I got behind on my day right from the start. I slept in, not much but just enough that by the time I showered and got dressed it was 8:30 a.m.; which is our usual optimum “start” time. My youngest having a bit of a cold also slowed us down a little too, which is fine, she just needed a little T.L.C. and mama love.
Finally we are downstairs and I have a coffee…phew! Just about to get some Math going when I notice the tables where the kids sit to work are covered in books, paper, ink pads, stamps etc. Not one empty space available to work, so everyone pitches in and gets it cleaned up. (I’m lucky that my kids are pretty good at helping out)
I start to announce “Mat…..” The word doesn’t even finish coming out of my mouth and bickering between 2 siblings breaks out. It escalates to name calling and pushing….sigh. Off to their respective corners they go, I go talk to each one individually then bring them together for proper apologies including why what they did was wrong and asking for forgiveness. Sigh
OK I need another coffee…stat! Give the 5 minute warning to my one child that requires some therapy that we will start as soon as a hot coffee is in my hands.
OK…We get rolling on the vision therapy (eye muscle stuff). Finally, I feel like I am getting some where and being productive, the other 2 are working on some Math and colouring, and we are getting into our exercises. I am feeling pretty good now! After all it is 2 hours later than I wanted to get all this rolling and instead of loosing my temper I chose to just keep climbing over all the obstacles…Yeah me! Step 2 of our exercises includes a ball suspended from the ceiling…something I rigged up very quickly, and which I knew needed more strength; but we also needed to just get it done. So downstairs we go, my son releases the ball (pulley type set-up) a little too fast and boom the ball and hook come down. OK this is not going well, time for another deep breathe!
We decide to do vision therapy later. I get everyone on clean up duty of the living room instead. I took the next 15 minutes to answer e-mail and to frankly re-group. I can feel frustration and doubt set in, since nothing seems to be working today. I don’t want to allow my self or my emotions to go there…it is just not a productive place to be.
I play a little game with my youngest which I promised we would do earlier. My oldest worked on some grammar, my middle one does a bit of science research on the computer. FINALLY…we are getting somewhere!!
We stop all our work to get ready for some lunch. My youngest has a class that starts at 1:00 p.m., so we need to get ready for that too. I get the boys to gather some books and pencils to take with us for the afternoon. I planned on egg salad for lunch, only to find 3 eggs in the fridge, (secretly crying on the inside just a little) I boil them up anyway. One child has just a hard boiled egg and some fruit for lunch, and I make a small amount of egg salad with the 2 eggs left over. So now we have 2 egg salad sandwiches and 1 P.B. and J.
We eat, and then the frantic hurry up and get ready begins. We get out the door late…are you surprised? I am not…just all part of my day.
I think you get the picture. Nothing here was what I envisioned for our day the night before when I was planning.
This day I could have easily allowed myself to succumb to the feeling of being defeated, I had plenty of opportunity for it; even our supper was a flop, but I chose differently.
I chose to climb the walls, to stand tall, to hug my kids more, and to make light of my supper disaster. I also chose to apologize to my kids for when my frustration started to show and we had a good discussion about obstacles and how we can choose to give in to them or how we can fight.
My hope for this post is not to focus on the negative, or for you to feel discouraged in your homeschooling. It is just the opposite! I am sharing this to show that while we all have good intentions for our days, rough days just happen. What you choose to do with these rough days is up to you.
This day was not a “waste” by any means. It was a powerful day!
Every time I climbed over the wall that kept appearing, I felt stronger. It was a great example and topic of discussion for the kids too. Real life has much to offer and teach us if we are just willing to see it. The best part is my kids learned all this with me. They are home to see it all good and sometimes the “bad”.
At the end of the day I did feel tired, but I also felt proud and no one was frustrated. The kids and I were just more determined to make the next day even better and have fun!
My 9 Quick Tips to Reclaim Your Day:
- Choose to climb the walls: Obstacles will always present themselves, look at them as an opportunity to grow and become stronger!
- Stand tall: Lift that head of yours and reclaim your day!
- Hug your kids: Don’t ever get too busy, too self-absorbed, or too down and out to forget to hug your kids, it will do all of you some good…go ahead and give them a squeeze!
- Make light of a situation: Laughing at ourselves or a certain conundrum we have gotten into will lighten a burdened heart. Laughter after all is the best medicine!
- Push aside the negative: Focusing on the negative is like shooting yourself in your own foot. Don’t do it, it hurts! This doesn’t mean that everything is always positive and wonderful, but it does mean that you have the power to turn things around. So avoid the depths of despair and take control! Read: “How to Control Your Thoughts in 5 Simple Steps” by Travis Robertson, Peak Performance Coach. It is another great article, step number 2 is about Identifying Your Negative Thoughts.
- Know you can never be ready for everything: A certain amount of preparation is required for our day to day activities, but never think you will be totally ready for whatever Life throws at you. Instead be prepared by knowing one day you will have to climb over some obstacles and decide to be strong enough and flexible enough to do it.
- Know what soothes you: We all have a few favourite things that help calm us. A cup of tea or coffee, some music, prayer or meditation, maybe a favourite blog or web-site? Sit down and really figure out what works for you and remember to utilize it before you spin out of control.
- Recall and reaffirm your Why: Knowing and remembering why you chose to home school in the first place will help you get back on track! Read: “Why Do You Homeschool? or Why Do You Want to Homeschool?”
- Be brave & change things up: Sometimes you just have to pack it up and change it up. Other days that I have had like this we have ended up at the Library, on a walk, or out for a coffee and hot chocolate. Sometimes a small escape for everyone is just what you need.
My Invitation to you!
I would like to hear from you!
We are hear to help one another stand tall and encourage one another in our home school journey. In saying that….
What is one (1) thing you do to keep from falling into frustration on days like this one?