When a Homeschool Mom Breaks Down

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When a Homeschool Mom Breaks Down

This is one of those posts that makes my heart race when I think about writing it.

It’s one of those posts that I feel like I shouldn’t write, but God is urging me to write. That makes me think that there must be someone else out there in this same position. Someone else who needs to read these words. Because, friends, let me be completely honest with you. I need to read these words.

I feel like this post is a post that should be written after I figure out a solution, after I’ve got it all under control. Then, I could be of some help to someone else. But right now, I’ve got nothing.

But, for some reason I’m being led to write. Now. In the thick of it.

This isn’t a mindless rant. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m simply writing because that is what I do, and maybe someone else will be in a similar situation and we can pray for one another.

So, here we go.

Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions? Did you choose a word to focus on in 2013? Do you even remember what that word is?

I remember mine. It was “intentional”.

But I have been anything but intentional this year.

My life is out of control.

Do you ever feel that way?

My priorities are out of whack.

I’m spiritually drained. My quiet time is basically non-existent.

My husband and children are taking a backseat to lesser things.

I love blogging. I love the girls that I do VA-work for. These opportunities are blessings, but they must fall in line where they belong.

My house is a mess.

School work is rushed.

Burn out is definitely right around the corner.

This is me being absolutely real with you.

If you don’t believe me, let me tell you a true story, that took place yesterday:

My sweet daughters woke up and deemed the day “Best Mommy Day”, they brought me coffee and breakfast while I was working. They wrote me sweet notes. It was beautiful. But you know what? Less than eight hours later, I’m yelling and screaming like a maniac because we can’t find a ballet slipper.

That behavior is not normal for me.

It is completely uncalled for and unacceptable.

It was the culmination of being over-stressed, overwhelmed, unbalanced and under-focused. It was the result of days spent living on my own and not for God.

Friends, we can only keep up that pace for so long.

Are you feeling it?

If you don’t make a change now, you’re surely headed for a halting stop.

I’m there. Stopped dead in my tracks.

Changes must be made.

What are those changes? I’m not entirely sure.

God is leading me back to Him and what truly matters.

From what He has already revealed, I don’t think He is removing anything from my plate, but I will be managing what He has given me better.

If there are a few days of silence, please forgive me.

I’m spending much needed time in prayer with God and my family.

Can I add you to my prayers?

Have you forgotten those resolutions you made?

Are you needing to realign your focus?

If so, let me know.

When life shakes us up, and turns us upside down, we must cling to Him and His promises. He will set our world straight again, if we only allow Him to do so.

You’re not alone. Your sisters in Christ are here, walking this same road and lifting you up in prayer.

Keep going, homeschool moms! Even on the bad days, you’re making a difference.




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This Post Has 84 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this timely post. Kuddos to you for being so transparent. I am in ‘break down’ mode as I gear up for a cross-country move that I do not want to make. Because I am bitter about our upcoming move, my sweet kiddos get the brunt of my sharp tongue. It’s time to turn my frown upside down and start praying for God to soften my heart and accept the changes that are coming so I can be a better mom throughout the upcoming transition.

    1. Praying for you, Tara!!

  2. Thank you for this. I am feeling it too. The Enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy and when I try to go through the motions leaning on my own strength rather than on God who called me to this homeschooling journey, it is so easy to believe the lies that I can’t do it or shouldn’t be doing it and my children and husband end up bearing the brunt of my stress and discontentment. You can certainly pray for me and I will pray for you as well. Again, thank you for your transparency!

    1. Amen, Lauren!! The Enemy is most definitely behind all of this. If only I wouldn’t allow him in so easily. Thank you for your prayers. You are in mine as well. (Hugs)

  3. Thank you for writing this. I broke down yesterday. I needed to hear this from you, someone I respect. I will pray for you my friend!

    1. Thank you, Kathy! Praying for a better day for you today. Joy always comes in the morning. Cling to that promise. 🙂

  4. What a beautifully written post that seemed to be speaking to me because “yes” I have these exact same feelings and emotions recently too and thought that I was alone. Prayers would be appreciated and I will do the same.

    1. Praying for you Maureen!

  5. I get you! I am a yeller. Hate that I am a yeller. I do know that when my priorities are in line and I start each day with God…things go much better. It’s such a simple lesson that we somehow make complicated. God first.

    1. Alyce- I’m not normally a yeller, but yesterday I was. I have a tendency to complicate everything, but you’re right..God first makes everything else fall in line. Thank you!! (hugs)

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your heart! I’ve been experiencing the same thing for a long time now (for different reasons) and I finally got to the point a few weeks ago that I told my husband things HAD to change. Praying that we both look to the Lord for help and wisdom to make a better way for ourselves and children. I don’t want to grow weary in well doing and give up in this battle!

    1. Tyra- Giving up isn’t an option!! We must press on, and we can do it! 🙂 I’m praying for you right now!

  7. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I am sure I am one of the reasons God nudged you to write this so thank you for obeying.

    yesterday was my breakdown point. I told my DH that I was done with homeschooling , had nothing left to offer my lower functioning boy with autism and I “just can’t take any of this anymore!” he actually came home part way through the afternoon just to hug me on his break (I am blessed !) because he was really concerned for me.

    you’ve inspired me to write about how I feel as well. I usually do anyway but don’t always post it on my blog so thank you so much. I am a new reader of yours but you are in my prayers. God is stronger then any of the lies that are seeping into our thoughts. Hugs!

    1. Caroline- Thank you!! You are right, God is stronger than these silly lies. I’m so glad that the Lord has touched your heart through this post. I am praying for you. If you do decide to write, please send me the link. I would love to read it and continue to pray for you! Blessings!

  8. You’re so not alone! I feel like I’ve been on the verge of a total meltdown for awhile now and am still trying to figure out how to get out of this rut (or is it a pit?). My husband and kids deserve better, God deserves better… why do I let myself get to this point? Praying for you (and me) to find the proper balance in your life so that you will find your joy again. God Bless You.

    1. Wani- I think it is definitely a pit. Much deeper than a rut. I’m praying for you! (hugs)

  9. I am so right there with you. My husband recently left for training and deployment and I feel like my motivation, my intentions, and my very breath have gone along with him. Everything has suffered.

    1. Aubrey- I’m praying for you right now! (hugs)

  10. Hubby & I actually sat down last night a talked for a few minutes about this – that I need to better organize my time so I’m not so frustrated….I think you wrote this struggle so well.

    1. Thank you, sweet friend!! I know that you “get it”. (hugs)

  11. I really appreciate your willingness to share. How often we all like to keep up the pretense that our lives are all sunshine and roses, especially when Satan has been whispering his lies and we FALL for them. My husband and I are seriously considering taking our oldest 3 kids out of public school to homeschool next year, which is an exciting but overwhelming thought. While your post adds to my fear that I won’t be able to do it (and I am a natural yeller myself), it also gives me incredible hope that with God, all things are possible. We absolutely cannot do this on our own, only by leaning on Him and His promises. His mercies are new each and every morning. Praying for you that today is a day of rest, refreshment and reliance on Him!

    1. Janelle- I’m praying for you!! Homeschooling is so doable with God leading the way. Please don’t let my bad days discourage you. Thank you so much for your comment and prayers. They are appreciated more than you know. (hugs)

    2. I am a self yeller too…NO I was a self yeller! I have taken that bully and turned her over to God. I hope this helps you too. You need to read this every day, multiple time a day while looking at yourself. I printed mine out and taped to mirror on my bath room door.
      God made you beautiful, you are beautifully and wonderfully made Ps 139:14
      You are the temple of the holy spirit 2 Cor 6:16
      Your steps are ordered by God Ps 37:23
      God only sees the good in you Rom 8:1
      You are well able to fulfill the destiny God has planned for your life Heb 13:20-21
      The best is yet to come Her 29:11
      God is pleased with you Zep 3:17
      You are a good friend, you are a wonderful Christian, because if not, God would not have chosen you Rom 8:29-30
      You try the hardest all the time. God is perfecting you everyday Heb 12:2
      He is well able to give you all you can ask or imagine because He loves you. Eph 3:20
      Everything that God allows in your life is good Rom 8:28


      1. Thank you!!!! 🙂

  12. I am there too.. not sure how to fix it or what to do. But I definitely know a change needs to happen soon!

    1. Praying for clarity for you, Amanda!

  13. Thank you. I want to hug you. There with ya sista!!

    1. (hugs!) 🙂

  14. My prayers are with you. I am where you are. Every day is a struggle to “hold things and myself together”

  15. I have not started homeschooling yet, but thanks for painting a real picture of what it might look like in a day. I’m scared out of my mind to homeschool, but reading this post comforts me somehow. Maybe helps chisel at my ridiculous expectations of myself and what homeschooling will look like. Either way, thank you for your transparency. God bless you in your efforts to please and glorify Him!

    1. Jessie, I have also yet to start homeschooling, and am scared too, but I truly feel a calling and leading from the Lord. Keep your focus on Him to carry you through, and I will too!

  16. Gods timing is perfect! This is exactly how I feel and I hate when I find myself yelling like a manic! Glad to know I’m not the only one! Praying for you and all the sisters on here. Please pray that I can manage my time better!
    Hugs to you!

    1. Praying for you, Ginnie!

  17. Thank you for sharing, it must have been difficult. I go through these times every 3-4 months (my poor family!), and a really MAJOR one about every year or so. I am trying to recognise these times now and try to stay calm, but it is a work in progress. Break down if you need to, sometimes it helps to pick things back up and put them in a different order. Thoughts going to you and your family.

    1. Thank you, Crystal. It seems like when I reach my breaking point, is when I fully allow God to put me back together and it is better than I could imagine. (hugs)

  18. Thank you for this! I’ve felt like this for a while now, but have struggled to put it into words. You say it beautifully 🙂 Looks like I need to spend some time in prayer myself over the next few days.

  19. Heather, you could have written what is on my heart word for word. You are not alone in this, sweet friend. I think it is something that most moms go through. If you are like me you get little to no breaks and no quiet time to just be YOU. That is important. Should you need a friend you know how to find me.
    HUGS! xoxo

    1. You are so right about the ‘no time to be YOU’ part. I tried again and again yesterday to explain this (through copious tears) to my husband. He just kept saying, “but you are still you, you’re a mom”. I couldn’t explain that I could love being a mom and being home with the kids but still feel like I need a separate part of me that is just ‘ME’. Not someone’s mom, not someone’s wife, not someone’s daughter, but just SOMEONE. If you figure out a better way to put that into words, let me know!

      1. Heather- I know what you mean, but I can’t verbalize it either. (hugs) and prayers to you, friend!

        1. Well, at least I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, or in my lack of ability to explain it.

    2. Thank you, Stephanie! <3

  20. Heather, I’ve been there too many times. My plate gets too full and things start spilling over. Or it’s like that plate spinner guy who used to be on television — he’d put plates on long poles and spin them, and he had to keep running back and forth to add spin, and somehow he managed to keep more plates spinning than you thought he’d be able to handle. In my case, I keep adding plates until things start crashing down because I can’t get around to everything I’ve got in motion.

    I guess the opposite of all that crazy plate-spinning would be the verse, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

    Thanks for the reminder. It’s been too long since I’ve had a quiet time.

    1. Jean- I love that analogy. That is how I feel too. “Be still, and know that I am God” is probably the verse that I struggle with the most. It is hard to be still. But God is good, and it is when we are still that we can see Him more clearly. Thank you for the reminder. (Hugs)

  21. Your words ring true and close to home. I am pulling myself up out of the pit now.
    I see a pattern in my own life – at times I must be knocked down to my knees. And then I can be lifted up again. God is good and faithful, He always brings us up out of that pit of despair if we reach to Him.

    1. Yes! He is faithful and always brings us out of the pit. So thankful for that tonight!

  22. I was very grateful to read this post. I’m super thankful you had the courage to sit down, type it out, and post it for the rest of us to read. I, too, feel rushed and crushed most days. I love, respect, and appreciate your awesomeness! Good luck in finding your way back. With a sincerely humble heart like you have expressed, it shant be that difficult for you.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Amanda! :)Hugs!

  23. I clicked the link to read this story when my 12 yo daughter walked in the room and saw over my shoulder this story. She asked with a knowing smile “Did you read that?” Yes, she knows that I am burned out with homeschooling 3 kids, that life doesn’t go the way I would like it to. She knows that there is tension lately between me and my husband. She knows I’m passive aggressive… trying to act graciously when my kids are silly or fighting or stop listening to me until I scream at them. THEN they look at me and listen. Thank you for this reminder that I need to reconnect with God and that he will sustain me and give me grace and mercy for each new day. I have been in the pit for too long… Help me, Jesus. Pull me out!

    1. Praying for you, Stephanie!

  24. I have had these days…these weeks. Where every day I wake up with intention, with new mercy and say today is not going to be like yesterday. Today I’m not going to yell, I’m going to respond with love. Today I’m going to devote more time to my middle child. Today I’m going to make more of effort to be in the Word and in prayer….and like you said, by the end of the day or the middle of the day, I’m right back to how I was yesterday. I find great comfort in reading Paul’s words in Romans 7, knowing I am not the only one who repeatedly does what I do not want to do. I can stop and thank God, because I know he is molding me and breaking that behavior in me. I don’t have it all figured out either, but I know we serve a Great GOD who gives all things Good. When I stop to pray for myself, I will be praying for you other moms as well. Don’t let the enemy tell you because of how you’re feeling you are ill-equipped to handle this. God has not given us anything we cannot handle and He has not called us to anything He will not carry us through. Hold tight to THE ROCK~In His Love

    1. Thank you, Lori! I needed to read those words! (hugs)

  25. Arms flailing, legs kicking, gasping for air, sinking back under the crashing waves, up for another breath and I check Pinterest because I’m sitting in my chair and the computer monitor is a safer place for me right now because my house is a mess and my kids are wisely steering clear of me. I find your post. And read the comments from women who are just like me. This is a heart-felt THANK YOU!

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you!! 🙂

  26. our pastor preached about something very similar to this. Pray, put it in neutral, wait for God. Then if you do speak, speak with a filter of love. I pray that over myself every morning, and after prayer I sing an old kids song. This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Then all day long when I feel that impatience sneaking in I sing it again. It helps remind me I’m not in this alone, God is by my side, guiding my footsteps (if I let him) and I am covered by his grace, mercy and love.

    1. Such a great reminder. I most definitely need to focus on Him more!

  27. Me, too! So I decided to make some goals — I ended up with 12, and some had two parts! I exclaimed to my husband, “I’m exhausted just reading my GOALS!”

    God told me, too, to put Him first, “And all these {other} things will be added unto you.”

    I’ll be thinking of you…


  28. I feel you! I’ve gotten out of whack lately and I’m trying to realign. I’m definitely feeling the pressure and am so glad to read this and know that others are right there with me. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Wow, look at all of these responses. We are so not alone, are we?! (Hugs!)

  29. Thank you for your post! I am with you right now. I am there. So many things taking the back burner that do NOT belong there. Losing my focus. Temper flaring over minor things. Stressed out. Over exerted. Praying for you, will you pray for me?

    1. Praying for you, Jennifer!

  30. I felt the tears well up as soon as I read the title. I’m so there, in so many ways, on so many levels. My head is spinning as it seems my world is crashing down around me. I hardly sleep (and haven’t in a while thanks to pregnancy insomnia then a new baby). I’ve had migraines at least three days a week (sometimes every day) for three months straight. I’m overwhelmed by homeschooling a four year old and a two year old (who begs to do school like his sister) while potty training said two year old and caring for my 6 month old. I feel like setting priorities is a joke because it doesn’t matter what I choose, everyone else chooses other ones for me. My husband, and my parents (whom we live with). They all have their list of things they expect me to do and all get ‘that look’ when they get home and I haven’t done what they expect. Meanwhile, none of them are walking in my shoes. I’m exhausted, in pain (physically and emotionally), lonely, and about to break. It’s all leading to me being a mean, cranky mom, and an angry, jealous wife who is downright envious of her husband who gets to have time to himself at work and school, gets to indulge his passions at work and school (while I get asked if I’m doing everything I ‘need to do’ because I try to indulge my passion through blogging), gets to pee without kids in tow or worrying what the kids are doing if they’re not in tow, and gets to go be ‘refreshed’ at a weekend long men’s retreat while I should be ‘thankful’ that I got to have a day of rest when I was in bed in pain from a hideous migraine. Oh my! I needed to get that out, and boy do I need the prayers. Thank you for your honesty and your invitation to be vulnerable. I tried to explain this to my husband yesterday, but I just couldn’t put into words what I was really feeling. I think I may show him this to try to help him understand.

    1. Sweet, sweet friend. I am praying fervently for you right this very moment. Do you have any close sisters in Christ that you could meet up with for coffee and a chat? I know that does wonders for me. I completely understand where you are coming from. The homeschool mom life is hard. It’s often lonely. No one {except other homeschooling moms} totally understand. I am so glad that you were able to lay it all out here. Sometimes it feels good to just get it out. Know that there are many women who read this who will be praying for you. My email address is HeatherNBowen@gmail.com, please don’t hesitate to email me anytime at all. Keep going, it will get better! (hugs)

      1. Unfortunately I don’t have any sisters I can get together with right now. There are women I know from church, but they are all busy with work. I was just thinking yesterday, though, that maybe I just need to open up my home one morning a week to any of the other moms from my church who want to get together for some support.

      2. I have to say one more huge thank you. I decided to go ahead and show my husband both what you’d written and what I had written in response. Something about your words helped it click for him. He started to understand what I was feeling and where I was coming from. He told me that before reading this he was planning to ask me to stop blogging so it didn’t get in the way of other things, but seeing things from this perspective he finally understood it’s importance in my life. Thank you for listening to God and posting this!

  31. I read this with tears flowing down my face!! I am so glad I am not the only one! I am right therr with you! I have felt like a failure and even had thoughts that public school could do better for my kids! Satan has definitely used my weakness of low self esteem and confidence against me! I feel like I am in a whirlwind! I am praying for you and please remember me that I will get back to my first love Jesus!

    1. I am praying for you, Tamara!! (hugs)

      1. Thank you Heather

  32. I don’t know you, but I thank you. Thank you for being honest. Because I surely feel this way. If not right now, I feel it any number of days. And I think it is so good when we can be honest with ourselves and with each other. Then we can drop the pretense of having it all together, and we can encourage one another.
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Leah! You’ll never ever see me claiming to have it all together, because I never will. 😉 God is good though, He gives me what I need. Blessings to you!

  33. I’ve been here alot this year. God pushed me to homeschool for my first time this year.. I’m pretty sure I learned more than my son 😉

  34. Amen – we have to stop in our tracks and make haste to the right path. I too am guilty at times of the same thing with the same results. Being willing to listen and follow what God wants from you is key!

  35. I can so relate to this post. I appreciate your transparency.

  36. I want to remind homeschool moms that homeschooling is not worth dying for. If you are feeling this stressed, do something about it NOW! I had a heart attack at the young age of 44 with a five month old baby (#12) and seven of my 12 still being homeschooled from kindergarten to grade 11. I ended up putting my kids in a Christian school and they are doing well and I regained my health.

    I was part of the homeschool subculture of QF and patriarchal way and it almost killed me because the standards and demands of the lifestyle were beyond my ability to meet. It was a relief to learn later on that God doesn’t require this of me, nor is it a standard of righteousness for all Christians.

  37. When I was homeschooling my 9, I used to say that I would have a nervous breakdown if I could spare the time.

    You cannot do everything. Do not let your obligation to be ‘productive’ steal all the time you could spend on things that bring you joy. Taking time for things that make you happy will ease your stress, not increase it.

    Allowing yourself to do nothing may help, as well.

  38. thank you so much. i needed to know i wasn’t alone. having a hard time with my four year old and life in general. i am trying to also get my priorities straight. sometimes we all need to disconnect virtually to re-connect with our reality: our kids. my main goal is one word: happiness. happy home. happy memories. happy moments. more happy than sad. happy life. not easy, but i am determined! and with God all things are possible.

  39. This is exactly the season I’m in myself.I appreciate your honesty in sharing so openly. Would appreciate your prayers.

  40. Sounds so very familiar because there’s been many a time in my life that I’ve felt like this. Thanks for sharing, and yes, the culprit really is, as you’ve said, living life on my own, not focused on God. I’ve since re-committed to center my life on Him, and while I’m not always consistent and I slip back into ‘doing it on my own’ fairly often, at least I am headed in the right direction now, away from the overwhelming, over-committed, frazzled, verge-of-burnout life I was living. (It also helped for me to start saying ‘no’ more often, to the many demands, social engagements, and kid requests that all added up to crowd out days!)

  41. I struggle with this daily… I give it to God daily. I needed to hear this and I pray that one day, I will be able to not yell so much. Thank you for sharing, I really did need to hear this today.

  42. I didn’t homeschool today because I have been feeling the exact same for the past couple of days! Just overwhelmed by everything. Unable to enjoy my kids, or life. All I do is work constantly because there is so much to do. So today I took the day off, played Minion Memory a ton, played outside, and just tried to relax and pray and thank God for His blessings.

  43. Heard a sermon on Sunday and in sermon it pointed out the number of times and even amount of time Jesus prayed to His Father. It made me think, if Jesus needed His Father so much when he was perfect, how much more do we , who are far from perfect, need to spendd time talking andrecieving strength from our Heavenly Father. Was an aha moment for me.

  44. Beautiful, honest post. I’ve been there too, friend. I’m praying for you!

  45. I’ll pray for you and you pray for me. Homeschooling is a beautiful, hard, messy, and God-ordained calling. I think we go through these highs and lows as a reminder that we always need to keep Him close, because without him we will surely struggle.

  46. Thank you for posting. I am in the thick of it right now. Just have my head under water and am so under attack. I’m not usually a teller but I’ve been so angry and on edge lately. Hormonally it’s usually a few days a month I struggle with but then I’m myself again by I’ve been in a funk for weeks and am off feel like all I hear is crickets from the Lord and these allergies have me so off my game physically. I’m drained and exhausted. Praying for all of you and would appreciate prayers too. I wish no bad days for anyone but it is nice to know we’re not all alone and are all on this journey and all need more of Him.

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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