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We homeschool moms are often so hard on ourselves! We truly do want to do our best. We try so hard! And we are so upset when we fail or fall short. I think it’s time for us to start thinking about mistakes a different way. We need to start embracing our mistakes!
This is the time of year when many homeschooling families start a new homeschool year. It’s a time for planning and excitement. It’s a time for looking forward to the year and all of its possibilities. And even though I’ve homeschooled for 20 years, I still start each new school year with the unrealistic expectation that this year will be the very first year that everything goes perfectly! At the same time, though, I have to admit that I’m not perfect. My children aren’t perfect. We will make mistakes. Everything won’t go as planned. And you know what? This year I’m reminding myself that it’s ok!
I remember when my children were born, and I was so worried that I would do something wrong. I wanted them to be happy, healthy, and loved. Even though I was functioning on a small amount of sleep, I did my very best to make sure I did everything well. I made sure they had “tummy time.” I sang to them (constantly!). I played with them. I read books to them. I made sure they had meals and naps on time. I did everything I knew to do, and I did it to the best of my ability. But I still messed up sometimes.
Now that my two older children are grown (22 and 20) and my youngest is 14, I still want them to be happy, healthy, and loved. I still try to do everything to the best of my ability. And I still mess up…often.
Wouldn’t it be great to always know what’s the right thing to do? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, no matter the situation, we always had a clear idea of the very best decision?
In real life, though, we don’t always know exactly what’s best. We don’t always have a clear idea of the right direction or the right decision. So we can only do our best.
I know I’ll make mistakes. My kids know I’ll make mistakes (and they will too). But now, after 20 years of homeschooling, I think about it in a different way. Do I like making mistakes? No. But I do realize now that my children and I can learn so much from making them! They aren’t always easy lessons, but they are the ones we remember. They are the ones we aren’t as likely to make again–at least not any time soon!
So I hope my children and I have become better able, at least most of the time, to learn from our mistakes. Since we’re going to make them anyway, isn’t that the best plan?