Mamas Makin’ It Work – #15

homeschooling mom of four…

We are a family of 9. To be accurate, 6 humans and 3 cats that you have to discipline like humans sometimes. (You know, like when they pee on your countertops, or eat the butter.) My husband is a police officer and works shift work. On days/nights he works he is out of the house for over 12 hours. Oh, and I homeschool- did I say that already? Not to mention our youngest who is now a year old has special medical/developmental needs. So I am at home all day with a 7, 6, 4 and 1 year old. Most days it is a joy. Most days I count surviving as success. Most days I need to step back and remind myself of the few ways I’m about to tell you how to make it work.

Number 1) Get dressed. Seriously. Take the time to get out of the pjs (even though they are SO comfy) pull back your hair, put on a little mascara and deodorant and remember that you are a woman!! I’m not gonna lie, some days I’m in my pajamas until I get back in bed – those aren’t always my proudest days. But you know it’s true that when you feel good about yourself you tend to feel good in general. Don’t overlook this.

Number 2) Don’t be boxed in. Be flexible. (I’m speaking in terms of homeschool but it can really fit in to any area of your life.) The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that it is inherently flexible. You decide, when, how long, what to teach. I can’t start each day thinking we will begin at 9am and end at 3pm, everyone will be on their best behavior, there won’t be any distractions, and lunch and recess will be the only breaks. If I think like that I get defeated before I even start. Make a schedule that works for you. It doesn’t have to look like anyone elses. It can be different every day. A lot of times we find ourselves sitting around our youngest on the floor amidst the noise and chaos of his medical equipment. Sometimes we don’t start until after lunch. Sometimes we school on and off all day. Give yourself room to breathe.

Number 3) Let things go. I am NOT an expert at this one yet. I still can’t stand a dirty carpet or messy kitchen. Not that you’d be able to tell this by looking at my house, but that’s the point. It still bothers me. I can’t let it go and it can ruin my day. If I don’t get around to all the chores that need to be done my attitude quickly adjusts to frustrated and short tempered. Try to remember with me that our kids are only this age for so long. We will have all the time in the world to have clean homes once they are gone. I would much rather (this is what I’m still daily trying to convince myself of) have happy children than a spotless house. And the fact of the matter is – it’s true. I just need to learn to let things go.

Number 4) Lysol Disinfecting Wipes. Buy them. They clean any and everything. No extra sprays and rags. One wipe and you’re set. Plus the kids like to help out with this.

Number 5) Embrace the minivan. This one hurts. My husband and I fought this for many years. Even after we were pregnant with our fourth we decided to go with a wagon (station, obviously, not covered) that had a third row over a van. Can you imagine a van?? The terror!! Of course then we found out his medical issues and then we saw his equipment and we could avoid it no longer. We were face to face with a minivan. The worst part? They are so incredibly functional. They make too much sense. They are comfortable and easy and spacious. I really can not think of one bad thing to say about it. Except, of course, that it’s a minivan. I find myself thinking all the time “Why didn’t we do this before??” So go ahead, bite the bullet, and get one – after the fight. You will be glad you did. 

I hope in some way you find this helpful. At the least you know that you’re not alone in your pajamas drinking coffee at 4pm with a messy house and unschooled kids. Remember to take it a moment at a time and sometimes just surviving is success.

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3 thoughts on “Mamas Makin’ It Work – #15”

  1. It’s funny to read this now because I just finished drinking my coffee, it’s 4pm, and I’m sitting here in my baggy pants with my hair lookin frowzy. I’m glad I’m not alone, and I WILL do better.. maybe even tomorrow!

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