My kids have spent the better part of today alternately playing with light sabers and legos or reading. I think one of them did his math. Unless you count playing a math game on the Leapster, in which case two of them did math.
I had planned to have a couple posts this week detailing our workbox system, complete with pictures, free printables and a Link Up. You would all think I was a well-organized, homeschooling genius.
But then my one year old suddenly forgot how to sleep for more than a few hours at a time for the last couple of nights. No sleep at night = crabby baby (and mom!) during the day. Last night when my husband got home from work he took one look at me and the look of exhaustion on my face as I struggled to stay awake at only 6:00pm, and said jokingly to the boys, “what did you do to mommy?” It was pizza for dinner and every last ounce of energy I had (even with husband’s help) to get the kids to bed.
That’s the reality on many days, isn’t it? So I decided to just write about that instead. Because it’s a reminder that the things we read and look at online often don’t give us the whole picture. People show us what they want us to see – in the virtual world and in the real one. We collect visions of other moms out there schooling their children who are all two grade levels ahead, in a clean and well-organized home, while providing delicious, nutritious meals that everyone enthusiastically eats. I can tell you that I have a pile of laundry worthy of a Guinness Record, I would have to think for a minute as to when my five year old last bathed, and we eat pizza for dinner far more often than I care to admit to. And I’m pretty sure that this is closer to the truth for most families.
Please tell me I’m not the only one?
Maybe your daily reality includes a stubborn teenager and financial stress. Or maybe you’re dealing with a very sick family member, the demands of a newborn or potty training gone awry. The point is that we all have things in our day-to-day lives that make homeschooling extra challenging. And we don’t always choose to share them with others. I think it’s important to keep that in mind when reading about and talking with other moms. Believe me, I say this more as a reminder to myself than to anyone else.
Now, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t bother reading about other families and their homeschooling. I thoroughly enjoy getting a glimpse into the lives of other homeschoolers by way of interesting blogs and homeschooling websites. I think that the connections we make with other moms via blog posts and online forums can provide a necessary supplement to our real-life relationships. I often enjoy taking a break, sitting down to read on the computer and feeling connected to other moms, even though I may not really know them at all. But, depending on the day I’m having, I can feel encouraged by reading about another family or else the same article only ends up feeding my feelings of inadequacy. Which is why I try to keep things in perspective and remind myself that what I’m reading, looking at or listening to from another homeschooling mom, is only one small piece of a very big picture.
In my last post, I mentioned some links to other interesting things around the web. I highly recommend the article “Don’t Carpe Diem” at Huffington Post, and also Simcha Fisher’s post at the NC Register, “To the Mother With Only One Child.” Both are well-written words of encouragement for any mom.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and find myself a cup of coffee and some chocolate.