I was hoping to be able to post all the awesome stuff I gathered from the Mother’s Meeting that I had anticipated in my last post. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the way of awesome advice about what to do about feeling burnt out. Most of the moms who attended this time are mothers to older kids and teenagers---the big topic of the night ended up being about how to motivate their older kids to take their education into their own hands—so there’d be less nagging on mom’s part.
I suppose I should have paid better attention, so when my kids are pre-teens and teens, I’ll have some ideas, but I was just sort of disappointed that we weren’t going to talk about dealing with the homeschool blahs.
At the end of the meeting, however, I threw my concerns out and asked for advice. One mom of ten told me that my feelings of burn out and disinterest will pass—probably well after my baby is born, and that if my other kids didn’t get any formal academics for six months to a year, they’d still turn out okay. It sounds kind of flippant to write it here, but I was actually comforted by that statement. This mom of ten is a woman I consider my homeschooling and parenting mentor. She’s given me a lot of practical advice since before I started homeschooling, so I trust her. She’s also got a very wry sense of humor and isn’t one of those Pollyanna types that tries to gloss over the hard stuff. She’s upbeat, don’t get me wrong, but she’s very REAL about her triumphs and failures.
So, I’ve been giving it some thought. Six months with no school? A year? For real? We haven’t done any formal academics for about six weeks. I have a baby coming sometime (God willing) in the next week, and I can’t imagine I’m going to feel up to hitting the books really hard for at least a few weeks after that. I don’t want to whine or anything, but I’m feeling pretty miserable physically. Standing hurts, walking hurts, bending over is nigh unto impossible—I’m exhausted after taking a shower and getting dressed. So, I’ve been doing a lot of just sitting around. I’m too tired to read, I just fall asleep—so yes—I have resorted to letting the kids entertain themselves with the TV and with the Wii.
But, I have discovered that the kids can only tolerate so much of that before they are restless and discontent. They are brunt out on burnout.
For the last few days, They’ve been asking me what we’re going to do today. Something? Anything? So I’ve given them chores. I’ve let them cook (yikes!) I’ve let them get out whatever messy craft project they want. And, as I’ve watched them discover the satisfaction and order of a cleaned room, the joys of a successful cooking experience, or the lesson in perseverance when the project doesn’t turn out they they were hoping initially, I’ve begun to feel a glimmer of motivation and interest.
A spark of Phoenix fire. But that’s the next post.