For the “Home school is ruining my life” days
Tomorrow we have family arriving, and it makes me feel like “Ahhhh, peace.” I know things will be crazy around here, as the kids will be all excited, and there will be 8 people in the house, but the thing is that I am seriously in need of reinforcements!
Some days I’m all about the home schooling.
“Oh, sure. I think it’s great! I love it.”
Then there are days like today, where I’m more like, “Home school is ruining my life…”
Is home school ruining my life?
But sometimes I definitely think that I am making things harder than they have to be. People often ask me what it’s like.
It’s nuts; that’s what it is. I stay up late preparing school desks for my own children. I pour all of this teaching energy into just these four children. There is this constant strain on my heart. It’s a pressure strain.
There’s no one to blame but me. If they don’t learn what they are supposed to learn, I have failed. If they aren’t behaving, we have failed.
I compare them to other people’s kids. I compare myself to the other moms. I do every single thing in my head that one should not do.
Today was a particularly stressful school day. I finally really let Caleb have it. I wish I could have thought to say what I said in a calmer manner, but at least I did finally hit upon what needed to be said.
The subject was math. The section was the algebra-like addition/subtraction section. The particular question was 13-___=6, and he was putting forth zero effort to do his work.
All people are good at pulling this stunt, when faced with a task that we just don’t feel like doing, but Caleb is really good at this trick, and I was finished with it.
“Caleb, no. I will not let you pull this. You know how to do this work, and you are going to do it. You are going to do it by yourself, and I will not help you. You are smart, and I won’t allow you to pretend like you are not. I am fed up with it. Now you know the answer to this question, and if not, you are going to figure out this problem, and then you are going to answer all the rest. Now do it.”
This was all said in my true-April-telling-someone-off-voice, a voice that mostly only people that live with me ever have to hear. Sorry, family.
Tomorrow I will try again at being calm, but the words did get through. Caleb finished the entire rest of his math worksheet just as quick as a flash, and he was a very good worker for the rest of the day.
Hurray! I got through to him!
I wonder if God sometimes feels that way towards us, “Stop whining and concentrate! This is not hard! You can do it; now DO IT.”
Definitely. I am guilty, for sure.
Each kid here is different. Caleb is my sluggish starter, but once he gets going, he’s good.
So yes, there were victories today, but man, do I get tired of pushing for these victories!
Sometimes I push too hard, but mostly I’m just often pushing for the wrong things and getting my priorities all mixed up.
Life isn’t about being as brilliant and thin as the other moms. I wish I could find some less impressive people to compare myself to…. 🙂 Kidding, I’m just kidding…Where was I?
Priorities! Life isn’t about how good we can make ourselves look to others. Life isn’t about how fast your children can multiply. These are not the things I should be judging myself and my boys by. These are not the things that I should allow to ruin my day.
What really matters? What really makes a difference?
It’s knowing at the end of the day that you put your best foot forward. It’s being at peace with God and knowing that something that you are doing is fulfilling his purpose for you. It’s instilling the character and love of God and fellow man in your children.
Am I doing my best to serve God by serving others? Am I showing love? Am I spreading joy and good will? Am I raising up children that will be a blessing to their communities?
I was going over a list of worries with my Mom one night, and she reminded me, “April, sometimes you just have to let things go and say,’we did what we thought was right at the time.” Thank you, Mom. That was a comfort.
If you read this blog much at all, you know that I am a firm believer in prayer. I pray about everything, and when I don’t, I regret it! I pray before my feet hit the floor in the morning. Over the last couple of years, my prayer has become, “Lord, help me to get through this day, to do what is right, and use our family to bless others.”
This is a fun phase. The children are still young and adorable and hilarious. Their problems are still fixable, but it’s a phase of HARD WORK. “The days are long, but the years are short,” they say, and that is so true.
I have to learn to trust in God more and more.
God answers prayer. He does it in such big and obvious ways, too. I don’t know how people go through life without God. I think they are usually either the most miserable people or the richest, happiest people. Do you know what I mean? They are either miserable because they need Him and don’t know him, OR they are so naturally happy and rich that they don’t need Him. They miss out on so much, though.
Such a wonderful feeling it is to comforted by the Holy Spirit. Yes, this was a rough day of school. Yes, the world situation looks abysmal. But no, it has not all gone to hell in a hand basket just yet. There are still so many wonderful blessings to be thankful for. There are still so many darling people out there. There are so many good works for us to accomplish.
What does matter?
God matters. People matter. What we do for God matters. Have I taught my children that? That’s the most important thing for them to know. I hope that we have. I hope their hearts are so full of love that it spills out onto other people.