Yes, sometimes I feel like giving up.
I get overwhelmed.
And just plain tired.
Homeschooling takes all I’ve got and then some, and there are weeks when I just feel like throwing in the towel.
A long time ago, my husband and I commitment to home education as a way of life for our family.
Homeschooling is a conviction for our family, and we’re sticking with it.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
So what do I do when I feel like I’m absolutely the wrong mom for the job?
Well, after I’ve drank a few cups of coffee, sneaked into the bag of chocolate chips, put the kids down for a nap and escaped to a quiet place with my laptop…
I ask myself a few questions.
1. Am I getting enough sleep?
The answer to this one is almost always no.
I am a chronic overachiever, and sleep is usually the first thing to go when I feel like I don’t have time to tackle one of my beloved projects.
Plain and simple, I’m not a nice mom when I’m sleep deprived. If you don’t believe me, ask my kids. (On second thought, please don’t.)
It’s amazing how much better I handle stress (yes, homeschooling can feel stressful at times) when I’m leaving enough margin in my day for sufficient rest.
2. Am I trying to do too much?
The answer to this question is almost always yes.
It’s hard for us moms to admit it, but we really can’t do it all. Something has to go.
For me, the first things I “let go” when the going gets tough are my expectations of a perfect house and my beloved projects.
Now that I’m working from home, I have to carefully balanced my time commitments there, as well.
I’ve learned that sometimes saying yes to an outside commitment means saying no to my family.
My kids won’t always be young and maybe someday life won’t feel so “high maintenance,” but right now they are and it does.
I have to let go.
3. Why am I homeschooling in the first place?
This may seem like a strange question to ask when I’m feeling low, but it’s amazing what a little honest evaluation can do for my resolve.
I’m not homeschooling because it’s easy.
I’m not homeschooling because I’m cut out for it.
I’m not homeschooling because I have a fancy education and I feel smart.
I’m not homeschooling because it fits so well with my schedule and personal goals.
I’ve chosen life as a homeschool mom because I believe God has called me to it.
And since He called me, He will equip me. He will. And He does.
More than anything, homeschooling is a walk of faith.
I believe that God is bigger than my mistakes.
Wiser than my weaknesses.
Stronger than my inconsistencies.
I believe that He knows and loves my children infinitely more than I could ever know and love them.
I believe that He gave them to ME, and me to them, with an eternal purpose in mind.
I believe that I can do this, and do it well.
Not because of anything good within me, but because I am equipped by God Almighty himself.
So is there ever really a time when I’m ready to say, “I quit?”
Sure. I say it.
And when I reach the end of myself is when I find Him.
Holding me. Cheering me on. Giving grace for another day.
And another… and another…
With a new school year right around the corner, I want to offer a little support and encouragement for my fellow homeschooling moms.
If you’re looking for a place to connect, I’d love for you to join our Facebook community, Homeschooling Moms @ Kristy’s Cottage.
We’re an encouraging, upbeat group of 230+ home educators who chat about curriculum, kids, and just enjoy sharing life with each other.
Please check out my Homeschooling page here on the blog for curriculum reviews, favorite resources, and more encouraging posts.
You’re doing a great job, Mama! Keep it up!
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.