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hudsonsinaf Posted - Jan 27 2016 : 3:04:30 PM
I think the subject pretty much sums up life right now for me... I am struggling to find the balance between life and the kids' school. The house seems to always be a mess, dishes and laundry never done, subjects that don't get the time they need. The kids are bickering, and being disobedient which isn't our normal. I miss being able to send them out back to play and run off their steam, but that just doesn't work here at the rental. I keep telling myself that things will get better when we move, but how do we improve now? How do I not lose what we have already tried to instill in our children. I cannot get this time back. I feel like I am spiraling down a dark hole and not sure how to crawl out. I'm not sure if I am doing too much or not enough. What areas am I failing in and what areas am I succeeding? Am I failing at all of them by trying to do too many and not giving anything 100%? Should we take a break from school and focus solely on behavior and family? But if so, how do I keep them busy enough? Add to all of this that I am nursing Emi every 2-3 hours during the day. I know that is playing a part in the chaos, but do I sacrifice her health for my convenience (as in not nurse when I know I can, so I have more free time)? The scariest part is that I have stopped getting in the Word to get "extra time" to do all the things needing to be done. That is not the answer... but what is?

~ Shannon
12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
MagnoliaWhisper Posted - Sep 17 2016 : 9:25:30 PM
I see this is a much older post.. but hey, I'm chiming in to say, there's nothing wrong with unschooling, children learn no matter what you do... it's fine to take a break from academics in a formal way if you need or want to.
CindyG Posted - Feb 07 2016 : 12:13:32 PM
A key thing I've learned within the past year or so that may help:

-Don't try HARDER....try different.

It is so easy for us to think we are failing because things just don't seem to be getting done no matter how hard we try. We get mired in it, whatever it is. Look at the things are working even reasonably well and be sure you give yourself a goodly amount of credit for those! Then look at what you want to be going better, and come up with some different approaches to them - very much in line with what these wonderful ladies have suggested in terms of an "easy day" a PJ day, etc.

Another thing that has really helped me is to - in writing each morning - set your intention for the day. Don't make it an unattainable thing or too many things. If you focus on that one thing FOR THE DAY, you tend to possibly not look at the entire picture of everything you dislike about the situation and can tackle that one intention, finishing the day feeling successful.

I learned both of these things in relation to weight loss/improved health, so an example of some simple intentions for the day included:

1. Make each meal just a little healthier than yesterday's by cutting back some fat and adding more fruit.
2. Exercise 15 minutes longer than my average exercise time last week (I log my cardio time)
3. Eat mindfully today and really taste and enjoy the healthy food choices I am making

I share those examples so you can see how simple, how broad/general, etc you can make them. Celebrate your successes no matter how small and genuinely congratulate yourself for recognizing them. This helps set your brain up for seeing things just a bit more positively each day, which is sooooo hard to do when you're mired in the proverbial pile of you-know-what on a daily basis.

A beautiful intention for one your days can be to bask in the healthy gift of nursing your are so lovingly giving your Emi. Of course the unfortunate reality could be an intention for the day might be to catch up on the mountain of laundry, but once you make that the only real focus of the day and not worry about all the other things that need done, it makes the task more approachable. One single thing instead of seeing EVERYTHING you think needs done. I never would have believed how this approach can almost put blinders on you to block out all the other things, but it can.

Be kind to yourself-
hudsonsinaf Posted - Feb 05 2016 : 10:38:38 AM
I find without my better half, aka my hubby, here to support me right now, I have a better chance at feeling blah and struggling. It is so amazing how God blesses us with someone to share everything with! I am assuredly blessed! Thank YOU ladies for the encouraging words! I will be rereading them over and over again in the weeks to come, I am sure <3

~ Shannon, Sister # 5349
Farmgirl of the Month - January 2016
Audra Rose Posted - Feb 05 2016 : 09:08:19 AM
Shannon, don't blame yourself for these problems. Life has a way of throwing our routine out of whack. Sounds like the children feel the unsettled state, and are responding as children.

Farmgirl Sister #6754
Doxie Mom - Everyone loves a Weiner!

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Red Tractor Girl Posted - Feb 05 2016 : 05:51:47 AM
Shannon, I hope you are finding new energy and ways to keep family life running more smoothly. It is a daily challenge with a big family!

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
Dapple Grey Lady Posted - Feb 04 2016 : 2:32:26 PM
As a former homeschooling mom, some of what everyone has said here is good. I had days like yours too. I found that I tried to do too much to make sure I was doing all of it. When we moved, I scaled back. Kids do pick and learn faster than we do I found out. We took more breaks and it seemed to help us all get a breather. Sometimes just going to the park and doing some reading and science helped. Every family schools differently and their kids succeed. We had pick up the house days and then we had deep cleaning days.

~ Betty ~
Farmgirl Sister # 5589
AnnieinIdaho Posted - Jan 30 2016 : 3:09:25 PM
And remember all in all it would only take a couple of days to clean the place from top to bottom and then it would be done, so since we have many days ahead, you will eventually get the time. Once when I was much younger I was in a car accident as a passenger and did die for 10 minutes. I had a near death experience (but that's another topic). When I thought back to what I had done the day before the accident I saw that I had spent my almost last day on earth cleaning house and running errands. So after that it just was no longer a priority. Yes, I have a cleaning time, but mostly try to have enjoyable peaceful time discovering things around me so that when I do die I didn't waste the last 24 hours cleaning! Take it in stride, make games for the kids to help pickup (do it singing songs). In helping my fibromyalgia I do 20 minutes of necessary stuff and 20 minutes of rest or fun stuff and rotate. This may help out in creating a more relaxed routine. I do believe explaining to your kids why we do things and why we don't do things when it presents itself helps them understand a little more. Time for work, play and rest. Time for each other, time alone, time for thankfulness, time for asking for help and understanding. Best to you and may joy creep in as you unravel your needs. I have learned the work never is finished, but the routine of life is meant to be joyful. You will find your faith and strength and as they say, "Keep-a-goin" Love and hugs, Annie

"The turnings of life seldom show a sign-post; or rather, though the sign is always there, it is usually placed some distance back, like the notices that give warning of a bad hill or a level railway-crossing." Edith Wharton, 1913 from 'The Custom of the Country'.
guineahen Posted - Jan 29 2016 : 4:19:16 PM

Please don't beat yourself up! I believe Satan tries to distract us away from God. Your house is not going to be perfect when your children are growing up and that's okay. Your kids are not going to say someday, "There was never any dust in our house." But they will remember all the times you played games with them or read to them. Those are the times that will ripple out into the world when your children grow up and invest in other people's lives. I think what you are feeling is very common, especially around this time of year. It is not all the facts that the kids learn now that are important. It is that they keep their curiosity about the world and learn to learn on their own. This is an amazing time in their lives and in your own. And like everybody says, it is over way too quickly. And this former homeschooling mama is praying for you!

DandeeRose Posted - Jan 28 2016 : 07:10:12 AM
I am struggling, too. Life is chaotic. I am praying for you, since I have no good advice. Honestly, I think you have better control over your house full than I do my 3.

Many Blessings- Alicia #5232 Farmgirl Accessories and more!
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain."
KristiW Posted - Jan 27 2016 : 7:11:19 PM
The struggle is real Shannon. I personally find that some days are harder than others, and if I just "give up" and let it go and cuddle with a kid on the couch instead of caring about the details, everyone is better off. Also, it's important to communicate your needs. If you need help with housework or school planning, ask for it. I have also been known to give myself a time out when I'm at my wit's end and my kids seem to understand what that means. Sorry you're feeling so down. We're rooting for you!

Farmgirl Sister #6

MaryJanesNiece Posted - Jan 27 2016 : 4:49:21 PM
I agree with Sara. Making an easy day for you can actually be a fun adventure for your kids. Also, one of the main things I learned as a teacher was that kids learn through play. Give them a day to just play but within limits. Such as with puzzles, reading, or coloring one day and then maybe dress up another day. In my opinion don't stress over how the house looks. If your house is messy then you are busy being a wonderful mother. Take some deep breaths and know that you are doing a wonderful job!

YellowRose Posted - Jan 27 2016 : 3:25:48 PM
Shannon you are asking the same questions women have asked throughput generations. I don't have all the answers but I know from experience that a little time each day spent in the Word or talking with God reveals the answers we are seeking.

On the practical side cut yourself some slack. Pick a day or two to not hold school or only one subject per child. Make it a P.J. day where everyone stays in their P.Js, relaxes and do quiet, fun things. Maybe a few exercises to burn off energy. Eat easy to cook meals or sandwiches and use paper plates & styro cups. No fun doing dishes when everyone else is chilling out.

Sara~~~ FarmGirl Sister #6034 8/25/14
FarmGirl of the Month Sept 2015.

Lord put your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth.

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