Help! I’m Overwhelmed! (Is This You?)

Have you ever hit that point where you just can’t seem to keep your head above water? Schoolwork seems to be pushed farther and farther out. The dishes are piling up and you’re not sure whether your boys are wearing clean socks or just raiding the hamper. And their shower time? Who knows? You feel overwhelmed!

You Are Not Alone in Feeling Overwhelmed

Being a homeschooler is synonymous with juggling tasks.

Maybe you have a teenager in your house. The workload jumps significantly at this age, and you begin to really feel the need to dot “i”s and cross “t”s as you stare down the barrel of high school and then college. Questions like how to graduate your high schooler begin to come into the picture … along with everything else!

Or maybe your kids are in middle school and elementary. Which means you’re in the thick of it at home. They are easily distracted, sometimes they fight, and they need your focused attention.

Perhaps you work from home in addition to homeschooling, and deadlines are looming.

Then there are the normal tasks of upkeeping a household. Clutter. Dishes. Laundry. Vacuuming. Meals. Grocery Shopping. Mom’s Taxi Service. It is so easy to get lost in the forest of the day, in the thick of the week, and even just minute to minute.

How do we relieve some of the stress?

1. Enjoy the Journey

The first thing to remind yourself of is that this journey you are on is not a sprint; it is a marathon. In fact, though it might not seem like it, day to day, you probably have more time than you realize to do the things you need to do.

I promise, your children will not be permanently damaged if you don’t cover the entire science book this year! And there are plenty of curriculum options if one thing doesn’t seem to be working; you have the freedom to try something new!

2. Let Go of What Doesn’t Work

The truth is that most of the time getting 100% of everything is not realistic. Schools don’t cover everything, and you don’t need to, either. It’s okay to skip a chapter here and there. Let go when you get behind and pick and choose what you will complete. Learn to let go and you’ll be less overwhelmed. Also, you will find the homeschool life a lot more enjoyable.

3. Chores Will Always Be There

There will always be dirty dishes in the sink (even right after you finish one load). There will always be more piles of laundry and more stuff on the floor. We are truly never done in this department. But remembering this can actually ease your stress over it, enabling you to take a step back and take care of the more important things.

Perhaps you have some tasks you don’t mind, such as keeping up with dishes. Maybe there are chores you would rather avoid, like doing the laundry.

overwhelmed mama on the phone, holding laundry in one arm and child in the other

For one, it doesn’t have to be done every day. Also, that’s what the kids are there for. Honestly! If you have older kids or even younger ones, add those chores to their list of home ec skills and let them take over.

You can also break up the perpetual clean-up by having several short chore times throughout the day. For example, set three fifteen-minute clean-up times each day. Have the kids help in age appropriate ways. This will help you to get a few things done so the house doesn’t feel dirty and you don’t feel overwhelmed. Also, it gets the kids actively involved.

4. Make a Meal Plan

By the time dinner comes around, if I haven’t planned ahead, I’m all “decisioned out” and have no inspiration for finding new and exciting recipes. I found the best way to tackle dinner is to prepare ahead. Meal Planning can not only save you a ton of time, but money too!

Try to plan for meals and shop for two weeks at a time, so that you don’t have to do this every single week. Also, if you work your menu plan around your schedule, you know how much time you have to prepare the meal.

Here’s a shopping/meal-planning tip from another mom blogger:

A lot of stores have apps where you can keep an ongoing shopping or grocery list. Then, you can simply check out and plan your pick-up time. By shopping online—whether it’s Whole Foods via Amazon or using the Walmart app, you will find it easier to stick to your shopping list and not get distracted by items you don’t need that are waiting at the checkout line (i.e., candy bars and chips).

Creative Ways for Moms to Save Time

disclaimer 5. Multitasking While “Taxiing”

Do you feel like you are Mom’s Taxi Service on some days? Those days that feel like they’re spent driving around or sitting in parking lots waiting. There are a few ways to make better use of this time instead of sitting there, overwhelmed and frustrated.

  • Use it as learning time with educational CDs, audio books (try Audible by Amazon for 30 days free), or even a bit of “carschooling.”
  • If you have a child waiting with you, use this time as quality time to talk with and engage one-on-one with the child you have with you.
  • Sitting by yourself? Bring along a book to read or a notepad for making lists and getting organized. Sometimes I use my waiting time to catch up on my journaling. You can even bring along a special food/drink treat, crank up your favorite music, and get a little “me time” in.

Remember Your Why When Overwhelmed

Why do you homeschool your children? Seriously, why do you do it? There are a variety of easier options you could have chosen, like sending your kids off to a public school five days a week (and having a little more time to yourself). You have a reason, and it’s unique to you, your kids, and your family. You have a why!

But when was the last time you reminded yourself of your why? When was the last time you brought to mind your reasons for homeschooling your children? Is it about your values and faith? Or your personal approach to education? Is it because of special needs your kids have that cannot be met in a school? Perhaps it’s a combination of all these things. Take time to remember why you do what you do every day in teaching your kids at home!

Remind yourself that it’s more important than you might think in the day to day!

Here are more articles you might like to read on this topic:

In what ways do you de-stress or simplify when you are feeling overwhelmed?

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