Who else out there feels like they can do it all until suddenly its time to actually DO all the things?
Run that bake sale, oh sure. Host science club, yes I have time for that. Take this field trip two hours away, definitely! Sign up to volunteer to feed the homeless at 6 am, we’ll be there!
Ok as you can tell, I’m a major culprit of overscheduling and then almost instantly smacking myself saying whyyy?? All I really want to do is curl up on my couch and snuggle my dogs. Here it is November and I haven’t written a blog post since the end of summer. I thought it would be easy, get up early and write before the kids got up. Boy did I underestimate how hard jumping back into school work would be with four kids to teach this year, minimal planning and way too many activities. I wish this were a post to help you other moms out there know how to do it all…but no I don’t have all the answers. Actually, if anyone has a post like that available can you send it my way.
School work? Who has time for that?
This is the first year that I’m doing structured learning with my twins, who just turned 7. I try to get some form of math and language arts in daily, but even that is a struggle with all of our activities. I know once we start going and get into a rhythm and routine we are all good, it’s just getting there that’s tough.
Some days feel like the homeschool I’ve always dreamed of where everyone is actively engaged in something and then we all snuggle up to a great book together. Each subject checked off of our whiteboard checklist by 12:00. This is not typical though. Most days I’m bugging my 10-year-old to do his math while simultaneously spelling words for the 7-year-olds and just trying to pry my 12-year-old out of bed before noon. All of this before we have to go to theater class, hit Whole Foods, and make it home in time for football practice. By the end of the day, I am so utterly exhausted that I can barely read a chapter of my own books before knocking out.
On the plus side…
The good thing is, I know learning is happening every day, even in this craziness. In the car on the way to dance when my son is reading road signs. When we are walking around the supermarket and the kids are adding up how much all of our fruit will cost. When my daughter becomes obsessed with the musical Hamilton and suddenly knows everything about the American Revolution. It’s not the kids and their learning things that I get the most stressed over, it’s all the other stuff. The Momming that never ends. The household running stuff, the full calendar with no end in sight.
I can’t be the only one who struggles with maintaining the balancing act of errands, chores, social activities, and actually being home to do our schoolwork, right? Just about every homeschooling mom I talk with tells me the same thing. Why do we keep trying to do it all?
Is there an end in sight?
Here is my answer for you. Yes, I know I said I didn’t have answers. I’d call this my advice if you’d like to follow suit in what I’ll be doing. As we approach the new year, I’ll be taking some time to scrutinize everything that we have going on in our lives and examine what is really important. What sets my soul on fire and what makes each child truly happy. Instead of just signing up for every field trip and co-op group, I’ll be asking my kids and myself if we really want to do this or are we just trying to stay busy. Instead of following every page in our curriculum, I’ll ask myself if this is just busy work or is this meaningful to us. Even when it comes to housework. I’ll be unleashing new chore charts because I can’t do it all. No one can and still be sane afterward.
Writing is so important to me, I need to make sure that I’m carving out time for it every day. In doing so it will show my kids that we all need to follow our passions, even as adults. As Julie Bogart says, we need to practice Awesome Adulting. I will be focusing on teaching my family that when we work together to get the NEED to-dos done we will have more time for the WANT to-dos.
The truth is we can’t do it all. Something somewhere will be lacking with each new thing we take on. We just need to figure out how to decide where our energy needs to be. I hope that in the coming holiday months you can join me in reassessing what’s important to your family and start out the new year living more intentionally. Join me in not being afraid to say NO so you are more available to say YES to what really counts.