What kind of curriculum should I buy? How do I know if they’re learning? What kind of schedule should we use? How will they make friends?
The list could go on and on. But I think the one question that I think many homeschooling moms are afraid to ask and probably want to the very most is:
What do I do when I feel like I am going to lose it?
We’ve all been there. The baby is crying and the kids won’t sit still. Or no matter how hard you try, the idea of division just won’t soak into your son’s brain. Or while you’re finally getting him to understand division, someone else is staying busy by painting the couch in the other room.
You guys, believe me when I say I am an expert on situations like these. How I’ve dealt with them though? Well, that hasn’t always been my strong suit. But I’m getting better! And I want to share a few of the ways I cope when I feel like I just can’t anymore.
Just quit… for a bit. Who really cares if that science project gets finished or that phonics worksheet is completed? Well, maybe you do. But you can always do them tomorrow! If you really feel like you’re going to blow your lid, give up and call an emergency vacation day.
Walk away. Far away. A change of scenery and a little bit of exercise can drastically change a bad attitude. Go for a walk around the block, a hike on a nearby trail or strap on your helmets and get going on your bikes. Don’t head back home until everyone is in a happy mood.
Time for a Peace Treaty! No, you don’t need to draft any documents or sign anything official looking. I mean get yourself a treat to keep the peace. Around my house a peace treaty is a quick trip to Starbucks for a caramel latte for me and cake pops for the kids. Some other fun ideas are popsicles on the porch or a surprise ice cream sundae bar instead of lunch.
Let them know. There is no shame in letting your kids know that you’re having a really rough day. You won’t be any less of a super-mom in their eyes if you’re struggling a bit. My kids have heard me say, “I really need to work on my patience today” quite a few times.
Call in reinforcements. When all else fails and you feel at your wit’s end, it might be time to call Daddy home from work or your neighbor or a fellow homeschooling mom and just ask them to fill in for you for a few minutes.
We can feel things getting ugly and we’re a few seconds away from having an episode the kids will likely bring up in fits of laughter at Christmas in 15 years. “Remember when Mom threw my spelling book at the television, yelled at the hamster and then locked herself in the bathroom with all of the Easter candy until Dad got home?”
Yeah, nobody wants to have memories like that!
Sarah is a homeschooling mom of 5, ages 3 months to 8 years. She tries to take life one day at a time, even when several days attack her at once. You can find out more about her (and how she really, really, really tries not to lose her mind) at Ordinary Days.