We all have days that are less than ideal. Ever notice how often they occur? In my world, it’s pretty often! Home school moms especially, can fall into such a trap. Homeschooling is a full time job in and of itself. Though it takes place in our home, time must still be set aside to focus on it. It’s easy to become distracted by everything around us just screaming to be accomplished.
Here is a map out of an ideal day for me. This is typically how I expect my days to look:
We stick with our schedule as much as possible (with some flexibility). The babies would nap regularly without fighting me on it and my kids would get along. I would have the energy and motivation I need everyday and resist temptation to veer off into doing other things. In addition, my children would accept discipline, training, and correction with a smile and obey without delay. School work would be completed quickly, efficiently, and with a smile. They would eat all their meals without complaint or waste, and chores would be completed without having to be reminded. The weather would cooperate so that [for lack of central air] we all aren’t sitting here sticky and miserable. I would also get my daily cleaning done, and work everyday on the weekly deep cleaning.
Yes, that’s how an ideal day for me would look and occasionally it even happens! Yet the truth is, this just isn’t reality most days. Additionally, I tend to get discouraged and overwhelmed because my days don’t live up to my standards. I have four children, ranging in age from 7 down to 1. They require a lot of attention and are often unpredictable. Although going through the schedule is a probability on a daily basis, it is not without challenge.
Below I compiled a list of 3 things to expect in the everyday.
Everyday We Should Expect That:
1. Training and correction will be present–after all, it is kind of silly to expect that suddenly our children will begin acting like adults–and on a regular basis! Nope, ladies, we’re in it for the long haul! We must expect to have “interruptions” in our days that will require immediate correcting and training. Our family does some training intentionally most days by digging into the Word and doing simple devotions. Yet very often throughout the day is when our children will need to be reminded of what they have already learned and taken step by step through the situation. We need to keep in mind this is not a waste of time or a bad interruption. This is what raising our children in the Lord consists of. (2 Timothy 4:2; Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 29:15)
2. Temptation will come knocking–whether it’s the television, the internet, the telephone, or a good novel (or any book, really). Distractions will seek us out and find us…we need to be ready for them by equipping ourselves daily for a battle. We need to be in prayer and put on the full armor of God. In addition to distractions, other things such as anger, selfishness, pride, and frustrations have the potential to rise up within us. We need to equip ourselves to fight these battles so they don’t win us over. Our children are watching and learning how to handle conflicts such as these. (Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Corinthians 10:11-13)
3. House work will get left undone–let’s face it, and this is a hard one for me to accept…sometimes, we just need to let some [good] things go in order to focus on the best things. True, it is good to clean the house and I am in no way suggesting we stop cleaning altogether. But it is impossible to be able to keep a perfectly clean house day after day while people are living in it; especially young children. Sometimes the laundry just needs to wait until the next day. True, it will always seem like we are behind if we continue to focus on what we didn’t accomplish. Instead, we can focus on what we did accomplish. The laundry may not have gotten done today, but I got to be outdoors with my children while we played Frisbee instead. I let the good go in order to be there for the best. There will be days when the children can keep themselves occupied all day and there will be days they will need more of our attention. We just need to be attentive and aware of this and aim to be flexible. God didn’t only call us to be keepers of our homes. He gave us other responsibilities as well (Proverbs 31:10-31; Titus 2:4-5).
If we can keep in mind these three things, I truly believe that many of our disappointments and much of our discouragement will dissipate. Expecting the unexpected will prepare us to handle conflict much better. Often, one of our biggest mistakes as parents and homeschoolers, is that we set the bar at an unreachable level and when we don’t reach it day after day after day, we can begin to feel like we are failing miserably. We need to remember that some things are inevitable and we will need to make adjustments to meet these needs.