Take it One Day at a Time
When you are going through a crisis, everything is overwhelming. It can be hard just to get through a morning and make it to lunchtime. Forget about planning dinner.. we haven’t even talked about all the things that we need to do for next week, month, and beyond!
As homeschool moms, we can get caught up in thinking about what it’s going to take to get the kids through this school year, high school, and college and career.
We mom-guilt ourselves way more than we should, and we carry the weight of the world, our kids education, and their adult lives on our shoulders.
When life is a serious struggle, drop the planning and stressing about the future freak out, and focus on getting through the day at hand. Jesus wasn’t joking when he said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own.”
The dark times will not last forever. This is a season that will eventually be over.
Until then, focus on the here and now and just put one foot in front of the other, get to bedtime, get some much needed sleep, and tomorrow-repeat.
Before I started my business I took several business classes. They talked a lot about your minimum value product. How do you get started with the best product you can, that will cost the least amount of time and money? Around the same time my business was getting going, I heard Pam Barnhill speak at a homeschool conference and she talked about a Minimum Viable Homeschool Day.
These principles are closely aligned and when things are rough, this is a very successful tool to pull out of your toolbox and use. Think through all of the things that are the most important within your homeschool. What subjects are non-negotiable? This is your minimum value.
Make a plan to help your kids get these done each day. Let go of the pressure for everything else.
Come up with ways that you can make these subjects or activities function on auto-pilot as much as possible. This might be switching up the order of events & sticking to a routine, or it might mean switching up the curriculum you are using for a time, to get through the season.
Find things that will help make your days easier to manage.
Maybe you can purchase a program the kids can do on the computer. Perhaps spending more time reading together and having more in depth conversations about what you are reading will help you. Can you ask a friend for help with teaching harder subjects or the subjects that just can’t wait for older students? There are online classes that can support you, a self-paced course can relieve a heavy burden.
Instead of doing all of your regular subjects every day, rotate through them so you and the kids are not as overwhelmed, but still making progress.
The point is, be creative and give yourself permission to alleviate some of the burden, and let go of ideals and perfectionism, and be ok with doing the best that you and your kids can do each day.
Routine is a synonym for habit. Habits can be brutal. The thought of correcting bad habits in the midst of a crisis can be debilitating. Instead of burdening yourself with the pressure of trying to break bad habits and create new routines, choose just one thing that you can implement and give it a week or two to see how it works out. If it is working well, keep with it. If it is not working, scrap it without guilt, and try something else. As you adjust to life in the midst of your new circumstances, things will work themselves out and you will find your new groove.
Everyone Chip In
Let’s be real… there are some families that just have it down. The kids’ rooms are always clean, they always do their share of the dishes and cleaning, and things just function like clockwork.
And then there is the rest of us…
I don’t know about your house, but all too often I have to remind my kids who’s turn it is for dishes. Our schedule is crazy, and sometimes we blow off the housework to do other things.
When things feel like they are spiraling out of control and it’s hard to keep things going, it is really valuable to have kids help out around the house. This builds their understanding that they are very important and a critical part of your family. It will help them learn responsibility and feel good about themselves.
If you are going through a tough time, it is a good time for the family to bond together through sticking together and working together.
The tough times make us stronger, and when we go through it together, our families ties are fortified.
Grace, Grace, and MORE Grace
There is a man who is an educator in a program that my kids participate in. He is one of the people that I respect the most. He has a heart for kids and parents like I have never seen before. This guy believes in and sees the best in people and brings out the best in the people around him.
He lost his son in a tragic accident a few years ago. He still smiles and shows kindness to people and it surpasses my understanding. One day as I was lamenting the difficulties that being a mom of a middle schooler brings, and I asked him how he made it through that initial tough time of loss and for t his best advice is for a struggling mom.
His answer was life transforming. He said, “Have grace for yourself. Have grace for others.”
These simple 8 words changed my life and became my mantra when I was going through one of the worst years of my life. They helped keep me grounded when I felt like everything was out of control and reminded me how I needed to treat not just my family, but myself.
Do it today, and tomorrow-repeat.
Have grace for yourself. Have grace for others.
We live in a ridiculously fast-paced world. Technology is always in our faces, there is always a long to-do list, meetings to make, activities to get to, errands to run, items on checklists to cross off, people to see, commitments to keep.
But what of these are actually, truly necessary? When life is extra hard, often the thing we need most is to stop and turn off all the noise, and focus on the faces of the people in our families. We need to tune out the world, and turn in to ourselves and our closest loved ones. It is time to dig into our spiritual beings and the Force that nourishes us.
Stopping the madness allows us to hear what we need to hear, see what we need to see, and bond to those who are the most important.
Today, whether you are in a crisis, coming out of one, or going into one, I hope that you can take a step back and breathe deeply for a bit. Give yourself the grace and compassion that you would give to someone else going through a hard time, and trust that things will get better.