It was a day in May, a few years back.
My ambitious self just wanted to get through a few lessons so the children had something structured. After checking and rechecking and dragging the children through their chores, I painfully coerced them to the kitchen table to begin our first read aloud.
My seven year old asked if they could color coloring sheets from We Choose Virtues (affil link) while they listened. I happily agreed. Once everyone got settled and I made the necessary copies, my toddler began his meltdown. He wanted me to copy his coloring page even though no one else wanted to color that particular page. He didn't understand why I wouldn't copy it and was just handing it to him with permission to color it. Oh no. That wasn't the way he wanted it done. He rolled on the floor. He screamed in protest.
So after several trips of putting him to bed, he finally agreed to sit down quietly and color. I situated myself to begin our read aloud when he suddenly started screaming again over his older brother using the markers from the same bin as him.
Oh, Jesus take the wheel.
All I wanted to do was get through 10 minutes of reading out loud to my children. To teach them about Dwight Moody and the night Chicago burned. Why must this be so hard!?
I asked toddler's older brother if he could just leave the markers for 10 minutes so I could get through this reading without major meltdown. Older brother didn't want to comply and toddler is still screaming in protest. My rope had ended at that point and I ran out the front door, crying.
My face flooded with tears like I'd been holding it in for weeks. I prayed out loud to God, hoping none of my neighbors could see me and start asking me questions. No way could I let them know that I couldn't handle the five children I gave birth to and chose to homeschool.
"God I cannot do this anymore. I cannot do this."
I do not know what "homeschooling" is supposed to look like, or motherhood for that matter. But I do know what I see in blogs and what I read in books is simply not realistic. It can't be! I have tried doing all of the things I'm supposed to but all I see is chaos and minimally structured lessons.
It doesn't matter how well I structure my days. It doesn't matter how many organizational tools I utilize. It doesn't matter how much I pray and beg God to help me make things perfect and ideal--the picture in my mind does not exist. It just doesn't. And because I'm constantly chasing after this fantasy, I'm constantly frustrated that I cannot obtain it.
So this day, I resolved to simply take it one task at a time. But as I was beginning my very first structured lesson, it just all fell apart and I thought, "Why can't I even get through one lesson successfully?"
It's not a matter of lack of discipline. My children do get disciplined. The fact is, I never take sin, immaturity, or childish behavior into consideration. Ever. I [foolishly] expect my children should sit down quietly and listen intently to what I have to say. I have no idea where I learned this mentality. Parenting books, maybe? Believing that doing all the right things will produce all the right children?
Yeah...not so much. Why? Because children are not perfect anymore then we are perfect. They suffer temptations and fleshly desires the same as we do. Even when sin isn't present, lack of maturity reigns. Which is no fault of their own. Just something that needs to learn to be controlled and time to get there. They will never be perfect and I cannot ever expect that they will be at any given moment.
I am in a season of motherhood that is so difficult. I don't know if it's the ages of my children or if it's the weather. And after feeling beaten down time and time again, it gets harder and harder to get back up and try, try again.
Do you have bad days that turn into bad weeks or bad seasons?
For His Glory,