I cant remember which podcast I recently listened to that the speaker said: “balance is a unicorn” but seriously it was like the heavens opened and I heard the angels sing! I have been chasing “balance” for at least a solid 20 years! Always coming back from the hunt, completely empty handed. I had mapped out the perfectly painted picture for exactly each season of my life, I had it all figured out.
As a busy entrepreneur building a real estate business I had dreamt of the huge success of running my own company, financially contributing to our family in big ways!Of course while also being a present and patient mama who could get dinner on the table every night and lovingly read bedtime stories to my kids. My marriage would be the stuff fairy tales are made of and everyone would feel content and fulfilled— FAILED (miserably)
As a stay at home mom I saw myself packing custom lunchboxes, placing ribbons in perfectly combed hair and my kids kissing me hello as they came home from a day at school. They would be unable to hold in their excitement to share all the incredible fun they had just had and we would have time to talk and be present in each others lives. I would be able to keep the house clean, enjoy cooking and maybe find a hobby. — FAILED ( even more miserably)
Going into this homeschool journey I had to get extremely real with myself. What was our life REALLY gonna look like now? The kids were going to be home ALL the time, I was going to need to focus, get organized. Able to facilitate a healthy learning environment. Instantly I knew the picture perfect vision of my home being clean and everyone behaving in beautiful harmony would NOT be the case. Lets be honest, “picture perfect” is great for all of 30 seconds and once that flash happens, real life sets in. It was incredibly important to me to have a realistic expectation of what “real life” as a homeschooling mom really was.
For starters my house was NOT going to be clean. In fact as I started to do some research I instantly realized the act of keeping everything in its place could really hinder their learning experience. Projects would be started and left out to be returned to. Crafting would take place all day, crafts involving glue, paint and glitter! Legos, puzzles, game boards, and books everywhere! For free flowing, independent learning to happen, materials needed to be readily available and cleaning up too soon could disrupt the lesson or learning experience.
I find myself walking around the house these days just reminding myself: Learning happens here, learning happens here, learning happens here! Usually on Saturday or Sunday we reset the house for the upcoming week as a family. Everyone chips in on some housework and for at least a day I get a less messy version.
Everything was not going to go my way! I had to accept that while all my planning, scheduling and organizing looked great on paper…life is just messy most of the time. Plans change constantly! Things completely outside my control happen on the regular!
In fact just yesterday I had a beautiful day laid out…I was so excited to start some new activities, and dive into a new lesson we had picked. Then the electricity went out for a scheduled maintenance that would last 6 hours. I had to shift ….. and quick! Sitting at home in the dark, frustrated was not going to be of any value to anyone. We headed to a nearby nature trail with some paper and colors and enjoyed some art and a 2.5 mile walk. Am I irritated I didn’t get to do what I had planned? Absolutely! Luckily everyday is a new day to start again!
The more I let go of trying to control what our days look like and what we “have to” learn, the more organically everything just sorts itself out. I know how hard that is, but I swear it just feels better at the end of the day, I have less anxiety and we are just a happier bunch!
Its about giving yourself and your kids a ton of grace! Its about leaning into the stuff that doesn’t come naturally and trying something new, something uncomfortable. Its embracing the chaos and accepting life is messy. Allow yourself to have fun and watch how amazing these little humans are! Its not always going to look the way you imagined, it may look nothing like that in fact. I guarantee it can be far better!