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What About Me?

Overworked Moms and Homeschooling Burnout

December, 2000

This page of encouragement was compiled from HomeschoolChristian.com's message board in December, 2000. It is meant to encourage moms who are stressed out, and might even be secretly admiring their friends who have "free" time because their kids are not homeschooling.

Ideas from Mary Leggewie:

  • Keep reminding myself that it's only temporary.
  • Go to mom's night out once a month.
  • Go to a book store and have a cup of coffee by myself.
  • Train the kids to do more work around the house.

Ideas from Lisa C.:

Ideas from Cindy McD.:

  • Set aside doubts and trust in the Lord. The Lord has really been teaching me that for me and my family He wants us to use one curriculum and real books to read along side. I don't need to doubt what He has provided or wonder if there is something better. I need not wander from the direction He has provided.
  • Manage my time better so I have time to do hobby type stuff (sewing, quilting, stamping) just for me!
  • Read the book What We Wish We'd Known by Jessica Hulcy.

Ideas from Debbie S.:

  • Take one hour for myself before cooking dinner. I go up to my room and pick up the book I am currently reading and lie down for an hour.
  • Have the children help with housework.

Ideas from Michelle T.:

  • Stick with one curriculum. I started feeling so much pressure of the academic sort for my older two and the lack of consistent discipline for my younger two that I hit a wall. I really think we should frame our homeschool goals at the beginning and keep our eyes on that.
  • Have appropriate expectations about Dad's level of involvement. I had these ideas that homeschooling would just pull him out more and he'd have all these rousing discussions with the kids and be real interested in their day to day routines. But he is not the talkative one and likes his space and I was unrealistic.

Ideas from Cathy H.:

  • Keep my relationship with the Lord #1 in my life. We all must keep in mind that we have been called to do this. And if He has called us...He will supply all that we need!

Ideas from Allie.:

  • Thankfulness - I remember that God gave me a family when I had no hope. I just need to listen to Him. In the hustle and bustle, and the stress of marriage, it's very difficult to remember that He is my first love....that He will take care of me, that He sees when I'm forsaken and will comfort me.

Ideas from Amy in TN:

  • Take an hour for myself every afternoon. tell the kids it's rest time. They are allowed to read a book or color SILENTLY!!!! The baby takes a nap.
  • Attend Bible study once a month. Go to an inspirational, overnight conference. (Beth Moore!)
  • Mainly I just keep saying "it's just a season, it's just a season" over and over again.

Ideas from Donna in IN:

  • Re-focus on why we homeschool and what I should be doing about it.
  • Turn off the TV!

Ideas from Laurajean:

  • Say "no." I figure that it's much easier to change a "no" to a "yes" than the other way around!
  • View the family as my first and foremost responsibility AND ministry. It has been stated several times on this thread that this is a TEMPORARY job. When I have completed this task, I know that God will provide other ministries for me.
  • Take the time each day to spend some time in the Word and prayer. It may not be a huge block of time, but I need to do something consistently in this area.
  • Make a concerted effort to make some time for myself, whether it is to take a nap, read a book, a soak in the tub, or stamping.

Ideas from Laura H.:

  • Let the kids do the grunt work.
  • Give one hour to myself in the morning (6-7 am) to exercise, read my devotional and Bible and just relax with my tea. I tell the kids if they want a happy mama, they cannot come out of their rooms before 7 a.m.
  • Work on reducing the yelling -- mine and theirs.
  • Remember how fast they are growing and that in 20 years I will have all day to read and sit on the couch with my tea and Lorna Doones!

Ideas from JanB:

  • Appreciate the freedom I now have since the kids are home from public school. I was always so concerned that something would happen while I was gone, or that I'd miss being home by the time the bus dropped them off. That is not a concern anymore!

The Freedom of Putting the Kids in School

Below is a letter from a friend of Judith's who quit homeschooling to get her "freedom" back, even though her kids had excelled and enjoyed homeschooling for a year after a stressful, dangerous few years in government school.

Dear Judith,

My "freedom" as a ps mom. (I want to hs, but dh is not agreeing....yet!)

We live 3 blocks from the ps my son (1st grade) attends. We live too close for the bus (which is fine with me - means more time with him), so I have the freedom to drive him to and from school and will every day for however long it takes God to move dh's heart toward hsing. I also have the "freedom" of knowing that while my son plays of the playground at school for 3 recess periods when I am not with him, there are 3 level 2, likely to re-offend, sex offenders within 1/2 mile of the school (our county posts the location on a website).

I also have the freedom of explaining what obscenities are, since he now hears them at school. I have the freedom of explaining to him that not all people are in covenant when the participate in sexual activity, thanks to one friend coming to school on a Monday telling everyone that her parents got married that weekend.

Lastly, I have the freedom of unloading literally GOBS of papers from my sons backpack, most of which are not completed, many not even started as the teacher does not have the time to review each paper a student works on.

Personally, I'd like the freedom to be with my children during the day, teaching them and training them according to OUR standards. That beats shopping any day!

Julie

Some Final Thoughts from Allie

I'm so glad I was able to homeschool from day one. I can't even imagine the struggle parents go through with the decision whether or not to pull their kids out....the pressure from the schools and all the folks around them who oppose them doing so. And for KEEPING them out. You're right, it's a total life change...I believe it's more about lifestyle than academics. I agree that more people who do it could do it, but this country has been so self-centered for so many years, people don't even know what their capacity for sacrifice is anymore. God bless the faithful who keep on struggling. At the same time, I have not walked in anyone else's shoes, and would never presume to judge someone for putting their children back in. I have a wonderful friend whose child goes to Christian school, and I cannot even imagine her trying to teach her own. I believe the children would suffer.

I don't think the moms [and dad!] on this board realize how heroic they are. We gripe, we complain, we get scared, we worry, but the bottom line is we keep plugging away. Faithful to our calling, our children, our families, each other. In today's society, it constitutes a whole new breed. God bless all the dedicated parents out there!

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