What comes to mind as you think about your upcoming homeschool week? Anticipation and joy? Dread and frustration? Many of us don’t understand the power of “everyday” in creating our future life. A succession of “everydays” have created our situation and life today. Fortunately, we can harness the power of our thoughts about our “everydays” and learn how to be a happy homeschool mom.
If you have a “my life is hard” attitude, you’re probably thinking and speaking that. No matter what your situation, there’s someone in the world who is doing the same things with an attitude of gratefulness and creativity to handle the situation.
We have a choice to view homeschooling as an honor, blessing, and opportunity….or as an obstacle we’re trying to avoid and hide from. To be fair, much of this is a learned behavior from parents and friends who complain about their jobs, their bosses, and their responsibilities. It’s like we have permission to dislike our daily lives because we don’t get to do what we want!
Part of the problem is the daily-ness of homeschooling. We do the same things over and over and don’t seem to see results. It’s easy to get into a rut of thinking about our days—dreading the diapers and math drills and phonics. And it IS our thinking that makes it a challenge. If a child was suddenly hospitalized with a life-threatening illness, we would long for ordinary days and boring school tasks.
When we’re down in the weeds of daily homeschooling, it’s easy to lose the long-term view. Living without purpose and vision, we can only see as far as next week. If that’s where you’ve been lately, ask yourself this question:
Is what I’m doing now leading to what I want?
And if homeschooling is leading to what you want for your family, why are you allowing yourself to dread it?
Someone said that expectations are premeditated resentments.
If we expect to have a rotten, stressful week, we’ll probably have one. And if we purpose in our hearts to have a happy, blessed week, it’s a whole lot more likely that we’ll have it.
Here’s a short list of ways to turn around your dread and be a happy homeschool mom:
- Give yourself grace.
- Teach with grace. This is not a contest to see how much your students know; you’re teaching and helping them.
- Don’t sacrifice relationships for academics. Remember that your children will be adults most of their lives.
- Think about how things could be worse. Sometimes we gain some much-needed perspective by comparing.
- Cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude.
- Turn up the volume and recognize thoughts of self-pity or negativity so you can nip them in the bud.
- Care for yourself with reasonable exercise, good food, pretty clothes, and more. Fill your tank so you have more to give.
So much of our discouragement and dread is self-inflicted. We think we have to go with whatever thoughts pop into our heads. In fact, we water and fertilize them until they grow up and reap a harvest! You can be a happy homeschool mom by catching yourself when you’re going there and choosing gratefulness and truth.
What’s your favorite tip for turning around your attitude when you’re a not-so-happy homeschool mom?