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And Then There are Days When It’s Hard

In preparation for tomorrow’s event, “Calming the Storm: How Homeschooling has Transformed Our Hearts and Homes,” I wrote out my notes yesterday morning in the beautiful, quiet morning hours for what I anticipated sharing when I speak.  MUCH of it was about all the miracles and incredible sweetness I’ve experienced ever since choosing to actively homeschool my children.  Towards the end, though, I thought to include the thought that, “even on the days when it’s hard, it’s still SO worth it.”

Little did I know that I was in for 2 solid days of HARD mothering, which of course affected homeschooling.  YIKES.

I’ve read a lot of blog posts from homeschooling moms and have never read about the hard times in homeschooling.  It has made me wonder if I’m the only mom who struggles with homeschooling some days.  Don’t get me wrong: I love homeschooling and would never trade it for anything.  However, that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy.

Sometimes I think so many moms (myself included) second guess choices that are right just because they are difficult.  For example, we still choose to get married to our sweethearts even though we’ve heard rumors that marriage takes work.  We choose to have children even though everyone around us tells us how hard it is.  However, when the going gets tough, part of us may second-guess if we’ve made the right choice and if we’re on the right path.

With homeschooling, many moms choose not to because of perceiving it to be more difficult than the alternatives.  The past few days have shown me that this is a similar perspective to saying that you’d never have children because it could be harder than just living alone where you can more easily control your time, money and activities.

Parenting can be hard, but who of us would choose to never have been a parent just because of the hard days?  None of us.  We love those darling kiddos (some days we love them most when they’re sleeping *wink*) and would never trade them for a lifetime of being without them.

Homeschooling IS incredible, beautiful and miraculous.  Homeschooling can also be extremely difficult.  It can require sacrifice to be prepared and to ensure that you can be fully present with your children every day.  It can require humility to accept that your homeschooling success depends on trusting the Lord and allowing Him to guide you each day.  It can assist you in developing patience as your homeschool experience may feel like it’s going nowhere some times and you continue trudging forward with faith until finally one day things click and you get to experience the fruits of your efforts.

Some days my children don’t listen to me when we homeschool and it’s a struggle to teach them to listen.  Sometimes I get to send at least one of them to their room during homeschool time for being incredibly disruptive and disrespectful.  Sometimes my children drag their feet to join our homeschool time, whining about everything else they’d rather do.

Today, after struggling with my children all day to get them to cooperate with anything (eating breakfast, getting dressed, picking up after themselves, getting shoes and socks on to go outside and play, being kind to each other, ending their ceaseless teasing and rough-housing, sitting down together for homeschool, and much more…), I felt like such a failure.  To make matters worse, my daughter told everyone loudly, “I can’t wait until we get a NEW mom.”  Exhausted and exasperated, I ran away to my closet to bawl my eyes out in prayer to the Lord in desperation for guidance and grace.

One of the miracles of homeschooling is that it’s a family effort and investment.  As I asked the Lord in prayer what I should do, the impression came to go talk to my kids and share how I was feeling with them.  Part of me was very reluctant because it felt so vulnerable for my kids to see me in such a weak moment.  But, I trusted the Lord and went out and talked to my children.  I told them how I really am trying so hard and I was sorry that we were having such a rough day together.  I asked them what to do so things could go smoother because I really wanted our days to be happier.  My children were full of love and kindness, eagerly tossing out ideas.  Their sweet innocence and the humility of the experience lifted my heart immensely.

Without me even mentioning it, my daughter (the one who was hopeful to get a new mom earlier) was begging for homeschool time.  So we sat down and got through a few short lessons before my children’s wild behavior was back again and we called it a day.  Was it perfect?  No.  Was it perfect for us?  Yes.  This experience brought our family closer together.  My children saw my humanity, rather than seeing me as just the “authority figure” and the “nag.”  They saw how deeply I care for them and how much it hurts me when I feel like I’m failing them.

At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that homeschool doesn’t have to be perfect to be rightWhen it’s hard, that isn’t the time to throw in the towel; it’s time to get to our knees and seek divine guidance and assistance.

What are your thoughts on this subject?  What do you do when days are hard in motherhood and homeschooling?  We’d love to hear from you!

p.s. If you’re in the Salt Lake area tomorrow, we’re going to have an INCREDIBLE event!  See HERE for more details so you can join us (it’s free *wink*)!