As a homeschooling Mom, do you ever feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, your “to-do” list and the sundry of expectations placed on you from others or yourself?
No. Me neither.
If we are honest with ourselves, I believe we all have felt snowed under. As a busy homeschool mom, have you ever wondered how you can do it all?
First, I would like to suggest, that you cannot do it all! Whether you are a stay at home mom, a working mom or a working, homeschool mom, each of us are allotted only 24 hours per day to accomplish our to-do list.
In the introduction of his timeless book, Tyranny of the Urgent, Charles Hummel writes, “Have you ever wished for a thirty-hour day? Surely this extra time would relieve the tremendous pressure under which we live. Our lives leave a trail of unfinished tasks…But would a thirty-hour day really solve the problem? Wouldn’t we soon be just as frustrated as we are now with twenty-four hour allotment? A mother’s work is never finished…”
Ahhh…A mother’s work is never finished. So, how do you determine your daily priorities? Beginning our day spending time with our Lord should be our first priority. Not only does this allow us to refresh our spirits, we will also find that as we pray and seek His will daily, He will guide us toward what He wants us to accomplish THAT day. Depending on the stage of life we are in, we may find our morning quiet time inconsistent. I would encourage you to make daily prayer time a priority, even ten minutes a day while not optimal, will help you to refocus your relationship with God and hear from Him.
Next to our relationship with God, comes our relationship with our husband. While in the busyness of the homeschooling lifestyle, our husbands may end up on the bottom of our to-do list, but God calls us to pray for, support and assist our husbands. Ask your husband how you can pray for him this week. You can also ask him if there are any tasks that you can carry out for him to lighten his load. While we are quick to recognize the responsibilities we have as homeschooling moms and wives, our husbands frequently work long hard hours to support our family lifestyle and will greatly appreciate our support.
Our children are our next priority-not only their education but also our relationships with them. I have a confession to make-I have not always prioritized my children like I should. Other relationships, other ministries have often nudged ahead of their needs. Yes, we would often get “school” done, but the relationship was not what it should have been. And then a friend issued a challenge to me. As we talked about our friends and ministry needs, this friend shared how God had impressed upon her heart to search out all the “One Another” verses in the Bible and apply them to her children first. For example: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” Would you say your relationship with your children displays encouragement? If you have never done so, I would encourage you to use your concordance and look up the “One Another” verses and pray through how you can apply them to your children.
I think we all recognize that intermingled within our husband and children responsibilities are the household tasks of laundry, meal planning, shopping and the like. Each of these activities is an essential part of our priority relationships. But, this does not mean we HAVE to do it all. Enlist the help of your husband and your children. Children as young as 3, can be taught to do developmentally appropriate tasks. Yes, initially it will take you more time to teach them, but the long term benefit outweighs the time investment. Actively involving our children in family chores helps them develop responsibility, a strong work ethic, and a sense of family belonging. Focus on the Family provides excellent guidance on age appropriate chores-you can view it here.
Once our priority relationships have been established, we can know look outward and serving in the Church or community. One of the best pieces of advice this new homeschool mom was given 20 years ago was “It is OK to say No.” and I want to leave you with this as well. The seasons of our lives change and we may be at a place in our lives when “No, I am sorry, I cannot do ___” is the appropriate response. People often assume that because we stay home with our children, we have ample free time and there will be a season when that is true. But, if we are not in that season of our life, remember, it is ok to say “No” and not feel guilty about it. God has called you to love and serve your family. This is call on you during this season of life.