Friday, February 15, 2008

Tired of pretending...

I'm tired. Tired of holding it all together. Sometimes I really feel like I am near my breaking point. I'd love to be one of those "perfect" homeschool moms. You know, the ones with the working schedule, nice and tidy house, daily experiments, and clean baby. But, no, I just can't do it. I've tried and tried and I just get totally stressed out, sleep-deprived, and start to lose my mind.

I have so many weaknesses and faults. How can I overcome all of this? How can I keep my focus and get my priorities straight? I'm always hesitant to post how I really feel, because I know that my sisters read this, my grandparents read this. I want to "save face" and look good. Doesn't everyone want to *seem* like they have it together? Ah, but it's just an act.

Some days I feel like I'm doing so well. We get our lessons done in a timely manner, do hands-on activities, the kids get along. They are often complimented in public, and then I think that I must be doing something right. But we come home and they scream at each other, occasionally hit each other, run down the hall naked, play in paint under the table, you name it. And then I'm wondering if I'm doing everything wrong. Surely I'm not just responsible for the "good stuff" ....and all the bad stuff comes from the immaturity of their age. Am I not responsible for both?

Not that I expect them to be perfect. But, wait...do I expect that? Nah. I even laughed at the whole paint thing. And I don't mind them getting messy when they play. I would never want my kids to judge themselves according to their appearance or what they can accomplish... so why do I hold myself to those standards?

Sometimes I'm so petty. I want to look good and be productive ALL the time. I get very down on myself when my house is terribly messy (although I would never judge someone else based on that very thing!) or our school doesn't get done. I feel so inadequate. And I know that I am. I know that I need God's help. But like one of my favorite authors, Philip Yancey, says, it's hard to know HOW to get God's help. Do you audibly hear Him giving you advice? Do you feel Him actually restraining you when you head down the wrong path? Maybe I'm just not close enough in my relationship right now. :-( I'm beginning to feel so far away...

Does everyone sometimes feel like they're sinking? It's a passing feeling, thankfully. Tomorrow may start completely differently and I'll be a "competent" mom again. But today-- it just started all wrong and I handled it all wrong. Then, even as I considered this and decided to change, I began to act the same way again!! Grrrr.... I know that Satan will use anything he can against us, even our own families and good intentions. The kids began to bicker and I get frustrated. Hmph.

Anyway, I'll post VDay pics soon, of our homeschool party & Trev's FBC class party. Hope you all had a good one!!

17 comments:

WomensDaily said...

It may not be any consolation, but even though you don't think at times that you're perfect, your kids already do think you are. :)

Ann-Marie said...

Sinking feeling? Absolutely!

I think you're only human if you want to scream, sob in silence, or fling your arms to heaven in desperation. We've all been there - that breaking point is completely part of being who we are.

I'm thinking of you, girl! Praying that, "This too shall pass."

October Dawn said...

Yeah, the truth is, that sinking feeling doesn't come from high standards in homeschooling, or I'd never have it! That's just you wishing you were all that God meant you to be now... but we're growing into that. The day of perfection will come. Just like you want your kids to keep trying to get the lessons right, God wants us to keep trying. More important than failure is recognizing it and learning from it. God will get the message to you somehow! =)

Adelia said...

You know what, you always do look together and like the perfect family. When I first met you, I was sooo intimidated by your presence. I'm glad in a way that you are not always together despite the looks. It allows a grace for mom's like me. :) I've seen you in action; you are a great wife, mom, teacher and friend. Yesterday, Barb said something that the Lord had just put on my heart the day before. The comment she made about Jim sizing up her frazzled situation and how to deal with it. It spoke to me, and hey, if Barb ever got frazzled, I think it's okay if we get a little frazzled!! ;) Praying for you in this time, my friend.

Rhinehart Land said...

Hey wendy, TOTALLY know how you feel. My bad time is usually when someone in the house is sick. I tend to always carry that "I'm helpless" attitude. You are human, we all are. And I know it's sortof cliche to say, but GOD gives me the strength during those times that I COULD NEVER have on my own. Your family isn't "perfect" and if we say it is, then we are holding you on a pedistal that isn't right. I know that you are an amazing mom and wife. I wish I could have alot of the qualitites that you have. God tends to give us those qualities and we aren't quite sure what to do. As far as a "messy" house. I like to call it a "PRODUCTIVE" house. LOL If I came to your house and it was super clean, and in order, I'd say you all have NO FUN and your kids much not have alot of play time fun. :) I enjoy clutter sometimes, b/c I know my kids are doing alot of creative thinking and playing. We will always be a "work in progess" and like October said... we are growing into what God wants us to be. :) Accept that you are growing. Praying for you all. You are doing an amazing job with your family.

Jerri Dalrymple said...

Oh, sweetie! You KNOW that we all feel this way sometimes! Some of us more than others! ;0) You have been there for me in those down times...and now I'm here for you! One thing I think I've learned for sure on this homeschooling/mothering journey is that you can't be home all the time and your home look "empty". It's lived in! It SHOULD look like someone is home and "living" there! You've got 4 someones, plus you and Fred...that's a lot of living going on! Be proud...one day it will seem sooo quiet and you will miss that "lived in" look. Praying for you, sister.

thejoyfulchaos said...

right this very minute. i really need to try to call you again. we're so in the same boat.

Amy B said...

Great post, girl! We are all human and sometimes we need that reminder! I loved reading this... keep 'em coming!

WendyJanelle said...

It so totally cracks me up that gorgeous-redhead-perfect-skin-and-easy-laugh Adelia was intimidated by MY presence! The first time I met you was at Suzanne's house and I was SO self-conscious. I was the only non-MM groupie.

I'm glad I'm not alone, girls.
Like Adelia, said in a recent post, just imagine how God feels about us. When I am completely frustrated I need to remember the patience and mercy that God gives me.

And maybe my kids will turn out great, in spite of me!!

WendyJanelle said...

And, Joyfulchaos,
Yes, try to call me soon. Although, my friends can attest, I am much better on email. I'm ALWAYS interrupted on the phone (again, those "perfect homeschool moms" have their kids well-trained not to interrupt, right?) ;-)

K.T. is Mommatude said...

Me too,alot-not a homeschooling mom,so dont have it together.

Mandy said...

Oh girl it's not a homeschool thing.. it's a PARENT thing! I recently had a good friend tell me, nearly in tears, that she just could never have her life like mine... mine was so "perfect".. my marriage, my kids, me... I nearly died! ME?! lol I don't know why she thinks that... but on one hand it made me feel good, on another I hated it b/c I wondered how unapproachable I seem to some ppl b/c of it. Like i wouldn't or can't understand them b/c they have me on this pedastool. I had a day the other day that I cleaned and cleaned (b/c I had been slacking on it b/c I was spending some REALLY good time with the kids) and I felt guilty for cleaning b/c I was having to brush the kids off, and I felt frustrated b/c no matter how much I cleaned nothing ever seemed to get done! Ever have THAT feeling? lol I just wanted to wave a magic wand and have my house spotless so I could take the kids out to play without feeling like I was neglecting that party of my household life. That's just the way it is though. Some days we can be supermom... listener to every story, awesome teacher, patient, kind, and understanding... and other days we have to put on the maid cap and apron and get stuff done! In my experience you can't do both at the same time. lol What I do (but I don't homeschool so take it with grain of salt!) is spend roughly 30min cleaning, and then an hour or so being with the kids doing SOMETHING. Helps me feel sane. As far as how kids act.. kids are kids! And, if you're getting compliments in public I think that speaks for itself. You've obviously taught them how to behave so here's your pat on the back! :) Mine are usually good when we're out too and then show their hineys at the house. I think that's really normal! Just do your best to keep things in check and you'll all be fine! No mom is perfect, no matter how she looks! :)

Anonymous said...

There aren't ANY perfect homeschooling moms. No not one! To quote Michelle Duggar "our schedule is just a goal, we never get through all of this in one day, but at least we have a plan." There is no ONE right way. you have to plan for YOUR family at THIS time. Your schedule will change often, but remember it is simply a guideline. The goal is to KEEP their hearts.
Hang in there - you obviously love your children very much.

I recently read Passionate Housewives: Desperate for God. What a blessing to me - so reassuring and inspiring.

Maury Draper said...

I feel that way all the time! I think it is a normal mommy thing...and homeschooling adds a whole different pressure of needing to be perfect. I think the people that really are "perfect" probably really arent, and if they are, they are the ones that aren't normal!

Mimi said...

Good Morning Wendy,
When do you leave to go on your outing? We will be praying that this little get-away will provide some much needed time to relax and enjoy your family. When I read your blog, I couldn't help but go back to my days with 4 little ones and all of the adventures--some good, some horrible, and the lack of rest and all of that--and I wasn't home schooling. When we are weak, we call out to the Lord and we stop to look at what is happening in our lives--and what we are expecting of ourselves and others.
There are no "perfect" home schooling moms--if they put on that face, they are fooling themselves and others. None of us are perfect in anything we do. We do put ourselves under pressures that are not always necessary. I guess that when I look at life from this age, I see things a bit different. I had a good friend that used to tell me that when the kids were grown they would not remember how many times I mopped the floor or had a perfectly clean house, but they would remember the times we went for walks and went to the park to feed the ducks. She was a mother of five--and told me this when she wanted me to take my three little ones and go to the park to feed the ducks. I started in on all that I needed to do--and she talked to me--and I went with her and had a great time. The fun was more important than whether the house was in order.
I am convinced that many home schooling moms work too hard at it. The kids are learning through life experiences as well as the things you sit down and do from work books and all of that. They need lots of physical activity as well as the sit down book learning. The times the weather is bad and you have to be inside too much can be some of the most stressful times--and there are times to just cut back on outside activity and say that you are tired and just cannot keep up the pace. The kids need a mom who is not exhausted more than they need one more lesson on something. I am convinced there are times a home schooling mom should just declare a school holiday and relax with the kids. I taught a long time, subbed in elementary and saw a lot. Believe me, teachers don't fight the problems when the kids are having "one of those days where nothing goes right." They change plans in mid stream, if they are a good teacher, and do something different. I taught 7th grade special education math for several years, and there were days I let them just "play store." They probably learned more math doing that--and I wasn't worrying about it at that point, but they would write down what the others bought and try to add up the things. We had a bookcase with canned goods and other things with prices on them.
Remember that siblings will fight and quarrel. It is in their old sin nature--and part of learning to live with others in the world. Don't blame yourself. When you are working to teach them, that is all the Lord expects. And, He is near you and does hear your prayers. Yes, Satan loves to get us discouraged and he uses those around us to help do that.
When I look at the petty things, I wonder how these same people will face persecution if it comes. Satan wants us to feel like failures. We know that our strength is only in the Lord and that He will pick us up when we fall on our faces--and we ALL do. But he says to be of good courage.
Don't try to be like anyone else. Just be our dear Wendy and if things don't get done today, there is always tomorrow--and not this evening when you are tired enough to just drop!!! Don't mind asking for help. Ask Fred, ask anyone that has shown themselves willing to help. Sometimes we all need "just a little help."
Know that Papaw and I are loving you and all your dear family and we are praying for each one of you--and they will get older and then the problems will still be there, but they will be different--and you cannot blame yourself or Fred for mistakes they will make or sins they may commit. All you can do is teach them the truths of the Lord and pray that they will become their own and that they will have a heart to please Him always.
I don't know if what I have said will help, but it is from my heart to someone that is very dear and precious to me.
Much Love and Many Prayers,
Mimi

Suzanne said...

I echoed you here and linked to this article. Especially after Makensie came home from your house with a folder of papers and crafts and an elephant that you had completely with her for the day. I thought "well that's it. Wendy can no longer keep my kids if she's going to make me look this bad!" kiss kiss.

WendyJanelle said...

Haha. I just thought extra crafts might help her keep her mind off of baby brother in surgery! We don't do that many crafts EVERY day!!