Overflowing

What a fall, y’all.  😦  I have gone through periods in our 10 years of homeschooling (2007, six year old kindergarten year to tenth grade this year),  where life has been overflowing (more on that term below!). This particular autumn, which has brought serious terminal illness and  illness with long-term recovery  to  family members and emergency surgery for our daugher’s horse with a super long recovery period to come, has landed our family back into the overflowing zone.  It has been an emotionally and physically taxing time of emergency drives, plane flights, and hospital visits.   It is really difficult to homeschool upper grades and high school on top of everything else. There hasn’t been much of a rhythm this month as I wait and see what each day brings.  There is no pity in this at this point; it is just life and it is just part of homeschooling long enough.

I truly believe that if  you homeschool for a long enough period of time, you  just are going to face times when life is overwhelming.  I like to re-frame this thought as “overflowing.”  For some reason that just sounds more positive!  Overflow is just the reality. If you haven’t ever hit that due to pregnancy, birth, illness, the overwhelming needs of one child compared to the others, family illness, terminal illness, finanical troubles, divorce or more, that is so wonderful and amazing!  But I think many homeschooling mothers do go through this at one point or another. Some of us have more bad years in a row than others.   But, the great thing about going through struggles many times is that you know that you will make it out onto the other side of it. You know there isn’t much to hold you down because you have simply been there, done that, and not only survived, but flourished.

There aren’t any easy answers as the situations are all so individualized.  I think the main way I get through, honestly, is to be honest. My husband is in tune with me, even if he doesn’t handle the stress the same way.  I will tell people outright I am having a hard time. I will lean on my friends to hear me and just let me vent.  I will ask for help and take that meal.  I am absolutely much better about it now, in my late 40s, than I was in my 20s and 30s.  I absolutely know my limitations now and when I am hitting the wall and am so grateful for community.

Sometimes there really isn’t copious time for self-care during these crisis spots  but even snatching a few minutes to sit down and relax, take a bath, etc can really be helpful. I am lining up a some self-care things  for when I see the light at the end of the tunnel and am not spending hours in a car dealing with emergencies. The other thing I have noticed for myself is that there are certain times of the day I feel more discouraged or overwhelmed, and to try to build in some self-care things around those times.  For some people, this might be at night.  For me, it seems to be in the morning after waking up and thinking about the day that lies ahead.

So, in honor of this dubious season of seasoning, I have rounded up a few back posts about dealing with life that might resonate with where you are now.

Chronic anger and overwhelm with children under the age of 9

Surviving Bedrest and Being Homebound With Medically Fragile Children

Postpartum Depression

Struggling

Social Isolation for the Stay-At-Home Mother

I HATE The Mother That I Am

The Overwhelming Year  and The Antidote To The Overwhelming Year

Homeschooling Burnout

The sun is shining and it is a glorious day! May we all shine bright in the darkness.

Blessings,
Carrie

 

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7 thoughts on “Overflowing

  1. Carrie, Your last several posts are ones I have nodded along to, but being in my own place of overflow, I haven’t commented. (The boundaries post was very good!) Reading this post, though, I want to extend my empathy and tell you I will add you to my thoughts. Your blogging through tough times is impressive. (My own computer time has fallen to the wayside.) I hope that means it is a little piece of self-care for you to continue to share your insights with us. They are much appreciated. I hope calm and peace come to you soon. Warmly, Nicola

  2. Dear Carrie,
    Thank you for this post – your blog has been such a support and inspiration to me over the years, I’m sorry that you’re having difficult times. I’m holding you in my thoughts and sending you a hug all the way from Scotland, UK.

  3. Carrie, So sorry for your current difficulties. You have been such a voice of hope and reason for me over the years because of the blend of authenticity and gentleness. God bless you.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I spent this week with my children in Hospice as we said goodby to my Grandpa. It was so very helpful for me to keep thinking of that mindset shift from overwhelming to overflowing. We did the very most important thing for us to do this week, and the rest that fell by the wayside can be caught up with later on.

    • Hugs and love, Annie. You sure did the very best thing in spending time with your Grandpa. Lots of love; I am thinking of you in the overflow.
      Blessings,
      Carrie

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