How do you view homeschooling?
When I first began our homeschool journey, I viewed homeschooling as a blessing and privilege. It felt like a natural extension of the learning activities that I had implemented when our children were very young. I think I imagined some sort of educational bliss.
No one told me the reality of trying to teach multiple ages, dealing with cranky attitudes (and let’s be honest, sometimes it’s me with the bad attitude), and attempting to keep up with all the housework.
I quickly learned that I couldn’t do it all. I was an exhausted, stressed-out crazy person for a while until I learned to let some things go.
After a few years of homeschooling while trying to stay on top of housework (which never, ever happened), I despaired that I was doing it all wrong. Then I had a long chat with my husband. I told him that I could either homeschool or I could have a clean house. I could not find a way to have both.
That’s when we both realized, that I was a working mom.
Yes, I work full-time.
Homeschooling is my full-time job. Between the planning, the prep, the teaching, the grading……I put in just as many hours as a classroom teacher.
Even though I’m home for much of the day, the housework is sometimes a bit of an afterthought. Education and time with my kids comes first.
This was a huge paradigm shift for me.
And guess what? It also relieved a ton of guilt.
I didn’t realize I had put so much pressure on myself to do it all – and to do it on my own.
What was the tipping point?
My husband came home from work to a wife in a dirty t-shirt and yoga pants, a sink full of dishes, and a floor covered in laundry. I cried in frustration that I could get nothing done. He extended me a huge amount of grace and sympathy. And then he washed the dishes and grabbed the vacuum to clean the floors.
I needed some help and he quickly realized that I was unable to do everything on my own. We then made a plan to work together on housework, so that our days and evenings would flow more smoothly.
Now, every night he pitches in to help me catch up on dishes and cleaning. On the weekends, we often schedule a few hours of cleaning so we can vacuum, mop, and scrub bathrooms. He even does some freezer cooking while I teach piano lessons to our kids on the weekends.
Homeschool mom, you can’t do it all on your own.
You are a working mom. You are a full-time educator and a full-time mom. Add housewife, school janitor, and chef into the mix as well.
You are busy!
It’s ok to ask for help.
I am so thankful that my husband listened to my struggles and helped create a solution.
Homeschooling is a full time job. It’s a blessing, a privilege, a calling…..but it is work.
Once I recognized that homeschooling is my job, I viewed my responsibilities a little differently. I’m able to give myself more grace because I know that I put in a full day’s worth of work every day.
Do you need to have a paradigm shift and view homeschooling as a full-time job?
It might help you get rid of the guilt and extend some grace to yourself. It’s ok to admit that you can’t do it all. None of us can.
For some added encouragement, you might want to read about how I do it all. Spoiler Alert: I don’t do it all. Not even close. And for fun, you can read about the fictional character- the homeschool super mom. No, she truly doesn’t exist.