Working Homeschool Moms – When Life Gets Tough
Typically, posts (the few that are out there) written with working homeschool moms in mind, focus on one main theme. That theme is associated with schedules. We want to know how to make it all work, don’t we? You live life straddling the working side and the mommy-teacher side. You make it work and so does your family. But, it’s tough business. It can easily become overwhelming if we aren’t careful. Being a working homeschool mom tough.
Do you work and homeschool? Check out our working homeschool moms resource page that contains more articles about how to balance homeschooling and working. Please do read these as there is a lot of useful information not only in what I’ve said but also from what our fellow working families have said in the comments.
Truthfully, I can’t write you any more “you can do this” posts without first being totally transparent. Because we can do this, but we just need to recognize our struggles along the way or our light will totally burnout. This post isn’t meant to discourage but to be real. Real equals being prepared. 😉
Lately, I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed. I do a good job of , for lack of better words, sucking it up. I have a knack for stuffing my borderline anxious feelings gurgling up at the back of my throat down where they belong. But life has definitely gotten tough. I am the QUEEN of taking on too much, saying I can do that one more thing for the seventh time this week. And a lot of times, it isn’t just my schedule that overwhelms me but that of my spouse or my children too.
One extra event or activity means having to shift a cascading series of other events to meet the needs of the new commitment. But, I make it work. This crazy business in my life has forced me to mature into a master time juggler. It is so tempting to just keep adding things as they come up. Because, I don’t want anyone to miss out. And with all this, comes that moment when I realize, I am in the thick of craziness. Utter controlled chaos. And I just can’t keep it all up. Moderation needs to be relearned. However, I cling to what we’ve got going on like it is required to sustain life – which it’s not.
I know I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE. All of us working homeschool ladies are catapulted into some kind craziness from time to time – like every day. And it seems as though we don’t feel it – or at least we don’t care to recognized it – until we are drowning in our own calendar reminders. We are forced to acknowledge our pressures only when we can’t possibly be at every place we are suppose to be when they are all at the same time. I can’t possibly be at work, review that homeschool curriculum, be at that homeschool coop service project, at soccer, and at boy scouts all at the same time. It might happen in some sci-fi movie where mom literally becomes a superwoman but not here. Not in my life and definitely not in most mom’s lives with similar life styles.
Being working homeschool moms, I know we all have something extra special. We have a very unique drive that makes us do things that most wouldn’t. We are determined and motivated because of our children and their education. Something – or Someone – lit a raging fire under us and got us going. But maybe we got going TOO much. Our wheels spin under us like road runner and we have to go go go. I hate to rain on my parade and all of my fellow mamas but some things we have to let go. Our wheels will melt right underneath of us and we won’t get anywhere in the long run.
This cannot be maintained long term. Something will most certainly suffer. Something HAS TO GIVE or we will be picking up pieces of our selves and a families that can’t possibly be mended. Some may say I’m being dramatic. Maybe I am. But all the same, I’ve stepped back to look at how crazy life has been and I don’t like it. I don’t like this constant nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something or even someone. The anxiety won’t get any better if I keep taking stuff on.
I have to start thinking about what is the very most important things and go from there. I need to stop being motivated by things of this world and start looking at the things that truly matter in life. There is no reason that I should be doing every single thing that passes in front of me and neither should that be the case for my kids.
I want to challenge you to look at how your own days are going. I know I’ve given advice on how to make the schedules work…but…Are schedules packed to the rim on the calendar? Is every single day full from dawn til past dusk? Where is the time to just live spontaneously? Where is there a free moment for your children to discover without being led by a lesson or a class? Where’s the time for you to just breath? Where’s the time for you to just sit quietly on the couch leaning on your special person without feeling weighed down by that darned calendar. Where’s the time to sit silent with your Maker? This time needs to be.
As working homeschool moms, I know our lives a crazy. They are ridiculously busy. Overwhelmed is totally an understatement. Life is tough on so many levels. But how much of our own choices and actions have caused our lives to be so tough, so busy? As for me, I know I’ve created my own overwhelmed state. I plan to fix that though. And I hope you do too!
Whether you want to jump off a cliff and dump everything at once or chip away at extras slowly that is up to you. But, I do want to encourage us all to do this. Really, start getting rid of stuff. You will feel so free and refreshed!!!
Do you work and homeschool? Check out our working homeschool moms resource page that contains more articles about how to balance homeschooling and working.
What are you doing in your life to make things simple as a working homeschool mom? Is being a working homeschool mom tough for you?
I’m so grateful for your post! This is our first year homeschooling with me working full time during the day. Thankfully my mother comes and supervises the kids as they school their work, but that presents challenges too as she sometimes has different ideas of how my children should behave than I do. I teach science to the children on Tuesday and Thursday nights and sometimes on weekends.
Not only am I homeschooling and working full time, I am taking a management class at work (which allows me to work on any assignments for that at work), I am finishing up my Master’s degree. This is the last semester I have regular classes, then I have to complete a final project by March/April. And we are leaders at church and out much more than we like for that some weeks. There are times we just have to say “no, we cannot make that meeting” or “no, we cannot take anything else on. Right now my children are not in extracurricular activities besides youth group because we simply cannot fit it in. My mom doesn’t drive so she cannot take them to activities during the day. I struggle with this because they feel like they don’t have any friends since we pulled them out of school but there is just no way to do it now.
Dawn, we both are experiencing the overload of life. Things will be so much nicer for you once you are done with your masters. I can’t imagine having to go back to college right now. That would so put me over the edge. The friends part is why we do a co-op. But it get’s hard having to follow someone else’s schedule.
It seems just the other day I was where you are & now I watch my children & grandchildren living the kind of life you so realistically describe.
Many years ago someone asked me if I had ever developed a personal plan for my life. Although I had been raising kids and running two small at home businesses, I was haunted by that question.
In time the result was that I did and have been using a personal plan to help me say no to certain things and yes to others.
Please look at our website products page and look at the little video and description of the Personal Planning book. If it sounds like something you would like you can order it or I can email you a PDF at no cost.
May you and all moms who follow you be blessed as you seek to live a life of peace!
Susan, Thank you! I have already reviewed the Victus Study Skills System with my 11 year old through TOS. I didn’t realize there was an adult book??? I guess I need to go research that.
You are so correct. Giving yourself permission to have the day off is a big deal as a working and homeschooling parent. I also get help. My husband does 1/2 of the instruction and I have a home helper that comes over on Mondays and pretty much does everything that day. That way if I want to come home to take a nap, stay extra at work, or just goof off I have 1 day a week I can. I had to give up other wants to treat myself to this but I did. I also have a nap on Sat and Sun. This I just started doing recently and it’s made this so doable. Also, my kids sleep in late. They stay up late and that way if I need a quick nap when I get home I can take it because they are doing independent online work. Being creative, cutting time out for yourself is a must.
OOOO! I love the idea of a home helper. That is a great idea! I pay someone to clean my house every week because I just can’t get ahead.
Having chatted with a few hundred working homeschool parents online or in person over the last few years, a few things have become crystal clear. Working homeschool parents (men and women) succeed when they’re practicing mindfulness, good self-care, and are communicating effectively with all parties (kids and partners) about their goals. Trouble comes when folks lose the thread on one of those things either through inattentiveness or the slings and arrows of ordinary life. It’s vital, too, to find and nurture support networks in person if possible and online at a minimum.