As a homeschooling parent, I think we can easily fall into this idea: we try so hard to be these super moms. We have so much pressure to succeed and not fail our kids that we put ourselves on the edge of a dangerous cliff. We are always giving to others and often forget to watch where we're going. But the truth is . . . this is not safe. Burn out is exhausting and real.
Last year, I completely burnt out. I could barely drag myself out of bed, let alone be an intentional parent or homeschooler. I struggled to try and be productive and successful every day when really I just kind of floundered about, not doing anything. I found myself kind of staring blankly at everything and not really sure what to do about it. So, I gave up.
I took a few months off and just . . . stopped. I stopped blogging. I stopped doing school. I stopped running around. I stopped trying to keep the house clean. I didn't obligate myself to anything. I just . . . stopped—and rested.
I gave myself the freedom to do nothing. To stare blankly at the computer screen and mindlessly surf through my Facebook feed over and over. To sit on the floor while the littles buzzed around. To put a chair in the sunshine in the backyard while the kids played. To not check or answer my e-mails.
I needed that time. I needed to be kind of selfish after a life of endlessly giving of myself. I needed to hit the reset button and figure out what to do next.
It's been a slow process of getting back into step. School has been a slow go this year so far, but we're chipping away, and I'm thankful every day that kids learn even when I'm not the teacher. Work is coming back into a plan and my motivation is coming back to me in small little chunks. My house isn't perfect, but I've made progress and changes for the better.
The big thing I've learned while down? I don't have to be everything to everyone. I CANNOT be everything to everyone. I am not obligated to keep everyone happy or meet everyone's expectations. I can just do what I can do by the strength and grace of God and that is it. The end.
Lisa Marie Fletcher is a busy homeschooling mom of 5 who somehow manages to find some time to blog at The Canadian Homeschooler where her mission is to help connect homeschoolers across Canada with each other and with resources to help them on their journey