Thursday, March 24, 2011

Confessions of a Not-So-Super Homeschool Mom (Mama-Kat's Prompts)

Mama's Losin' It 

The Prompts:   5.) Share an old journal entry.

A little over a year ago, I blogged this post after finding an old post that I had never posted.  Sometimes blog posts are our journal entry outlets, so I thought I'd share this again as it's still relevant to me.  I still struggle.  Life's like that, you know?  But I always find my strength and my joy in the same place.

In my search for my old NaNo novels, I stumbled across a post that I wrote three years ago but don't seem to have posted.  As I read, I was amazed to discover that I could have written the same thing today.  Well, except for the surprising the reader sentence.  After years of blogging and Facebook, I don't think anyone is shocked that I don't live up to my press.  In fact, my press has probably changed.  And I'm okay with that.

I found it oddly encouraging and wanted to share with you all.  Do I find it encouraging that I still struggle?  Well, not really.  But I needed the reminder from my past self on where to find my strength.  Seems I could use some of that, even today.

Confessions of a Not-So-Super Homeschool Mom

I struggle. 

There, it’s out. 

As a mother of seven in my eleventh fourteenth fifteenth year of home educating, who happens to be married to a pastor, I have heard all the accolades.  When I recently expressed to an acquaintance that I was struggling with balancing everything, she asked me what had happened to my Wonder Woman costume.  I promptly told her it was a wrinkled mess under my bed, along with everything else I can’t find. 

I don’t think she was expecting that answer.

I find it difficult to manage my house, my children, ministry, friends, and the daily “stuff” of life.  I struggle with implementing my priorities into reality. I agonize over curriculum choices.  I worry that by the time I get this whole homeschooling thing figured out, my children will be grown.  I fear I will fail them in some way.   I lose sleep wondering if they will make the right choices.  I lose sleep wondering if I will make the right choices. 

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed.

Sometimes I want to give up.

Sometimes I want to buy a one way ticket to Hawaii.

Alone.  :-D

Sometimes I look at all those magazine covers of perfect homeschool families, or surf the homeschooling websites, or attend a homeschool convention, and instead of feeling encouraged and refreshed for my journey as they intended, I feel more pressure.  I feel a heavy weight of failure that I don’t seem to measure up.   

I bet that surprises some of you. 

And that’s why I share this with you all.  We all tend to compare ourselves with those around us and we can sometimes feel as though we come up short.  We can look at others and think they have it all together and it’s easy for them.  We can become discouraged and think no one understands because no one else struggles.  We can portray ourselves as more than we are for pride’s sake but when we do that, we aren’t really helping anyone.  It’s only as we come together, as fellow adventurers on this journey, and share our struggles as well as our victories, that we can truly encourage each other. 

It’s in sharing my struggles with you that I glorify God.  It’s in my weakness that His strength is portrayed.  When I try to accomplish life on my own, my struggles intensify.  My spirit is heavy, my joy is gone, my vision is clouded.  I spend way too much of my life in this state.  I start to believe my own press and think I am some kind of Super Mom or Wonder Woman.  And then I wake up one morning and realizing I am failing, drowning in my own self righteousness and self imposed pressure.

And He gently lifts me up and reminds me that the greatest commandment is to love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind.   And then, to love others as myself.   To seek Him first and all these things, all the “stuff” that weighs me down, will fall into place.   Any glory in my home or homeschool, is His.  He will work despite my failings and all He asks is for me to be faithful.   He will be faithful to complete what He has begun, and that includes my children and their education.    

In order to share with you my source of strength, I must first admit my own complete and utter weakness.  Life is not always easy, raising children is difficult, marriage is work, laundry is never done.  When I want to give up, when my spirit is so heavy I can barely pull myself out of bed and I want to run away, He says “Run to Me and I will give you rest.”  

Sometimes I do. 

Sometimes I go dust off that Wonder Woman costume and keep trying to do it myself. 

Will I never learn?

I struggle.


Soccer Mom said...

**Found you through Mama Kat's**

It's wonderful to see someone else struggle, especially someone who is looked at as supposed to be perfect. I'm not saying you seem perfect, but I think some of us would say a homeschooling mom and wife a pastor should not struggle. This is a brave post. We all have's good to remember that.

Firefly Mom said...

I think every homeschool parent - or every other parent, for that matter - feels like that at one point or another. I think we have the added stress of having taken responsibility for educating our kids, and all of the doubts, fears, etc. that goes along with that decision. I struggle all the time with how to balance and manage it all - and I only have ONE kid! I can't imagine doing it with seven. :D

BTW, if you want some company in Hawaii, I'll gladly buy my own ticket!


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