We just got back from a few days of vacation, which were much needed here. We’ve been so busy. I’m sure you can all say the same. Whether you have 2 children, or 10, we find ways to fill our time, don’t we?
This year has been crazier than most. I think part of it is that our kids are getting older and are into more activities. I try to be really careful what we say yes to. We typically don’t do sports, unless the child can drive themselves. We don’t say yes to everything, and yet, I think we’ve said yes to too much this year. I feel over busy and it’s starting to rob my joy.
My oldest two are about to graduate high school, which pains me to write. I am somehow so sad they’ve gotten this old. I feel like I missed their life somehow even though I was there the whole time. Maybe it’s because they are the oldest and I was so busy with babies for so many years, they just had to grow up fast. Anyway, we’ve been researching choices for next year – trade school, community college, work. And trying to figure out the best way to give them their own rooms. With 10 children, they’ve always had to share and it’s time they have their own space, especially if they are going to live at home while going to college.
The next four have gotten to the ages where they want to try activities, which is great except we live 20 minutes from everything. They’ve gotten into theater lately which is so fun and so time consuming! I attend a dance class with my daughter who needs a little extra time with mom. Three are in the public school band. It’s all good, but it all adds up.
Then there are four littles who need mom’s attention. Read with me, help me with math, play this game with me.
Oh, and they all need to eat. All. The. Time.
Then there’s just all the regular household chores. Don’t get me wrong, my kids do a lot. They know how to clean the house on Saturday morning, clean up the kitchen after every meal, haul in wood for the fire, take care of the animals and their siblings, and whatever else needs doing.
Still, someone, namely mom, needs to be the frontal lobe for the entire family! Just keeping straight who goes where at what time can make my head spin.
Could we all just stay home? Yes, we could. And we’ve had years where we haven’t done much and have stayed home a lot. But that gets lonely. And I see value in the things we do say yes to. I guess that’s what it comes down to, right? Is there a good reason to say yes? And you can’t use ‘fear of missing out’ as a reason. That’s not a good reason!
If you fall into bed at night exhausted, yet can’t sleep because of the to-do list for the next day running through your mind, I feel you. If you feel frazzled and yet satisfied, I get you. If you wonder if you’re doing enough or too much or the right things or the wrong things, I’m right there with you. If you are so busy it’s starting to pull you down, I get it.
I don’t have any easy answers. I guess one, we need to be better at saying no. If we’re overwhelmed already we need to be okay with saying no to the next thing that comes along. I know that’s easier said than done, but the life we want for our family doesn’t just happen. We have to set boundaries and say no in order for their to be margin.
I always try to look long term, so two, we need to realize that this season will rush by so quickly. I am still trying to grab ahold of the last 18 years that whizzed by and am wrestling with my twin boys graduating. It’s scary how fast time goes. So, I like to look to those who have gone before and see what they’ve done. Maybe that means paring down to enjoy moments together at home. Maybe it means saying yes to activities because you want your child to enjoy experiencing new things. For me, it’s a healthy balance.
And three, we need to be there for each other. Build a support system of amazing homeschool moms around you. And be encouraging to each other. Cheer each other on! Give that mama next to you a compliment. Tell her she’s doing a great job. Help her drive her kids or organize her school room or just go have coffee with her and listen to her fears and joys surrounding her kids. Be that friend you want. We can’t do this alone, homeschool mamas!
I’ll leave you with this: 1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
He’s the One we’re living for, He’s the One we should ask and allow to direct our paths, and He’s the One we should glorify in all we do.