We’re slowing it down. September is usually the month of revving up, the time when many of us have begun a new school year. I’m always energized by fresh plans, new books, and renewed commitment to my goals and values. It’s a new homeschool honeymoon period.
Somewhere around the second month of the semester, though, I start feeling bogged down. We’re very relaxed homeschoolers; however, I’m not immune to the temptation of biting off more than I can chew. I feel burdened by the projects my kids join and the commitments I made to lead or teach. What was once novel and exciting to the kids now prompts a grumpy moan at the very mention of it.
My plan for autumn was to lead a class with our homeschool co-op and to participate in 4H like we always do. But at some point in the early summer, I felt with increasing urgency that what I needed to do instead was to be home and to excuse myself from the outside obligations. Any desire I had to get involved disappeared. About a month later, the day after 4th of July fireworks, my youngest son was injured by some new equipment that we bought for our screen printing business. He spent a week in the hospital with a spinal injury, and he has to wear a halo brace for four months. We are thankful that his broken vertebrae and torn ligaments should heal fine, and this will be a short season in our lives. But it certainly confirmed my desire to turn all of my attention homeward and to simplify our lives as much as I could.
I worry about disappointing others and not measuring up to the expectations they have of me. I don’t want my friends to feel neglected. I’d rather be seen as dependable and committed. It’s a part of my people-pleasing nature. However, I’ve found in these circumstances that people are very understanding, and it’s not difficult for others to step up in my place.
This is a time for me to rebuild my home rhythm, to reflect on what is important to me and my family. I’m set up for greater success at keeping up with my daily duties and strengthening my own self-discipline. It allows me more relaxed time to connect with the kids. When I’m here and truly present in my home, I start nesting and working to improve its atmosphere, and I am ready to face issues that have gone neglected. It’s a big sigh of relief, knowing that all I really need is right here in front of me within these walls.
Moms, I encourage you, as you look out at this fall semester, to build into your schedule some buffers of rest in your home. Fend off burnout before it happens. Let’s not get so caught up in the pace of activities and obligations that we can’t enjoy the freedom and family intimacy we have available to us as home schoolers.