help you tackle the overwhelm?