The perfect kid is a myth. That doesn’t mean that we don’t give up or stop striving to raise them to be the best they can be. As I begin my week, one of the final weeks of official learning (i.e. not summer break), I am reflecting on our journey. To be honest I feel worn out presently and out of my league a lot of times when raising them. I wish my husband worked closer to home so I could have that support during our most rambunctious time of day, dinner time. I wish my kids were a bit older so they didn’t need constant supervision. I wish homeschooling wasn’t such time-consuming hard work.
Usually on Sunday nights Chris and I will rent a movie, finish the laundry together and he’ll just hold me. I feel a ton of stress and weight knowing the week is coming and I am fully responsible for disciplining the boys. I have to admit that it’s a lot of work teaching 3 little boys how to be kind to one another and others, show restraint and self-control, and to pick up after themselves & not be sloppy pigs. I would even suggest that sometimes parenting is more miserable than it is great. Why don’t I just put them in school and daycare and give myself a break? Well, if I love my children and struggle to not tire of doing good, then how is a teacher who does not love them going to teach them character and Christ? It’s simple, they won’t.
In spite of my failures, my children are going to be okay. How do I know this? Because I am raising them to know and love the Lord. I know that it has nothing to do with academics, but I am giving each one the freedom to be who he is, and that is a child of God. Because the boys will know and love our Lord they will never need to go through the pain and suffering I have. They will at some point question their faith, I’m sure. Even the greatest men of God did, but they will not know separation from Him in times when they need Him most, unless Christ initiates for His own good.
I read something recently that stuck with me. “Live your life in chapters. You don’t have to do everything you want to do in this chapter of rearing your children.” In the last four years of hs’ing I have felt jealous or curious as I meet and befriend moms who are doing the things I want to do one day. Being a mom and being responsible for the education of three children has taken up all my time, with one exception… time for the Lord. Sometimes it’s time alone to meditate, other times it’s so I can have coffee with a Sister in Christ, and more recently my time with the Lord has included spending time with people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and living on the streets. Other than the Lord, everything is put on hold in order to guide the boys through their education.
Over the years I have been given a lot of advice on how to take time for myself. Some of it’s been great and some of it I found to be a little selfish, but I have come to see that we are all so different that there’s no way anyone is going to have the right answer for me. And I don’t have the right answer for anyone else. As a homeschooling mom, I have to find a balance. And weighing heaviest on that balance scale needs to be my children. If I could spend every night with the homeless I would, but my children are my priority right now. They need to be tucked in by mama and they need to have the comfort of knowing they come first. My heart is with the addicts of the world, I ache for them. Even as I write this I tear up thinking about each one. Chris and I will be leaving Gainesville soon and we feel good knowing that we’ve brought some of our closest friends to where the Lord led us. I thought that the Lord was putting that spark in my heart so I could be the one out there everyday loving on these people, but we were simply a piece in His puzzle. We’ll be leaving soon and a part of me wonders if the Lord is moving me on so I don’t have to feel that struggle of wanting to be with the homeless and needing to be at home with my children.
Right now my chapter is sharing my life with my little boys. My days are to be spent showing them how to do things, where to find information, and most importantly modeling love to them. I will never get this chance again to teach values while laying a foundation of obedience. A very small piece of that includes spending time with some lonely drug addicts, but that can’t become the main thing. Something that has helped me is to decide ahead of time what our day, month, and year will look like. I am not an ocd person, but in order to fit everything, I had to schedule it. Otherwise life comes and goes important commitments get forgotten. Life is made up of hard, but rewarding choices and putting aside our dreams of a Home so I can homeschool is mine. I met a woman who began a Home in her house. The Home I went through as a young girl began in a couple’s house. As tempting as it is to have a Home and take in addicts, I will schedule my small portion of time with the homeless and the bulk of it goes to my kids… for now.
I am going to create a “page” outlining our day-to-day life, as far as homeschooling and planning and cooking and ministry, and me-time. If you move the mouse over the About Jackie section, my “pages” show up. I am a little bit of a narcissist when it comes to homeschooling and want to show everyone what we do all the time, but figured writing a blog about it was too boring. I am a weirdo who loves to read about how complete strangers out there homeschool, so this is for them. But I will do it later because my kids are needing me to help them build a tent with sheets and tacks.
Thanks for reading,