I wish that I could say that I am one of those moms. You know the ones. The ones that never seem to lose their temper or have a hair out of place. They make gourmet meals and adore all things domestic. They take on new challenges with passion and grace. It seems that everyone in their life is nurtured and care for (including themselves). Unfortunately… I am not one of those women. I lose my temper more than I like to admit. I feel overwhelmed and grumpy. I eat too little or too much and rarely get the exercise I need. I constantly search for balance that often feels inches away. The result is that, too often, I am all burned out. The kids are running around, dinner is burning, I still have ten things on my to do list, and my poor husband – well he can forget getting his time with me. I believe in keeping it real. One of my favorite homeschool bloggers wrote about transparency last year when she started her journey. I love that idea. None of us are doing it perfect and we all feel overwhelmed regardless of faith or race or economic status. Parenthood is hard work. Stick with me… I do have a point.
My life is blessed. So much so that sometimes it is overwhelming. This year we started a different adventure and rather than having long periods of time available for inquiry activities we have to cram our learning into late afternoon. You are familiar with this time, right? That means that I am trying to cram more into those wonderful hours of the afternoon where bath, sports practice, and dinner are all fighting for time. That isn’t even listing the need for some good old fashioned play and cuddles. Sometimes it is really hard. Sometimes it all can’t get done. Sometimes I want to put my head on the table and just go to sleep, but then I look at my family. I just smile. My sweet “baby” who is working so hard on a puzzle. My big boy who is showing his brother how to build a train track. My husband who is driving the kids to another activity even though I know he is exhausted or my teenage daughter who is just trying to survive adolescence. Man, I am lucky.
My point. We argue and fuss at my house. We all whine about things that need to get done. We don’t get to spend hours exploring activities every day, but I try to find a balance. My goal is to have one real exploration a week. Something planned. Sometimes we have more and sometimes we have less, but that is my goal. My children look forward to this time more than any other thing we do together. Sometimes it is hard. I struggle to not push or force learning. When I can overcome the need to push, the world is a little less overwhelming for a few minutes as they play and learn. What a gift! Yeah I guess it is to them, but more to me. It really is all worth it!
I know you are busy and stressed. This may be a season that is full of challenges. My unsolicited advice for the day – take a little time to play and explore with your kids or whole family. The world seems to slow down and you get the chance to act like a kid again. Give yourself that gift. Just my two cents. Have a great weekend!