Grasping the sides of the bathroom sink, looking into the mirror, clinching my eyes shut, and trying desperately to calm my overwhelmed heart…
Today was one of those days.
One of those days where my patience ran thin.
My 3rd cup of coffee down and mom guilt piled high.
To do lists from yesterday remain undone.
Spilled milk on the floor beside the crunched cereal.
The laundry basket vomited clothes onto the floor…..again.
I’m still in my pajamas and it’s 2pm.
Longing for just a moment of alone time. Just a moment where I wasn't needed by anyone or anything.
That’s why I’m in locked in the bathroom.
Do you know what I'm feeling? Do you know this feeling all too well?
The feeling of struggle.
Struggling to keep up.
Struggling to get it all done.
Remembering all that I have to do…all that I'm avoiding while locked in the bathroom..Then, sets in the feelings of overwhelm. Like a thick blanket that threatens to suffocate. It lays heavy on the chest and causes a physical and emotional pain.
Today most surely is one of those days.
These days used to be the norm for me. A few times each week, I would find myself completely overwhelmed and at the end of my rope.
Hugs to you, friend. I’m here to offer you hope and relief. The homeschool mom life really doesn't have to be like this. I know because I have fought my way out….and so can you! Practical steps are here for you to put into place to help combat the homeschool mom overwhelm.
5 Ways to Combat Homeschool Mom Overwhelm
#1 Learn that it is okay to say NO!
No, No, No. Practice saying it if you must – Out loud. It is okay to say no. No to extra activities and another play date this week. It’s ok to say no to more responsibilities at church or in your homeschool co-op. It’s ok to say no to babysitting the nieghbors’ kids. Let this settle deeply into your heart and mind. It is okay to say no….because really, when you do say yes, you are in fact saying no at the same time. “No” to your peace. “No” to your sanity. “No” to being what's best for your family.
#2 Protect white space in your calendar.
Every family needs some wiggle room in their calendar and your family is no different. You need to protect white space in your calendar. We can not live out a daily schedule that has every moment crammed full with some activity. Schedule in time between activities to regroup and settle down. Make time to breathe!! My husband and I sit down each month and block off two consecutive days of NOTHING. Nothing is allowed to be scheduled in those two days. And, you know what? Those two days provide time for rest, relaxation, and reconnection.
#3 Take time for YOU
You need time for you. Hands down, you deserve and need it. You cannot pour into your family and those around you when you are totally depleted yourself. You would agree that your involvement in the lives of those around you is pretty important, right? Then, make taking care of YOU a priority. You are important. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Eight hours of sleep per night is strongly suggested by most health professionals. Make time for exercise. You can literally follow this plan and get a full day's worth of exercise in a few 5-minute increments! Do not neglect your friends either. Plan a girls night out or just meet for coffee. Read a book. Make time for a hobby. Don’t lose your laugh and smile. Taking time for you and the things you enjoy doing will help keep joy in your heart and keep the homeschool mom overwhelm at bay.
The homeschool life does not have to be this complicated and stressful! We are not machines meant to put out work like robots and we should not expect that from our children either. Set healthy expectations for you, your kids and your homeschool day. Look at your to do list. What can be removed? What isn't absolutely essential? Have the courage to mark it off the list. To leave it undone…and forget about it. Remember- this is YOUR life. This is YOUR homeschool. It doesn't need to look like anyone else's…and you don't have to live up to their expectations.
#5 You don’t have to do it all
Let others help you! It is okay and even encouraged to ask for help when you need it. Your husband can make dinner every now and again. He may even be happy that you ask him to help! Asking another homeschool mom to tutor or help with a lesson or two in a subject that you struggle with is okay! The older kids can help out with a chore or two around the house while you are working with the younger kids. Hire a housekeeper if funds allow. You have options. You are the only one who expects you to do it all. My blogging friend, Colleen Kessler from Raising Lifelong Learners, once said “Each day you have to decide which ball you're willing to drop.” You simply can't do it all…and trying to do so will make you crazy. Which ball can you drop today?
The one book that changed it all…
I am not one to read a book more than once. I am a once and done type of girl, but the book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine totally ruined that principle for me. I have now read that book cover to cover FOUR times. It is THAT good. It is the book that totally made me give up my overwhelmed life once and for all. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it…but in the meantime, I have something better. I have arranged for Crystal Paine, the author of this wonderful book, to give an EXCLUSIVE webinar to my readers. On Tuesday, October 3rd at 1pm CST, Crystal and I will be live talking about the principles that she used to eliminate overwhelm in her life. If you don't know Crystal, she is the real deal. She knows what it feels like to live life completely overwhelmed and she learned how to say goodbye to survival mode and truly live her life. If you want to finally start living your life without being completely overwhelmed, click here to register for the FREE webinar on Tuesday, 10/3.