Saturday, February 2, 2013
“THIS MOM IS ON OVERLOAD!!!”
Have you ever uttered these words . . . or screamed them out loud???
If you are a homeschooling mother, this may feel quite familiar -- rest assured, you are not alone!
Burnout, or Mother Overload, may be the one downside to homeschooling.
Does it happen to everyone?
Does it happen every year?
Does it only happen to those who are new to the homeschooling lifestyle?
How can you cope and how can you prevent it?
Nearly every homeschooling mom has experienced burnout to some degree. Many of us feel as though we’ve reached the end of our rope, we wonder if our homes will ever run smoothly, and if we’ll ever really be able to keep our schedule while keeping the house clean and keeping kids somewhat happy.
The job of homeschooling is NOT for wimps!
We’ve been at this homeschooling business for as long as I can remember.
I don’t believe that every year has to hold a burnout period, or that we need to feel overloaded, BUT, it does happen, and when it does, it feels BIG and UGLY!
So, what can you do to overcome this little phase?
How can you cope?
More importantly, how can you prevent it?
I think it is imperative to first identify the causes.
We all have stressful situations to deal with; some are non-negotiable and out of our control, while others are within our ability to control and change if need be. Take a look at your life . . . are you enjoying your job? Do you enjoy your time with your kiddos? Do you look forward to the day ahead of you? Are you excited about what is on your plate of learning and teaching? Do you feel like you’ve got it under control? Are you satisfied with the balance in your home, family and school?
If you answered NO to any or all of these, you probably need to take a deep look and see what needs a little mending.
If you feel as though you have no sense of priority, if everything feels out of control, if you agonize over what to teach your children each day, if you just want it to all go away, if you dream of waving goodbye to your darling children as they board that big yellow bus . . . now is the time to kick burnout and take your life back!!!
Burnout feels horrible, BUT I’d like you to look at it as a GOOD thing; while it is unpleasant and difficult, it is also a beautiful flashing red signal begging you to pay attention and consider making a few minor changes. It’s your wake up call, if you will; it is a second chance just waiting to be taken.
Often times, the answer is quite simple . . . if you are feeling stressed and overloaded, you may just be doing too much.
Are you overscheduling yourself and your kids?
Do you have unrealistic expectations, again of yourself and your kids?
Too many commitments, perhaps?
Is your curriculum too rigid and time consuming?
Do you feel more like crying than laughing?
My suggestions would be to consider adjusting your expectations of yourself and your kids, if necessary. I would also suggest that being a little more flexible, adding in a game here and there, throwing out a school day and replacing it with a play day, a cooking day, or a day outside enjoying all that nature has to share with us--might just do the trick. I am a firm believer that we, the moms of our families, must LOVE what we are doing . . . we really should love our job! If we aren’t, we need to change our teaching style, our routine, our curriculum . . . don’t limit yourself! Dream big and make amazing things happen with your kiddos!
You can be successful at knocking burnout by just taking a little time for you. Plan some fun activities outside of your home with your kids . . . do ANYTHING that will make you laugh! Laughter opens up your brain and fills your heart and rekindles that fire that has felt burned out. It reminds you of why you started homeschooling in the first place, and gives you a great reason to not give up! Because we all need to remember that one thing that’s so easy to forget when we’re feeling overwhelmed with it all—that we’re here to have JOY in the JOURNEY.