Here is just one day in my life as a homeschool mom. I share it not to complain -- but to offer a glimpse of some reality.
I moaned at my husband’s alarm clock going off at 7:30am. I just didn’t want to get up. I told my husband I may as well turn my 5:00am alarm off because I never get up to it anyways.
Oh but how I want to! I dream of waking up before the sun rises, sipping my coffee, reading my Bible, and being fully alert when my children begin to wake up for the day.
But that’s just not reality. Instead, my 18-month old Great Dane finishes the task of making sure I’m awake by making her way to my bedside and licking my face (yes, she’s that tall).
My 4-year old comes in asking me if I can cut his waffles. I smile at him and tell him I’ll be right there, but inside I’m groaning. My feet haven’t even hit the floor yet and the day’s demands have begun. I'm not a good morning person. It's not the kids, it's me.
I don’t even make it out of my room before I hear crying. My seven year old, Jeremiah, ran his hand into the wall as he tripped going up the stairs. Poor guy! No doubt, he was probably running, as most my kids do when they need to get from point A to point B.
I check it out and make sure he’s OK. The three of us make it down the stairs and we all get through breakfast. Well, I don’t actually eat breakfast that early. I usually wait until 11am to cook up some eggs and toast for myself. But, I tend to play referee where needed and help small children pour juice.
I start the coffee pot and begin putting random items away as I come across them in my path. The routine in the morning is pretty much the same. The children have their morning chores and I continuously prompt them to get them done. I’ve made each child a schedule and put it on their very own clipboard, but still, the prompting is needed.
I remind myself, this is their training ground. When they grow up and move out, they will learn they will need to be their own boss in order to keep their homes tidy. I also try to remember that I was a child once, too, who didn’t like to remember to do her chores.
So, we work through math, which, with 7 children, takes all morning. We didn’t even finish my eleven year old’s lesson because it was simply too long for one day. So, we will finish it up tomorrow.
So I make a quick lunch of eggs and toast and some of the children go downstairs to play. I start to think ahead to dinner with dread. I’ve never been good at menu making, despite all the wonderful tools available. Tonight two of my girls have dance class and it falls right at dinner time. It’s always difficult to juggle.
It’s not long before a fight breaks out downstairs and I hear yelling, screaming, and crying. I sigh deep. Why can’t my children see the value of their relationship over such trite issues? Oh, right. They’re just children. So, I send the offenders to their beds so they can both calm down and regroup.
For the next hour the children kind of scatter and tend to their own interests. One is drawing with chalk pastels, another writing a book about firefighters, a few playing dolls, one working on a Word Search. Then it’s time for quiet time. One hour for the children to read in their beds and for me to write.
Some days this hour goes smoothly and other days there is more correcting than time that is actually quiet. Today is a mix. This time allows everyone a little space to breathe again, including me.
After we conclude quiet time, everyone wants a snack and then a few children want to pull out the chalk pastels. For the older children, this activity is great! For my four year old, not so much. He makes quite a mess! But, I let him indulge anyways.
I still don’t know what we’re doing about dinner. While the children are engaged again, I sit down and do some VA (virtual assistant) work for a couple clients. Then we prepare to leave for dance. We have to leave by 5pm and won’t return until about 7pm.
As I’m driving home from dance, I’m still mulling over in my head what we’re going to do for dinner. We have some frozen chicken patties and tater tots I can put in the oven. Easy peasy and everyone’s full. Not my typical dinner menu, but it will have to do for tonight.
The children do their evening chores and routine and are in bed by 8:30pm. Today is one of those rare days I feel like collapsing. Maybe it’s because the two weeks prior of sickness throughout the family finally caught up to me.
I put my husbands dinner in the oven and work on some more VA work. Then we turn on Netflix and complete our night vegging. We actually head to bed early this night; 10:30pm. I drift off wondering if this is the way I want to live the rest of my life. (Yes, I am a thinker).
Do I really want to go through each day with the tunnel vision of merely checking things off my list and schedule? Or having a negative attitude whenever the day gets rough?
How can I truly make the most of this life? How can I be more eternally minded? I admit, my time in the Word has been sorely lacking. Why is it so hard to open it again after it’s been some time? It feels like repelling magnetic fields; a tug between my flesh and my spirit.
No two days are exactly alike, but that's what this particular day looked like.