When a young family starts dreaming of homeschooling, this is not what they imagine:
“Yeah, um… I’ll pray for your day. The little guys are running around like crazy down there.”
That is not the good-bye I like to hear from my husband as I step out of the shower in the morning and he heads to work. It just doesn’t bode well– especially not when you effectively have four kids six and under, it’s not even 9 a.m., and you had hoped to actually get some educatin’ done today.
So, what do you do?
One of the biggest challenge in homeschooling (o.k., in parenting, period) is keeping the youngest family members meaningfully engaged, occupied, and out of trouble. My motto? A busy toddler is a happy toddler, and a happy toddler rarely disrupts the flow of a day by unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper, eating a box of crayons, or snipping the cords to every earbud in the house.
Too much of life is focused on what we want. Too often, we overlook the overflow in our own laps as we gaze longingly at the greener pastures just to our left or our right. The lady in Bible Study who just got a new couch. (Yours is 15 years old and still smells slightly of baby spit-up.) The friend with the new baby. (You’ve been trying for ages and just got your period, again.) The sister-in-law who gets her hair done every four weeks, like clockwork. (Your last cut was in 2012. You know for certain because it was also the last time you had coffee alone.)
We look at the plenty around us and we covet. We know it’s wrong. We know it breeds discontent. We know it’s eating at our souls, and yet …
“What’s that in the tree? A hawk?”
Seven spoons fall, seven chairs scrape backwards. Breakfast is officially on pause.
With everyone well, holidays behind us, and no birthdays until little guy/girl shows up, we are finding our days falling into a comfortable rhythm here. The local weather seems to have found the same stride: cold and damp … just the way we liked it in Washington! That being said, it’s a belly-warming kind of menu here for the next few weeks. Here’s to the best of winter!
The temptation, as parents, is to grab fast to every happening, circumstance, and speed bump as it enters our family’s life and worry it until it falls apart in our hands like dry clay:
How will we manage to parent a preschooler with twins on the way?
Moving away from our support network was worst thing we’ve ever done.
What will we do with less money in every check?
It’s because we had that awful season in our marriage.
Is she like this because I checked out when I had post-partum depression?
Homeschooling parents have an added wrinkle. We not only obsess over our failings as parents, but as educators, too. And the mix, frankly, can be debilitating.
There’s so much to do in the course of a day.
Stories to read, lessons to teach, dishes to wash, clothes to fold, floors to sweep, babies to rock, conversations to have, hugs to give, encouraging texts to send, drawings to swoon over. The list goes on and on– and makes me glad, actually, that I am not a list-maker. Because … no. Seeing it all written down would be just that much too discouraging as I stare down the day.
I’ve been a passionate knitter for quite some time, but the truth is I’ve never made a big push to knit for one of my own babes.