As a homeschool mom I set goals and try hard to reach them. I have learned over the years to make my goals attainable and not out of reach. Although I make them challenging, I don’t want to feel like I fall short all the time.
Along those same lines, I have expectations of how my day will go. I plan to get up at a certain time, do certain chores in a timely manner, run an errand or two, and have dinner ready when my husband walks in the door. Ha! Life happens and you barely get out of your pajamas before your husband walks through the door.
I also have expectations about homeschooling. With my oldest son (who is 8), I thought for sure I would have him reading like a pro by the time he was six years old. Well, six came and went and he tried as he might but still struggled so much. I let go of my expectations because they were not realistic. The beauty of homeschooling is that each child gets an individualized education. He just wasn’t ready so we put that subject aside for a short time in order to reassess his skills.
Choosing to go at your child’s pace is hard. We all want the best for our children but sometimes that means letting them take the lead. As soon as I stopped forcing my son to try harder in reading, he took off with it on his own. He started pointing out different words that he recognized. He started coming to me with books he knew he could read. After that, it has been all downhill. He is still learning but he feels so much more confident and doesn’t get as frustrated with me hovering over him.
My expectations were not met because I was choosing to not listen to my son’s needs. He needed me to back off and let him try by himself. No matter what the task or situation may be, we all feel a little bit sad when our goals are not met.
Another area of my life that falls short a lot is homemaking. Try as I may, I just can’t keep afloat. I have three boys all under the age of 8. I also have a chronic pain condition that keeps me from doing most things. I am blessed to have a husband who loves cleaning. You read that right. He cleans all.the.time. It used to bother me but now that I am not physically able to keep up with the demands of a busy household, I love him all the more for it.
For a long time I felt like a failure. I felt that I wasn’t good enough or clean enough to do what God has called me to do. But, here’s the thing: God gave me what I needed. He knew I would not be able to do all the things that needed to be done so he gave me a husband who takes the load off of me. I know that isn’t the case for many, but it is my situation. My expectations of being a homemaker were way beyond my reach. I thought I could do it all until four years ago when I began having chronic pain. I felt like a complete failure. That was certainly not what God wanted me to feel.
If you have ever had high expectations of your day, life, or what have you, I urge you to pray over them. Give each task or situation to God. Take them to the cross. No matter how big or small, He cares for you. When we take our cares to God, He lifts them from our shoulders and in return gives us peace and understanding. Homeschooling and homemaking and raising babies can be very hard. But, with God, all things are possible and all things can be given to Him.