After the customary shrieks of excitement and strong claps on the back, the inevitable follow up question to our pregnancy announcement last February was –
“So, what are you going to do about homeschool?”
The honest truth was that we didn’t know.
Five months into our trial run of kindergarten, having already purchased the curriculum for first grade, we found out we were pregnant with our third child and due at the end of September. There was no way we’d be able to move into a different district in time for baby’s arrival, and frankly, we weren’t feeling pressured to. We’d really come to enjoy our experience as a homeschool family – and baby or not – we were committed to continue.
That didn’t mean I had anything figured out.
I wish I could tell you I spent my pregnancy strategizing for the coming school year, but in reality I was sick, sore, and completely exhausted. Not only were we finishing up kindergarten, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was frantically racing to finish my first book set to release two weeks after the baby’s birth.
Everyone thought we were crazy.
We probably were. But homeschool was just something we were unwilling to give up. The most I could plan was to roll with the punches, reminding myself almost daily other moms survived homeschool with a newborn (and similar stressful situations) and therefore I told myself I could too.
We’ve emerged, nearly six months on the other side of this question mark, to find that we have in fact begun to settle into a new routine as a family, finding a rhythm for school I didn’t think was possible.
It hasn’t been easy.
Our days are often thrown off by a shortened nap, or doctor’s appointment, or those blessed teeth that are trying to work their way in far too early. But we manage. We adjust. We cope and adapt and keep at this lifestyle we’ve been called to lead for this season of our lives.
Despite the struggle it is working, and it is good.
On the rough days, when nothing seems to be going according to the lesson plan (or life plan for that matter), when the cocktail of postnatal hormones and sheer exhaustion threaten to take over my sanity, I have begun to repeat three phrases that reframe my perspective and help me cope, reminding myself that it’s going to be ok.
Perhaps this pep talk is something you might benefit from listening in on.
I AM ONE PERSON.
Yes, there are three little people (and one big person) who need me.
Yes, there is a house that needs attention. There are meals that must be made. There are lessons that must be taught.
Yes, the responsibilities of a mother (any mother) are real, varied, and demanding.
But I am one person.
I’m not meant to fulfill every role for every person in my home.
I’m not infinite or superhuman.
I am me.
When I can acknowledge my limitations, I can better address them, better preparing myself to be the best version of the one me there is.
I CAN DO ONE THING AT A TIME.
I can choose to allow myself to become overwhelmed by the enormity of the tasks at hand, or I can break them down and do the next best thing.
This is only a season. There are still multi-tasking days ahead of me, where I can keep all the balls in the air and all the plates spinning perfectly. But that day is not this day.
Today I can do one thing at a time.
I AM ENOUGH.
In my emotion and my struggle. In the days that feel like victory and the ones that feel like defeat.
With God’s help, I am enough.
I have been chosen for my husband. I have been selected for my children. I am resilient. I am capable. I am strong.
YOU ARE TOO.
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